About the UK Highpoints challenge
Gazing over the view of Warwickshire from Chesterton Windmill, I wondered whether it was the highest point in the county. It is not. The far less striking Ebrington Hill is Warwickshire’s county top. This got me thinking.
I’m someone who likes using lists as a way of doing fun things (the Lewis & Clark trail across the western United States, every Swiss canton by train in 24 hours, that sort of thing), so walking to every county top in the UK seemed like a good idea.
Completing the list of UK highpoints itself is not really the point. This isn’t so much a Munro-bagging style exercise but rather a way to guide our thinking for family days out and weekends away – and to give us an excuse to see more of the British countryside. I have no expectations that we’ll ever finish the list – certainly not before our toddler is a teenager – but hopefully it’s a fun challenge and I’m sure we’ll have some adventures along the way.
The map shows you all the highpoints of the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish counties. Click on any dot to find out the summit name, and for those in green you can link through to the write-up. Given that counties are far from immutable, you can debate which precise list of counties to use in each region of the UK. Some people use historic counties, others ambitiously attempt to include all the modern unitary authorities. For a real hill climbing rabbit hole, check out the Hill Bagging database. I’ve chosen the ones that make most sense to me. If you want to disagree, then do so quietly and in your own time.
Who are we?
Jonathan – I inherited my love of walking from my parents, especially my Dad – though he’s more a 4,000-metre than 4,000-foot guy. From the early days when he dragged me up Coniston Old Man fuelled by Kendal Mint Cake, I’ve enjoyed tramping about the countryside, though I do less of it than I would like to. I’ve walked across Switzerland and climbed Ben Nevis, Helvellyn and Skiddaw, but Snowdon and Scafell Pike remain on my to-do list.
Nicky – Nicky’s dad is also a keen walker, and has been treading the footpaths of the South Downs since he was in short trousers. Actually, he’s still in short trousers. Nicky’s earliest memories of walking involve insisting on taking a different route to school every day. Now, she marches at double-quick time up and down the streets of Leamington with Zoë in tow, and is undoubtedly the fittest of the family. She’s even been known to do a Parkrun.
Zoë – Zoë is two and already loves “outside”. Even before her second birthday she was walking up to three miles on some quite rocky and undulating Alpine paths in her “explorer shoes”. She’s generally happy trotting along even up quite steep hills as long as there are frequent snack stops! Time will tell whether she enjoys this adventure as much as we will, but hopefully as she starts to realise what we’re doing, she’ll relish the challenge.
Follow our exploits
As well as this site, we have a YouTube channel and all the various Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds you’d expect. I’m just learning about video editing and filming, so be kind in the feedback! We very much welcome comments or just say hello – maybe you know a particularly good route up your local county top, or have a hidden gem on a sidepath that you think we should explore.