Hill lists in the British Isles

The mountains and hills of Great Britain, and to a lesser extent Ireland, are the subject of a considerable number of lists that categorise them by height, topographic prominence, or other criteria. They are commonly used as a basis for peak bagging, whereby hillwalkers attempt to reach all the summits on a given list. The oldest and best known of these lists is that of the Munros, mountains in Scotland over 3,000 feet (914 m); other well-known lists include the Corbetts, Wainwrights and Marilyns.




The Munros are mountains in Scotland over 3,000 feet (914 m). The list was originally compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891, and is modified from time to time by the Scottish Mountaineering Club (SMC).[1] Unlike most other lists, the Munros do not depend on a rigid prominence criterion for entry; instead, those that satisfy the subjective measure of being a "separate mountain" are regarded as Munros, while subsidiary summits are given the status of tops. There are 283 Munros and 227 further tops, all of them in the Scottish Highlands.


The Corbetts are peaks in Scotland that are between 2,500 and 3,000 feet (762.0 and 914.4 m),high with a relative height of at least 500 feet (152.4 m). The list was compiled in the 1920s by John Rooke Corbett, a Bristol-based climber and SMC member, and was published posthumously after his sister passed it to the SMC.[1] 221 Corbetts, many of them in areas of Scotland with no Munros, include Moidart, Ardgour, the Southern Uplands and the islands of Arran, Jura, Rùm and Harris.

  • List of Corbetts

A list of Corbett Tops, covering every mountain in Scotland with between 2,500 and 3,000 feet (762.0 and 914.4 m) of height and between 100 and 500 feet (30.48 and 152.4 m) of relative height, was published by Alan Dawson in 2001. There are currently 449 of them.


The Donalds are hills in the Scottish Lowlands over 2,000 feet (609.6 m). The list was compiled by Percy Donald, and is maintained by the SMC.[1] Whether a hill is a Donald is determined by a complicated formula. A hill with a prominence of at least 30 metres (98 ft) is automatically a Donald, but one with a relative height of 15 metres (49 ft) may be one if it is of sufficient topographic interest. There are 140 Donalds, comprising 89 hills and 51 tops.


The Grahams are hills in Scotland between 2,000 and 2,499 feet (609.6 and 761.7 m), with a drop of at least 150 metres (490 ft). The list of hills fitting these criteria was first published by Alan Dawson in The Relative Hills of Britain[2] as the Elsies (LCs, short for Lesser Corbetts). They were later named Grahams after the late Fiona Torbet (née Graham) who had compiled a similar list around the same time. Dawson continues to maintain the list, which contains 224 hills distributed as follows: Highlands south of the Great Glen 92, Highlands north of the Great Glen 84, Central and Southern Scotland 23, Skye 10, Mull 7, Harris 3, Jura 2, Arran 1, Rum 1, South Uist 1.

  • List of Grahams

Dawson in 2004 published a list of Graham Tops covering Scotland down to 610 m of height and 30 m of relative height. There are 777 of them.


The Murdos are an attempt to apply objective criteria to the Munros and their associated tops. They comprise all the summits in Scotland over 3,000 feet (914.4 m) with a relative height of at least 30 metres (98 ft). There are currently 444 Murdos, compared to 283 Munros or 510 Munros plus tops. The list was compiled and is maintained by Alan Dawson.[3]

All Murdos are also Munro Tops, but many Munro Tops fail to qualify as Murdos because of insufficient relative height. Before 1997 there were seven Murdos that were not Munro Tops, some with quite substantial relative heights.[4] All seven were included in the 1997 edition of Munro's Tables, plus two non-Murdos: Little Pap on Lochnagar and Knight's Peak on Sgurr nan Gillean. The addition of Knight's Peak, on the basis of an altimeter measurement, was controversial and it was only accepted as a Murdo in 2009, some time after being re-surveyed as 915m by the Ordnance Survey.[5] Little Pap has an estimated drop of only 22 metres[6] and the reason for its re-introduction to the list, following its removal in the 1981 edition of Munro's Tables,[7] is unclear.

Outside Scotland


The Furths are mountains in Great Britain and Ireland which, but for their ill luck in being situated "furth" of Scotland, would be Munros. The SMC will record the claims of those Munroists who go on to complete the Furths.


The Nuttalls are hills in England and Wales over 2,000 feet (610 m) with a relative height of at least 15 metres (49 ft). There are 443 Nuttalls in total (253 in England and 190 in Wales). The list was compiled by John and Anne Nuttall and published in two volumes, The Mountains of England & Wales [8] .[9]

By including hills that rise by as little as 15 metres (49 ft) above their surroundings, the list of Nuttalls is sometimes criticised for including too many insignificant minor tops. The Hewitts (see below) are one attempt to avoid this.

With the exception of Pillar Rock, a rocky outcrop on Pillar in the Lake District, the peaks of all of the Nuttalls can be reached without resort to rock climbing. As of December 2008, 163 people are known to have completed the list, though this includes some who did not climb Pillar Rock, which the authors permit.


The Hewitts are Hills in England, Wales and Ireland over Two Thousand feet (609.6 m), with a relative height of at least 30 metres (98 ft). The English[10] and Welsh[11] lists were compiled and are maintained by Alan Dawson; the Irish[12] list is by Clem Clements. The list addresses one of the criticisms of the Nuttalls by requiring hills to have a relative height of 30 metres (98 ft), thus excluding the 125 least prominent Nuttalls from the list.

There are 527 Hewitts in total: 178 in England, 138 in Wales and 211 in Ireland. The current TACit booklets contain 525 hills, with Black Mountain being counted in both England and Wales. Since their publication in 1997, Birks Fell in England and Mynydd Graig Goch have been added and Black Mountain deemed to be in Wales only.

Scottish hills are, by definition, excluded. Those that meet the criteria are published in three parts: the Murdos,[3] the Corbett Tops,[13] and the Graham Tops.[14]


The Wainwrights are hills (locally known as fells) in the English Lake District National Park that have a chapter in one of Alfred Wainwright's Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells. There are 214 hills in the seven guides. There are no qualifications for inclusion other than an implied requirement of being at least 1,000 feet (300 m) high, to which Castle Crag is the sole exception. A further 116 hills were included in the supplementary guide, The Outlying Fells of Lakeland.


The Marilyns are hills in the British Isles that have a relative height of at least 150 metres (492 ft), regardless of distance, absolute height or other merit. There are currently 1,554 Marilyns in Great Britain: 1,214 in Scotland, 179 in England, 156 in Wales and 5 on the Isle of Man. (Black Mountain is on the border between England and Wales, but counted in Wales.) There are a further 453 Marilyns in Ireland. The list was compiled and is maintained by Alan Dawson.[2] The name was coined as an ironic contrast word game to the designation Munro, which is homophonous with (Marilyn) Monroe.


The Hardys are the high points of the United Kingdom's hill ranges, islands over 1,000 acres (404.7 hectares) and top-tier administrative areas (including County Tops). There are 342 Hardys: of 61 hill ranges, 91 islands and 190 administrative areas (where the high point is not a cross-referenced hill range or island). 178 are in England, 31 in Wales, 107 in Scotland and 26 in Northern Ireland. The list was first compiled in the 1990s and is maintained by Ian Hardy.[15]

County tops

Climbing in the highest point of each British county is another popular form of peak bagging, dating back at least to the 1920s when John Rooke Corbett was attempting to visit them all.

Peak bagging culture

In the Lake District especially, there is a tradition of finding the maximum number of tops, including all the major summits, which can be visited in a 24 hour period - see Lakeland 24 hour record. This usually requires fell running, and a support team. The pre-war record, set by Bob Graham, of 42 tops, has become a standard round, which has been repeated by over 1,000 people.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Bearhop, D.A. (1997). Munro's Tables. Scottish Mountaineering Club & Trust. ISBN 0-907521-53-3. 
  2. ^ a b Dawson, Alan (1992). The Relative Hills of Britain. Milnthorpe: Cicerone Press. ISBN 1-85284-068-4. http://bubl.ac.uk/org/tacit/marilyns/. 
  3. ^ a b Dawson, Alan (1995). The Murdos. Cambuskenneth, Stirling: TACit Press. ISBN 0-9522680-3-5. http://bubl.ac.uk/org/tacit/tables/murdos/. 
  4. ^ Murdos designated new Munro Tops in 1997, http://bubl.ac.uk/org/tacit/tables/murdos/sevensum.html
  5. ^ Steam driven altimeter no more, http://bubl.ac.uk/org/tacit/tac/tac69/tac69steamdri.htm
  6. ^ Database of British Hills, http://www.biber.fsnet.co.uk/downloads.html
  7. ^ The Munros and Tops 1891-1997, http://www.biber.fsnet.co.uk/downloads.html#munrotab
  8. ^ Nuttall, John & Anne (2009). The Mountains of England & Wales - Volume 1: Wales (3rd ed.). Milnthorpe, Cumbria: Cicerone. ISBN 1-85284-304-7. 
  9. ^ Nuttall, John & Anne (2008). The Mountains of England & Wales - Volume 2: England (3rd ed.). Milnthorpe, Cumbria: Cicerone. ISBN 1-85284-037-4. 
  10. ^ Dawson, Alan (1997). The Hewitts and Marilyns of England. Cambuskenneth, Stirling: TACit Press. ISBN 0-9522680-7-8. http://bubl.ac.uk/org/tacit/tables/england/. 
  11. ^ Dawson, Alan (1997). The Hewitts and Marilyns of Wales. Cambuskenneth, Stirling: TACit Press. ISBN 0-9522680-6-X. http://bubl.ac.uk/org/tacit/tables/wales/. 
  12. ^ Clements, E.D. 'Clem' (1998). The Hewitts and Marilyns of Ireland. Cambuskenneth, Stirling: TACit Press. ISBN 0-9522680-8-6. 
  13. ^ Dawson, Alan; Hewitt, Dave (1999). Corbett Tops and Corbetteers. Cambuskenneth, Stirling: TACit Press. ISBN 0-9534376-1-2. 
  14. ^ Dawson, Alan; Clements, E.D. 'Clem'; Gordon, James (2004). Graham Tops and Grahamists. Cambuskenneth, Stirling: TACit Press. ISBN 0-9534376-2-0. 
  15. ^ Hardy, Ian, MVO (2010). The Hardys - The UK's High Points (3rd Edition). Potters Bar, Hertfordshire: Ian Hardy. ISBN 978 0 9565533 3 1 (internet version, http://www.thehardys.org/), ISBN 978 0 9565533 5 5 (DVD version).

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