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Walking guidebook to UK County Tops – Europe - a Cicerone guidebook

Cover of The UK's County Tops
13 Sep 2011
21.0 x 14.8 x 1.4cm
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The UK's County Tops

Reaching the top of 91 historic counties

by Jonny Muir
Book published by Cicerone Press

Inspiring guide to 82 walking routes reaching the tops of the UK's 91 historic counties in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, from Inverness-shire's Ben Nevis (1344m) to Huntingdonshire's Boring Field (80m) visiting 10 national parks and the full range of UK countryside. OS maps, colour photography, many county facts.

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Size: 21.0 x 14.8 x 1.4cm
Weight: 360g

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Wherever you find yourself in the UK – among the Munros of Scotland, the fens of East Anglia, the rolling moors of the west-country or the suburban sprawl of of a big city, there‘s a county top on your doorstep waiting to be discovered.

Ranging from 80m Boring Field in Huntingdonshire to 1344m Ben Nevis in Inverness-shire, the 91 tops of the historic counties of the UK are a sundry collection of hills and mountains spanning the length and breadth of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Some rank among the finest summits in the UK: Ben Lomond, Helvellyn, Pen y Fan, The Cheviot, Scafell Pike, Slieve Donard and Worcestershire Beacon. Others are less known, appearing in strange and wonderful places: A military firing zone in Yorkshire, the tundra plateau of the Cairngorms and a back garden in south-east London. Every county top has its own story, whether it is the mystery of the Grey Man of Macdui on Ben Macdui, the Mass Trespass of 1932 on Kinder Scout or the devastating wartime death toll on Shropshire’s Brown Clee Hill.

Author Jonny Muir was the first person to visit them all in one 5000-mile cycling and walking adventure, over a three-month period, and he shares his preferred routes, gradings and lots of incidental facts and figures for each one here.

  • Seasons
    suitable for all seasons; experience of winter conditions is vital for the highest mountains in the Highlands, Pennines and Lake District during the December-April period; spring and autumn are ideal times to climb Ben Nevis, Helvellyn, Pen y Fan, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, which can be very busy in summer
  • Centres
    anywhere in the UK!
  • Difficulty
    walks to suit all abilities, from 30min strolls over easy ground to day-long expeditions across high land and wild country; difficulty ratings 0-5, distances and time estimates given for each walk; no specialist equipment required for any of the routes outside winter months
  • Must See
    the Cairngorms, Dartmoor, the Lake District and Northumberland; following Offa’s Dyke, the Pennine Way and the Ridgeway; visiting Leith Hill Tower, Cairnpapple Hill prehistoric site and Snowdon mountain railway; crossing the Carn Mor Dearg Arete and Striding Edge ridges.
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Overview map   


The historic counties    
Defining a county top    
Using this guide    
Getting there    
Safety in the hills    



1    Cornwall – Brown Willy 420m    
2     Devon – High Willhays 621m    
3     Somerset – Dunkery Beacon 519m    
4    Dorset – Lewesdon Hill 279m    
5    Sussex – Black Down 280m    
6    Surrey – Leith Hill 294m    
7    Kent – Betsom’s Hill 251m    
8    Middlesex – Bushey Heath 153m    
9    Bedfordshire – Dunstable Downs 243m    
10    Buckinghamshire – Haddington Hill 267m / Hertfordshire – Pavis Wood 244m    
11    Berkshire – Walbury Hill 297m / Hampshire – Pilot Hill 286m    
12    Oxfordshire – Bald Hill 257m    
13    Wiltshire – Milk Hill 295m    
14    Gloucestershire – Cleeve Common 330m    
15    Herefordshire – Black Mountain 703m    
16    Worcestershire – Worcestershire Beacon 425m    
17    Warwickshire – Ebrington Hill 261m    
18    Northamptonshire – Arbury Hill 225m    
19    Shropshire – Brown Clee Hill 540m    
20    Staffordshire – Cheeks Hill 520m    
21    Leicestershire – Bardon Hill 278m    
22    Derbyshire – Kinder Scout 636m    
23    Nottinghamshire – Silverhill 205m    
24    Rutland – Cold Overton Park 197m    
25    Huntingdonshire – Boring Field 80m    
26    Cambridgeshire – Great Chishill 146m / Essex – Chrishall Common 147m    
27    Suffolk – Great Wood 128m    
28    Norfolk – Beacon Hill 105m    
29    Lincolnshire – Normanby Top 168m    
30    Cheshire – Black Hill 582m    
31    Lancashire – The Old Man of Coniston 803m    
32    Durham – Burnhope Seat 746m    
33    Yorkshire – Mickle Fell 788m    
34    Cumberland – Scafell Pike 978m    
35    Westmorland – Helvellyn 950m    
36    Northumberland – The Cheviot 815m    



37    Flintshire – Moel Famau 562m    
38    Anglesey – Holyhead Mountain 220m    
39    Caernarvonshire – Snowdon 1085m    
40    Denbighshire – Cadair Berwyn 830m / Montgomeryshire – Moel Sych 827m    
41    Merionethshire – Aran Fawddwy 907m    
42    Cardiganshire – Plynlimon 752m    
43    Pembrokeshire – Foel Cwmcerwyn 536m    
44    Carmarthenshire – Fan Foel 781m    
45    Glamorgan – Craig y Llyn 600m    
46    Brecknockshire – Pen y Fan 886m    
47    Monmouthshire – Chwarel y Fan 679m    
48    Radnorshire – Great Rhos 660m    



49    Roxburghshire – Hangingstone Hill 743m    
50    East Lothian – Meikle Says Law 535m  / Berwickshire – Meikle Says Law south shoulder 532m    
51    West Lothian – Cairnpapple Hill 312m    
52    Midlothian – Blackhope Scar 651m    
53    Lanarkshire – Culter Fell 748m    
54    Peeblesshire and Selkirkshire – Broad Law 840m    
55    Dumfriesshire – White Coomb 821m    
56    Ayrshire – Kirriereoch Hill shoulder 781m / Kirkcudbrightshire – Merrick 843m    
57    Wigtownshire – Craigairie Fell 321m    
58    Buteshire – Goatfell 874m    
59    Renfrewshire – Hill of Stake 522m    
60    Stirlingshire – Ben Lomond 974m    
61    Dunbartonshire – Ben Vorlich 943m    
62    Perthshire – Ben Lawers 1214m    
63    Clackmannanshire – Ben Cleuch 721m    
64    Kinross – Innerdouny Hill 497m    
65    Fife – West Lomond 522m    
66    Kincardineshire – Mount Battock 778m    
67    Angus – Glas Maol 1068m    
68    Aberdeenshire and Banffshire – Ben Macdui 1309m    
69    Morayshire – Carn a’ Ghille Chearr 710m    
70    Nairnshire – Carn Glas-choire 659m    
71    Argyll – Bidean Nam Bian 1150m    
72    Inverness-shire – Ben Nevis 1344m    
73    Ross and Cromarty – Carn Eige 1183m    
74    Sutherland – Ben More Assynt 998m    
75    Caithness – Morven 706m   
76    Orkney – Ward Hill 479m    
77    Shetland – Ronas Hill 450m    



78    County Down – Slieve Donard 853m    
79    County Armagh – Slieve Gullion 576m    
80    County Fermanagh – Cuilcagh 666m    
81    County Londonderry and County Tyrone – Sawel Mountain 678m    
82    County Antrim – Trostan 550m    

Appendix 1    The UK’s historic county tops by height   
Appendix 2    The present-day county tops of England, Wales and Scotland by height

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