The Highest Mountains In England – The Top 25
By Dave Roberts
Posted in Outdoor Articles, Walks in Britain and Ireland
The Highest Mountains In England – The Top 25
The highest mountain in England is well known to be Scafell Pike, but what about the other of England’s highest mountains? Following on from our top 25 Summits in Wales – we’ve compiled the same list for England. The only problem with compiling a top 25 for England is the utter domination of the Lake District! So we’ve added a select few of the lower summits as well – as it would only have 4 walks outside the Lake District. This now includes summits as diverse as Kinder Scout, in the Peak District and High Willhays in Dartmoor.
You may actually notice that there are a few obvious omissions. Where’s Scafell i hear you cry? In line with our Highest Mountains in Wales, we’ve limited this to mountains with a minimum of 150 metres of reascent in all directions. No 15m Nuttall bumps in here!
The Highest Mountain Summits in England
1 Scafell Pike (978 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – Southern Fells
Of course, we know that Scafell Pike is on the top! One of the National Three Peaks and a gem of a mountain with various routes to the top. One of the few mountains deserving of our Walks up articles. Read about All the Routes up Scafell Pike for more information on England’s Highest Mountain.
2 Helvellyn (950 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – Eastern Fells
England’s Second highest mountain and the UK’s most popular walk. Not only does it boast numerous walks to the summit, but Helvellyn includes one of England’s best scrambles in Striding Edge. Worth of it’s own article – All the Walks up Helvellyn.
3 Skiddaw (931 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – Northern Fells
Some call Skiddaw ‘boring’ – and perhaps if you ascend the usual route up Jenkin Hill from Keswick, it may not be the most exiting mountain. Yet if you choose to ascend Skiddaw via Longside Edge, then that’s a hill walk worth of England’s third highest mountain. As is deserving of a mountain of it’s status – we’ve written up All the Walks up Skiddaw for you to decide for yourselves
4 Great Gable (899 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – Western Fells
One of the Lake district’s most iconic mountains, can either ascended from Wasdale Head or via Moses Trod from the Honister Pass. Rocky and tough, you’ll need to make time to photograph Nape’s Needle or even climb it if you’ve got the skills..
5 Cross Fell (893 metres) , Cumbria , North Pennines – Western Fells
The Fifth Highest summit in England is Cross Fell in the North Pennines. It is crossed by the Pennine Way and boasts it’s own bothy – Greg’s Hut and it’s own wind – the Helm Wind which is a strong north-easterly wind which blows down the south-west slope of the Cross Fell escarpment
6 Pillar (892 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – Western Fells
Pillar at 892 metres in height is the highest point on the classic Mosedale Horseshoe. It’s named after Pillar Rock on it’s Ennerdale side, the birthplace of rock climbing in the Lake District.
7 Fairfield (873 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – Eastern Fells
The mountain of Fairfield also gives its name to one of the most popular circular walks in the Lake District – the Fairfield Horseshoe. Not only does it boast one classic walk, but another classic – the Deepdale Horseshoe from Patterdale.
8 Blencathra – Hallsfell Top (868 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – Northern Fells
Blencathra, also known as Saddleback, boasts a number of interesting routes up to it’s summit – including a couple of scrambles. The best known is the Sharp Edge scramble up Blencathra, while the Halls Fell Ridge is also worth doing.
9 Grasmoor (852 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – North Western Fells
Grasmoor stands alone over Crummock Water, a rather awkward dog leg from the Coledale Horseshoe. It’s usually ascended from Crummock Water.
10 St Sunday Crag (841 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – Eastern Fells
Despite being the 10th highest mountain in England, St Sunday Crag is often one of the summits ascended on the way up Fairfield via the Deepdale Horseshoe.
11 High Street (828 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – Far Eastern Fells
High Street, also known as Racecourse Hill, is a complex mountain with multiple routes to the summit. So many that we had to write an entire article outlining the many Walks up High Street. The best approaches are either High Street from Kentmere or High Street from Mardale Head .
12 The Cheviot (815 metres) , Northumberland , The Cheviots
Finally – out of the Lake District and into the Northumberland National Park with the Cheviot. On the border with Scotland, the Cheviot is a peaty height crossed by the Pennine Way National Trail.
13 High Stile [Grey Crag – High Stile] (807 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – Western Fells
High above Buttermere, the actual summit of Grey Crag is higher than the actual summit of High Stile by a metre! With rugged tops, and lakeside starts, this is a scenic and beautiful mountain usually ascended from Buttermere.
14 The Old Man of Coniston [Coniston Old Man] (803 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – Southern Fells
One of the most popular mountains in the Lake District, with more to it than the usual ‘tourist’ route from Coniston. Check out our All The Walks up Consiton Old Man for the full run down.
15 Kirk Fell (802 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – Western Fells
Kirk Fell is the first peak on the Mosedale Horseshoe, or the last one depending on the direction you choose to walk it! It’s a steep pull, directly from Wasdale Head – or a knee knackering descent either way.
16 Grisedale Pike (791 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – North Western Fells
Grisedale Pike is another one of our highest mountains to be part of a classic circular walk, this time the Coledale Round from Braithwaite.
17 Mickle Fell (790 metres) , Durham , North Pennines – Western Fells
To the south of Cross Fell, well off the Pennine Way can be found Mickle Fell. It’s probably the most remote of all the summits on this list – with a rough yomp needed to reach the summit that’s not helped by the limited access owing to nearby military activity on the Warcop Training Area.
18 Red Screes (776 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – Eastern Fells
Standing alone between Fairfield and High Street, Red Screes is easiest bagged alone from Kirkstone Pass rather than a dogged addition to the Fairfield Horseshoe that can be long enough as it is.
19 Stony Cove Pike [Caudale Moor] (763 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – Far Eastern Fells
To the opposite side of the Kirkstone Pass you can find Stony Cove Pike, which is one of those summits you cross on the way to a higher mountain, High Street in this instance. Included as our Walk up High Street from Kirkstone Pass.
20 High Raise (High White Stones) (762 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – Central Fells
High Raise is outshone by its subsidiary summits of Pavey Ark and the Langdale Pikes to the south, but is inconveniently higher. Despite that, the summit is worth the excursion as the views are extensive.
21 Dale Head (753 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – North Western Fells
Dale Head is the highest of the Derwent Fells, between Buttermere, Brotherdale and Keswick. It’s a central location with one of its subsidiary summits being the most famous Catbells above Derwentwater.
22 Burnhope Seat (747 metres) , Cumbria , North Pennines – Eastern Fells
Uniquely, Burnhope Seat in the North Pennines is the only one of our summits with a ski lift! The ski slope at Yad Moss doesn’t allow the walker quicker access to this summit, but the nearby B Road means that this otherwise remote summit is only a 2km walk and as it starts from just under 600m, only around 150m of climbing.
23 Robinson (737 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – North Western Fells
Robinson is joined to Highest Mountain no. 21 – Dale Head, by Hindscarth and the ridges of Littledale and Hindscarth Edges. Ascended from Buttermere, or as a wonderful high level traverse including Dale Head.
24 Seat Sandal (736.8 metres) , Cumbria , Lake District – Eastern Fells
One of those inconvenient hills that lie off the main ridge – necessitating a strenuous addition to the day! It only just makes it on the list, having only 151m of reascent all around. It does occupy an unenviable position with excellent views, and can always be tacked onto an alternative Fairfield Horseshoe from Grasmere.
25 Whernside (736 metres) , Cumbria/North Yorkshire , Yorkshire Dales – Southern Fells
The final one of our top 25 mountains in England and we’re starting to get the Lake District out of the way. Whernside is the highest of the Yorkshire Three Peaks and is crossed by the Pennine Way. One of the best routes is the walk up from Ribblehead.
The best of the rest?
There are a few more summits that we think deserve a mention – but where do these well known peaks fit into the highest mountains in England?
26 Ingleborough (724 metres) , North Yorkshire , Yorkshire Dales – Southern Fells
Ingleborough is the only one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks that’s not crossed by the Pennine Way. Popularly ascended from Ingleton, a longer walk from Clapham or as part of the Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge.
27 Great Shunner Fell (716 metres) , North Yorkshire , Yorkshire Dales – Northern Fells
There’s a theme here – and Great Shunner Fell is yet another of England’s Highest mountains crossed by the Pennine Way. Setting off up Shunner Fell from Hawes, you can follow the Pennine Way all the way to the summit (and back again).
33 Pen-y-ghent (694 metres) , North Yorkshire , Yorkshire Dales – Southern Fells
Pen-y-ghent is the lowest of the Yorkshire 3 Peaks. Of course, Pen-y-ghent is also crossed by the Pennine Way and can be ascended from Horton in Ribblesdale.
47 Kinder Scout (636.3 metres) , Derbyshire , The Peak District
The scene of the Kinder Trespass in the 1930s, which we can thank for the rights to roam we enjoy today. In some respects, this is the hardest summit on the list – to find the highest point on the expanse of peat! Best of luck! Usually ascended from Edale or from Hayfield. And yes, this is also crossed by the Pennine Way!
49 High Willhays (621 metres) , Devon , Dartmoor
Finally – the highest point in Dartmoor, High Willhays and the highest point to the south of the Brecon Beacons. At least being so far south means this hill isn’t included in the Pennine Way! Its only a few metres higher than the more impressive Yes Tor that’s a kilometre or so to the north of High Willhays with the ridge sometimes known as the Roof of Devon.
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