Top 7 hill walks for beginners

Posted by Tina Gardner on 11/06/2014
A view of Roseberry Topping. Photo: shutterstock

To mark National Walking Month, here are seven suggestions from BMC hill walking officer Carey Davies to help you get started walking in the hills and mountains.

National Walking Month is a campaign by Living Streets to get more people on their feet by walking to work, getting away from their desk at lunchtime and generally being more bipedal in their daily lives. That's all great, but the health benefits of walking in the hills and mountains as well as your daily commute can be even more pronounced.

Of course, there are many more great beginner hills, but here are seven to get you started.

1.     Roseberry Topping, North York Moors

Fantastic little hill in the North York Moors with views that punch above its height. What it lacks in height it makes up for in character – a great mountain-in-miniature. Alan Hinkes, first Briton to climb the world’s 8,000 metre mountains, says it’s his favourite hill – and he knows a thing or two about impressive peaks.

Route info: www.walkingenglishman.com

Get the map: British Mountain Map: North York Moors
 

2.     Conic Hill, Loch Lomond

Lovely bite-sized walk up a hill overlooking Loch Lomond. Great views of the island-studded loch with Ben Lomond the Arrochar Alps beyond marking the start of the Highlands.  The hill straddles the boundary fault between the lowlands and the highlands of Scotland – you can see the line of it in the string of islands stretching across the loch – so it really does feel like you’re standing on the edge of two worlds.

Route info: www.walkhighlands.co.uk


3.     Mam Tor and the ‘Great Ridge'

Classic route in the Peak District, taking in a long sweeping ridge and a climb of the superb viewpoint that is Mam Tor.

Route info: www.walkingbritain.co.uk

Get the map: British Mountain Map: Dark Peak


4.     Pen y Fan, Brecon Beacons

The highest hill in southern Britain, so definitely no slouch of a walk, and its altitude can mean the weather on top can be very serious. However a climb starting from Storey Arms is within the grasp of beginners thanks to a wide track which, while not exactly offering much variety, is easy to follow.

Route info from the National Trust: www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Get the map: British Mountain Map: Brecon Beacons
 

5.     Ingleborough, Yorkshire Dales

Ingleborough is one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, the others being Pen y Ghent and Whernside, often bagged as part of a gruelling 23 mile challenge walk. While not the highest of the three it’s arguably the most impressive and rewarding, standing sentinel over Yorkshire and on a clear day offering top-of-the-world views over the Pennines, the Lancashire coast and the Lake District. Caution is needed in bad weather, however, as it can be easy to lose your bearings on the flat summit plateau in murk and mist. 

Route info: www.walkingenglishman.com (this isn’t the shortest route up it but it’s the nicest)

Get the map: British Mountain Map: Yorkshire Dales
 

6.     Fairfield Horseshoe, Lake District

The Fairfield Horseshoe is a classic long mountain round in the heart of the Lake District. Starting and finishing in Ambleside, it’s a very popular walk and gets very busy on sunny days and weekends. It’s still a serious undertaking, however, so people attempting it need to give themselves plenty of time and daylight. Best walked in good weather to get the most of the views. The Fairfield Horseshoe is featured on our Hill Walking Essentials DVD, which gives a comprehensive introduction to the skills and know-how you need for hill walking.

Route info: www.walkingbritain.co.uk

Get the map: British Mountain Map: Lake District
 

7.     Schiehallion, Perthshire

One of the famous list of 282 ‘Munros’ (Scottish mountains above 3,000 feet), Schiehallion is a big mountain and as such can be a very serious prospect, as can anything which juts more than a kilometre into the sky. However it is one of the easier Munros to climb thanks to its long, easy-angled approach and a superb path built by the John Muir Trust. Lots of interesting history around it too – thanks to its symmetrical shape, for example, it became the mountain that weighed the world.

Route info: www.walkhighlands.co.uk

Get the map: British Mountain Map: Schiehallion


JOIN THE BMC: Save 50% on your first year's membership

The BMC works for indoor climbers like you. Benefits include:

  • Retail discounts
  • Access to BMC Travel Insurance
  • Register for Mountain Training award schemes
  • £10m worldwide Combined Liability insurance
  • £10,000 Personal Accident insurance
  • Discounted entry to many competitions

Find out more about BMC membership benefits

WATCH: Molly Thompson-Smith: Portrait of a Champion on BMC TV

Follow the BMC's competition climbing Twitter feed: @BMC_Comps

Find all upcoming competitions here.


« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 35693 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

Seven superb summits to climb this spring
1
Seven superb summits to climb this spring

Catch a glimpse of the Alps in Wales, see a mysterious double sunset, and climb the Yorkshire summit said to be more impressive than K2. Spring’s here, and it’s time to hit the hills.
Read more »

Active Outdoors: subsidised skills courses
0
Active Outdoors: subsidised skills courses

It is time to Get Active Outdoors. If you want to start hill walking, rock climbing, scrambling or learn winter skills, then check out the subsidised BMC Active Outdoors courses. Suitable for all abilities and levels of experience there is something for everyone.
Read more »

Hill and mountain skills courses for novices
0
Hill and mountain skills courses for novices

Mountain Training have developed two nationally accredited Hill & Mountain Skills courses for novices and improving hill walkers.
Read more »

Post a Comment
Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
0

There are currently no comments, why not add your own?

RELATED ARTICLES

Seven superb summits to climb this spring
1

Catch a glimpse of the Alps in Wales, see a mysterious double sunset, and climb the Yorkshire summit said to be more impressive than K2. Spring’s here, and it’s time to hit the hills.
Read more »

Active Outdoors: subsidised skills courses
0

It is time to Get Active Outdoors. If you want to start hill walking, rock climbing, scrambling or learn winter skills, then check out the subsidised BMC Active Outdoors courses. Suitable for all abilities and levels of experience there is something for everyone.
Read more »

Hill and mountain skills courses for novices
0

Mountain Training have developed two nationally accredited Hill & Mountain Skills courses for novices and improving hill walkers.
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £15.72.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »