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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 between 2,500 and 3,000 feet (762.0 and 914.4 m), 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] 219 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.


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 89 Donalds, many of which are also Corbetts or Grahams.


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.


The Murdos are an attempt to apply strict objective criteria to the Munros and their associated tops. They are 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 444 Murdos, compared to 284 Munros or 511 Munros (284) plus tops (227). The list was compiled and is maintained by Alan Dawson.[3]

Nearly all Murdos are also Munro Tops, with many Munro Tops being excluded because of insufficient relative height. However, there are seven Murdos that are not Munro Tops, some with quite substantial relative heights. Here is a list.

Outside Scotland


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 442 Nuttalls in total (253 in England and 189 in Wales). The list was compiled by John and Anne Nuttall and published in two volumes, The Mountains of England & Wales [4] [5].

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[6] and Welsh[7] lists were compiled and are maintained by Alan Dawson; the Irish[8] 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 526 Hewitts in total: 178 in England, 137 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 has 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[9], and the Graham Tops[10].


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 (490 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]

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.


  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.  
  3. ^ a b Dawson, Alan (1995). The Murdos. Cambuskenneth, Stirling: TACit Press. ISBN 0-9522680-3-5.  
  4. ^ Nuttall, John & Anne (1999). The Mountains of England & Wales - Volume 1: Wales (2nd edition ed.). Milnthorpe, Cumbria: Cicerone. ISBN 1-85284-304-7.  
  5. ^ Nuttall, John & Anne (1990). The Mountains of England & Wales - Volume 2: England (2nd edition ed.). Milnthorpe, Cumbria: Cicerone. ISBN 1-85284-037-4.  
  6. ^ Dawson, Alan (1997). The Hewitts and Marilyns of England. Cambuskenneth, Stirling: TACit Press. ISBN 0-9522680-7-8.  
  7. ^ Dawson, Alan (1997). The Hewitts and Marilyns of Wales. Cambuskenneth, Stirling: TACit Press. ISBN 0-9522680-6-X.  
  8. ^ Clements, E.D. 'Clem' (1998). The Hewitts and Marilyns of Ireland. Cambuskenneth, Stirling: TACit Press. ISBN 0-9522680-8-6.  
  9. ^ Dawson, Alan; Hewitt, Dave (1999). Corbett Tops and Corbetteers. Cambuskenneth, Stirling: TACit Press. ISBN 0-9534376-1-2.  
  10. ^ Dawson, Alan; Clements, E.D. 'Clem'; Gordon, James (2004). Graham Tops and Grahamists. Cambuskenneth, Stirling: TACit Press. ISBN 0-9534376-2-0.  

See also

External links


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