UK Mountains Walking, Mountaineering and Equipment Reviews

UK Mountains

This website is dedicated to my personal Mountain Walking and Mountaineering experiences over many years. There are numerous reports, not only from UK Mountains but also from many parts of the world that I have been lucky enough to visit. During those expeditions I have had the opportunity to test out all types of equipment and the Equipment Review page lists most of this gear along with my honest opinion. Hopefully that will be of use to anyone considering purchasing equipment. Also, I have my personal walking log and as a labour of love, I have listed all of the mountains over 2,000 feet in England and Wales along with the date of ascent. It is a work in progress and I hope one day to climb them all. Anyone who reads this and would like a copy of the Mountain Tables, get in touch and I'd be happy to provide it free of charge. In the meantime, have a look around the site, read the reviews and reports and let me know what you think.

About me

I've been enjoying the great outdoors since at the tender age of nine, my Uncle and Cousin took me on a Youth Hostelling weekend to the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire where we stayed at St Briavels Castle, which is still a Youth Hostel. I've been walking and climbing in all areas of the UK and Europe from as far north as the Cuillin Ridge on the Isle of Skye through the Lake District, North Wales to Devon and Cornwall. Overseas I have organised and participated in successful expeditions to Switzerland, the French Alps and South America. In 2017 I was part of a team that climbed Kilimanjaro by the difficult Western Breach route. We also ascended Meru Peak as an aclimatisation route. 2018 saw me satisfy a lifetime ambition to visit Nepal and climb some well known peaks and passes. See the 'Previous Expeditions' for a full report of both of these expeditions.

In August of 2019 I made an attempt on Mount Elbrus (5,642m) which is the highest mountain in Europe, located in the Caucasus mountains in Southern Russia near the border with Georgia. It was a two week expedition but due to persistent bad weather we failed to summit, reaching a maximum altitude of 4,650m. A full report is on the Previous Expeditions (Europe) page.

Rock Climbing

I am an SPA Instructor and have climbed in many areas of the UK & abroad, particularly at Symonds Yat, North Wales, the Peak District, Mid-Wales, Cornwall & Scotland. I have many hundreds of logged climbs in my log book and during my time, have climbed many more than I have recorded.

Climbing the Hexenstein, Dolomites

Mountaineering

There are many beautiful mountain ranges in the world, many within easy reach of the UK. I am fortunate to have been to a large number of them. Below are the best.

Mountain (Range)Description
NepalOctober 2018. Trekking in the Himalaya to a maximum of 5,643m
KilimanjaroSeptember 2017. The highest mountain on the continent of Africa at 5,895m
Teide, TenerifeApril 2015. Highest Mountain in Spain (Tenerife) at 3,718m
Alesch GlacierAugust 2001. Including the Hexenstein in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland
AconcaguaJanuary 2001. Highest Mountain in South America at 6,960m
DolomitesAugust 2000. Northern Italys' most famous range.
MatterhornAugust 1997. Most famous Mountain in Switzerland at 4,405m
Mont BlancSeptember 1995. Highest Mountain in Western Europe at 4,807m
Pennine Way 1977

Walking

From single day to several weeks, I have walked many of Britains long distance footpaths. Below are some of the more well-known routes.

RouteDistanceDescription
Wysis Way55 milesApril 2022. From the Wye to the source of the Thames.
St Kenelms Way52 milesApril 2022. Clent Hills to Winchcombe
The Ridgeway87 milesSeptember 2019. Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon
Three Choirs Way100 milesMarch 2019. Gloucester to Hereford to Worcester to Gloucester
Gloucestershire Way100 milesDecember 2018. From Chepstow to Tewkesbury
Severn Way210 milesAugust 2018. Following the River Severn
Winchcombe Way42 milesMay 2013. Around the Cotswolds
Limestone Way60 milesDecember 2012. Rocester to Castleton in Derbyshire
Welsh 3000s28 milesJuly 2000. All 3,000' mountains
Worcestershire Way38 milesJuly 1992, August 1992 and August 2004. Wyre Forest to Malverns
Cotswold Way96 milesAugust 1991. Bath to Chipping Campden
Coast to Coast192 milesAugust 1990. Robin Hoods Bay, Yorkshire to St Bees in Cumbria
6 Shropshire Peaks40 milesJuly 1990 and April 1992. East to West Shropshire
Lyke Wake Walk40 milesJuly 1983. Yorkshire Moors
Pennine Way270 milesAugust 1977. Edale to Kirk Yetholm (Scotland)
Cuillins Ridge, Skye

UK Mountains Blog 2022

Mid Wales assault 13/06/2022
Next week I'm off for a few days to mid-Wales again with the remaining 15 mountains firmly in my sights. It's ambitious (of course), but achievable I think. Good weather will help, bad weather might make all the difference between success and failure.

Berwyns almost complete! 11/06/2022
Two of the final three Berwyn Peaks completed! Cyrniau Nod (2,188') and Cefn Gwyntog (2,017') on a reasonable day. The visibility was excellent, but it was windy and there were showers of rain all day so the ground was wet, but it's done and there's only one more peak in the area and I'll have bagged the lot!

Change of Plan 02/06/2022
It was going to be the final Arans peak, but due to time constraints, I've changed it to bagging two more in the Berwyns instead. The walk is further but it's more convenient. The Arans will have to wait a couple of weeks to my next trip which will hopefully complete all of the mountains in mid-Wales!

Arans final peak 27/05/2022
In a couple of weeks, I have the chance to complete the Arans group with a cheeky day trip to climb Foel Hafod-fynydd (689m). There are a few other peaks in that area of Wales, will I be tempted to go for another one, or stick to the plan and take the final Arans peak?

Lake District 23/05/2022
After a very successful Lake District Trip bagging no less than 20 new peaks, my attention is now drawn back to completing the Welsh peaks. Looking through my Mountain Tables book, I spotted a mountain I'd climbed but not logged (Crib-y-rhiw in the Rhinogs). Checking with my Garmin, sure enough I'd topped it, so now I have just 29 to go!

Lake District 18/05/2022
Day four was the big one with no less than nine peaks conquered including one of the highest in the Lake District; Great Gable at a towering 899m. The full list is; Grey Knotts (697m), Brandreth (715m), Base Brown (646m), Green Gable (801m), Great Gable (899m), Kirk Fell East Top (787m), Kirk Fell (802m), Fleetwith Pike (648m), Honister Crag (630m). The weather held out, but was incredibly windy in the morning.

Lake District 16/05/2022
Day three saw five new peaks bagged in the Buttermere region which completes that section. They were; Robinson (737m), Hindscarth (727m), Dale Head (753m), High Spy (653m) and Blea Crag (634m). Cloud on Robinson cleared to give a great day for the remainder.

Lake District 15/05/2022
Day 2 saw an ascent of Bannerdale Crags (684m) via Sharp Edge onto Atkinson Pike which completes the Skiddaw Range of mountains in the Lake District. Excellent weather again.

Lake District 14/05/2022
The week has got off to a great start with five peaks conquered in the Buttermere region plus two that I'd previously climbed but had to do because they were in the way! The peaks were: Whiteside (707m), Whiteside East (719m), Hopegill Head (770m), Ladyside Pike (703m), Hobcarton Crag (739m), Grisedale Pike (791m), Hobcarton End (634m)

Lake District 08/05/2022
Already thinking about my trip to the Lake District for more peak bagging. I get to tick some off from the 'England' list!

Great mid-Wales trip 07/05/2022
Ten new peaks plus Cadair Idris, the highest in mid-Wales for good measure was a great way to spend four days. The weather was very mixed from dull and overcast, to low cloud and rain, to fabulous and back to raining! I've now got just 30 peaks in Wales to conquer to complete them all!

Mid Wales Peak Bagging 01/05/2022
Looking forward to a few days in mid-Wales mopping up some peaks to add to the collection. Another ambitious plan of 10 peaks in four days. It's starting to get a little harder in Wales now as I only have 40 left and they're spread out, although the Carneddau has quite a few as does the Moelwyns so they will be future targets.

Wysis Way Day 4 20/04/2022
Final day of 13 miles. Much less hilly that the previous days but still the odd climb to test the already tired legs. The Thames source is a bit of an anti-climax and the official finish at the railway station equally so, but it's done so that's that.

Wysis Way Day 3 19/04/2022
Only 14 miles today but some serious climbs made it harder than expected. Bisley was the end of the day and I arrived in good time to get the bus to Stroud which saved an off-route 4 mile walk. Final day tomorrow.

Wysis Way Day 2 18/04/2022
14 miles from Mitcheldean to Gloucester. Another tough start with an ascent of May Hill followed by some excellent walking through Gloucestershire. Another fine day, sun shining all day. Perfect.

Wysis Way Day 1 17/04/2022
17 miles from Monmouth to Mitcheldean. Tough start with a climb to the Kymin, then undulating through the Forest of Dean to a steep descent to Mitcheldean and some easy fields with horrid stiles. Fantastic weather all day.

St Kenelms Way done (again) 31/03/2022
Finally finished St Kenelms Way with my daughter. Rosie came along as well and didn't seem to mind repeating the walk. This time it was very cold and we had snow at one point. Had a look inside St Kenelms Well just above Winchcombe. Very interesting and worth a visit on its own. What next I wonder...?

Wysis Way gets closer 31/03/2022
Just over two weeks to go to the next challenge. Looking forward to it. First multi-day long distance path for a while.

Gloucestershire gallop 10/03/2022
One of my favourite local walks is from Tewkesbury to Winchcombe. Initially following the Gloucestershire Way until it crosses the Winchcombe Way, then following that up over Nottingham Hill and onto Cleeve Hill, then across to the Masts and on to Belas Knapp then steadily down to Winchcombe itself now on the Cotswold Way. Around 15 miles with Rosie my trusty companion for company who loves the walk mostly because she can spend almost all day off the lead and go exploring.

Snowdonia Raid 04/03/2022
Mixed weather made for some challenging walks on a four day break to Snowdonia, staying and Idwal Cottage Youth Hostel. Monday I added a couple of peaks from the Berwyn group on a wet and miserable 10 mile walk, then drove up to Rhydd Ddu to bag Mynydd Mawr in fairly good weather. Tuesday was by far the best day of the week weather wise which meant that my plan to do the Nantlle Ridge would work. It was a superb day out with seven peaks bagged, excellent weather without a cloud in the sky and amazing views. Wednesday was pretty much the opposite. From the moment I left the Youth Hostel to my return, it rained heavily and was incredibly windy. It didn’t stop me adding four new peaks and a repeat of Y Garn to my list. Thursday the weather was just horrible, so I decided to go shopping instead!

A total of fourteen new peaks bagged which brings my yearly total to 19 and overall to 217. The report is on the 'North Wales' Page


North Wales 16/02/2022
Plans are now complete for a raid on the North Wales 2000' peaks during the first week of March. It's an ambitious plan, aiming for about 18 peaks in total over four days. It does require reasonably good weather but doesn't it always when climbing new mountains?

Wysis Way 16/02/2022
Finally completed the planning and booking for the Wysis Way in April. Four days covering 55 miles from Monmouth to Kemble, or more correctly, the Wye to the Thames. Looking forward to it.

Dovedale and Manifold Valley 06/02/2022
I'd planned a nice walk down Dovedale from Hartington so parked at the Youth Hostel where I was staying for the next few days and was soon away down the hill. Spying a path to the left, I took it, which cut the corner off the village and quickly bought me into a very muddy field. Oh well, no point trying to be to careful I thought, I doubt it will be the only muddy field of the day. I’d started in my new Alpkit waterproof as it was very cold and I needed all of my layers. I soon stopped to put on my leggings as there was rain in the air.

Onto the main track, it looked dry and easy going. I’d spotted a walker ahead so was confident I was headed in the right direction - not that a single walker proves anything, but I figured that the only sensible place to go in this direction was Dovedale.

As I rounded the corner, she suddenly appeared, walking in the opposite direction, or at least I assumed it was the same person. Maybe we were both wrong! Stopping for a quick chat, it turned out that the path and bridge were completely flooded! Not to be deterred, I suggested we go and take a look. It was true! What to do? We decided we were made of the right stuff and a little bit of water wasn’t going to stop us. Actually, it was a lot of water, but by climbing gates, fences and the top of the bridge we managed to get into a muddy field - the easier option as it turned out as the other parts of the path were completely submerged.

Finally we got past it, followed by another walker. Onwards, we took the higher path, the other walker taking the lower path and we met at the next bridge - he was up to his knees in water and we had avoided it.

Chatting, it turned out that my fellow walker was out for a walk along Dovedale to Ilam and back. My plan was to cross to the Manifold Valley and return that way. Asking if she could accompany me as my route sounded significantly drier, of course I agreed so we teamed up. Her name was Julie and she had driven up from Leicestershire for the day.

Continuing downstream we frequently encountered flooded sections, negotiating them as best we could, trying our best to avoid getting too wet, which worked well until I slipped off a rock and my left leg went in up to my knee! Surprisingly my foot didn’t feel too wet but I’m sure it was.

Our route took us down to Milldale with numerous flooded sections. We had gotten quite good at negotiating the water and managed to find reasonable routes through.

The coffee shop in Milldale was closed sadly, but we stopped briefly for a drink a goodie bar before heading off in the direction of Stanshope.

Leaving the shelter of the valley we found ourselves being blown about by really strong wind and walking through really muddy fields. We’d swapped floods for muds.

Stanshope came and went. Next stop Wetton where I knew there was a pub. Julie had recounted an event earlier where she and fellow walkers had been refused service at a village pub. As we approached the pub in Wetton, she recognised it as the same one. Our patronage would not be given today!

Onward and down to Thors Cave. Along the way, we saw two walkers coming in the opposite direction absolutely filthy from head to foot. What was ahead of us? Observing their state, they replied that they had had a very bad day! The final section to the cave was indeed filthy and we careful picked our way across the field and through the mud. Declining to go inside the cave, we descended the steps to the river which started out very muddy but became cleaner as we got near the bottom.

Thankful to be down without incident we headed North to Wetton Mill where the lure of the coffee shop proved too much to resist.

Brief break over we were off again, following the right hand side of the river on the Manifold Trail and good dry walking, although we had the worst rain of the day for a while along this section. We followed this right the way up to Hulme End at the Manifold Valley visitor centre.

A quick check of the map gave our direction as to the right for 50m or so, then up a lane to a footpath and more muddy fields. Once again, the wind picked up and without the shelter of the valley was quite strong, combined with yet more rain made it hard going.

With a combination of lanes and paths we eventually came to Sheen, although I did take an early path off one of the lanes which bought us a little way from Sheen, requiring a ‘phone map’ check to correct. It was only a minor detour, or rather scenic route as I preferred to call it. By now it was approaching 5pm and dusk. There was still enough light to see by and we were only a mile or so from Hartington so nothing to worry unduly about.

Through Sheen and out on the path which led directly to Hartington, the weather had one final go at us with strong wind and hailstones. We could see the lights of Hartington and still had enough light to see the path but even so were quite relieved to arrive in the village.

Julies car was on the lane so we said our goodbyes and parted. She had been very good company for the day and it was nice to have someone to walk with who was every bit as capable. We’d chatted for most of the day about this and that, generally walking and mountaineering stuff and as I walked up to the Hostel I realised what a nice change it was to have a walking partner and how quickly the day had gone compared to a solo walk.

Total distance: 27.6km
Max altitude: 302m


The River Dove in full flow 06/02/2022
The River Dove in full flow


Severn stroll 01/02/2022
Nice walk with the dog today down the river to the Haw Bridge via Deerhurst and back again on the Western side to the Mythe Bridge and Home. Good weather, sunny but very windy. 13 miles total so a healthy outing.

River meander 23/01/2022
Nice ten mile walk through the Wildlife Sanctuary at Coombe Hill and then along the River Severn to Deerhurst and cross country to Tewkesbury.

Plynlimon Completed 15/01/2022
An early start and a long drive bought me to the Car Park at Eisteddfa Gurig on the A44. Parking up and paying the £5 fee into the honesty box, Rosie and I headed off into the mountains. All Five 2,000' Peaks were conquered in just 3 1/2 hours and were (in order); Y Garn(684m), Pen Pumlumon Fawr(752m), Pumlumon Fach(664m), Pen Pumlumon Llygad-bychan(727m) and Pen Pumlumon Arwystli(741m). The weather was kind, although the higher peaks were in mist most of the day.

UK Mountains

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