Hills of Britain and Ireland
This is database of 17,000 hills in the British Isles, with detailed maps (OS Explorer 1:25,000 scale for Great Britain), with photos and links to 'hill bagging' websites with trip reports.
Use these maps to investigate a particular hill, or a region map to devise a walk linking together hills in a particular area. Some people attempt to climb all the hills in a particular list ("hill bagging").
If you live in a non-traditional hill area, e.g. the south-east, the Marilyns or Humps are recommended - theses 'relatively high' hills are scattered throughout the whole country.
Hills are grouped together in 3 ways
- Geographic, e.g. all hills in Surrey
- By absolute height, e.g. all hills over 3,000 feet.
- By relative height, e.g. Marilyns, these are hills of any height, with a drop of 150m (450 feet) on all sides
- By curated list, e.g. Wainwrights's, these are his favourite Lake District summits
The 'county' lists have every hill with a drop of 30m / 90 feet on all sides (which is why the database is so large). The national lists only have major summits with bigger 'relative heights'.
Online Availability of OS quality mapping
- England, Scotland and Wales : OS 1:25,000 scale mapping is available.
- Isle of Man : OS 1:50,000 scale mapping only (there is a paper only 1:25,000 map)
- Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland : not available online (paper maps at 1:50,000 scale, and parts of both countries at 1:25,000 scale are available)
- Channel Islands : not available online (a paper only 1:25,000 scale map is available)
What is a Mountain?
Hills can be classified in several ways.
- by absolute height ("hills over 2,000 feet with 30m drop on all sides")
- by relative height ("a hill of any height, but with a drop of 150m on all sides") - there are a few of these even in the southeast
- by region ("South Wales")
- by subjective lists ("Lake District Hills chosen by Wainwright")
Relatively High Hills
The Marilyn's are a list of the relatively high hills (i.e. hills with a big drop on all sides compared to the surrounding land, not their absolute height). This means there are some in the southeast! The name Marilyn is a play on words - Scotland has Munro's - Marilyn Munroe.
Some very obvious viewpoints are still missed, for example Beachy Head (because its not a summit, its a slope of a higher hill).
For more on the Marilyn's, see : The Relative Hills of Britain by Alan Dawson.
British and Irish Hills Database
The source of this data is the Database of British and Irish Hills. Most website and mountain software use this list, so the "hill numbers" should be portable
- Data: Database of British and Irish Hills v18.0
- Relative height, drop, or prominence is the height difference between a hill's summit and the col (lowest point) connecting it to the next higher summit. "Marilyns" are hills with a relative height of 150 metres, and "Humps" have 100 metres. There are some even in the south east of England.
- We use OS mapping for England, Scotland, Wales, and the Isle of Man. Sadly, Channel Islands, Northern (OSNI) and Southern Ireland (OSI) mapping isn't available online, so we use Openstreetmap.