If you want to get out in the hills but have never done so before it can be hard to know where to start – literally. We’ve put together a list of the 10 best hills for beginners to give you a hand.
Whether you’re new to hillwalking yourself or trying to convert friends and family to the wonders of the hills, our list of best first hills should help you find your way. The ones we’ve picked are all relatively easy to navigate, with clear paths and features and all have something spectacular about them. After all, you want your first experience of the hills to be a really blummin’ good one.
And if you want more inspiration for routes to try as a beginner walker, why not subscribe to Trail Magazine and find new walks every month?
Catbells, Lake District
Just outside Keswick, with glorious views over Derwent Water towards the eastern fells and then north to Blencathra and Skiddaw, is Catbells. A clear path heads all the way to the top, with a little straightforward and easily avoidable scrambling near the summit and a lakeshore stroll back.
The Old Man of Coniston, Lake District
Several well made paths lead to the top of this 803m peak, where you’ll find views of the Scafells, the shining sea and east as far as Ingleborough. One of the most frequented routes passes a turquoise lake and rusting relics of its mining history. Best of all, it starts and ends almost at the door of several pubs.
Castle Crag, Lake District
This mini peak can be bagged with only a few spare hours. At 290m, it’s an excellent choice when the high peaks are swathed in cloud. A path leads up through woodland, past slate mines to a gorgeous view along Borrowdale and into the backs of the Lakes biggest hills.
Kinder Scout, Peak District
Tackle Kinder Scout via Grindsbrook Clough for a straightforward route up, with just a little clambering through a rocky gorge near the top where you’ll pop out by wind-sculpted rocks. Take the edge path west to join the Pennine Way back to Edale and the pub.
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Ingleborough, North York Moors
With clear paths to the top, exposed limestone pavements and views into the Pennines and the Lake District on the horizon, Ingleborough is hard to beat. On its flanks, Britain’s longest unbroken waterfall plunges 98m into Gaping Gill. Take care on the summit in cloud, where it’s easy to become disoriented.
With clear paths and waymarked boulders on the most popular ways to the top, Wales’ highest makes a brilliant introduction to mountain walking. The Miner and Pyg tracks are the easiest to follow, passing sparkling lakes on the way to the top.
Pen y Fan, Brecon Beacons
The highest peak in the Brecon Beacons overlooks rolling hills on either side with plummeting escarpments to the north. A short loop approaches it from the west but better is the horseshoe from Taf Fechan forest taking in Cribyn and Corn Du on a sky high walk.
Ben A’an, Trossachs
This pretty 454m peak sits between Loch Katrine, Loch Achray and Glen Finglas reservoir with rugged peaks all around and a climb up through forestry. The view at the top is worth lingering over, with a sense of remoteness belied by the ease of climbing.
Ben Lomond, Trossachs
A popular first Munro, Ben Lomond climbs up from the shore of the loch of the same name to views down its dramatic northern corries, across the peaks of the National Park and along the loch with its myriad islands. The way back down is a little spicy too.
Meall a’ Bhuachaille, Cairngorms
An outlier to the Cairngorm plateau, the path to this 810m peak passes through forestry where pine martens roam, along shimmering lochans to a view of the country’s highest contiguous land mass. Stop at Ryvoan bothy on the way for a brew.
Got everything you need? See www.lfto.com/kitlist for a list of everything you need for a day in the hills