“Because it’s there.”
That was the retort of the English mountaineer George Mallory when asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest—perhaps the most famous three words in mountaineering and reason enough to scale the world’s highest peak.
Almost 100 years have passed since Mallory attempted to climb Everest, but his pithy remark in response to his intentions continues to light fires under generations of mountaineers and hill climbing enthusiasts.
In memory of Mallory, then, we’re highlighting three of the UK’s most famous peaks—Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike—which should get your juices flowing and have you booking a flight faster than Usain Bolt descending a Munro on a rocket-powered sled.
Before you pack your thermals and hotfoot it to the airport, however, we have a top tip to help you conquer another formidable foe: the airport car park. We’ve found that using the airport parking comparison site Looking4.com has made this part of the journey less arduous.
Rather than rocking up on the day to find a dearth of car parking spots, you simply pre-book from the comfort of your home. Not only will it save you a helluva lot of hassle, it’s kind on the wallet, freeing up a few dollars for you to spend in Blighty.
Now … on to the peaks, avid mountaineer!
1. Ben Nevis – Scotland
Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles. It stands 1,345 meters above sea level and towers over glistening lochs and glacial valleys. It’s a physical and emotional high, and an absolute must for those keen to experience the unbridled beauty of Scotland.
The Scottish peak (which means “mountain with its head in the clouds” in Gaelic) was once an active volcano, which exploded and collapsed inwards millions of years ago. You can see explosive evidence of this at the summit, with plenty of light-coloured granite scattered around.
2. Snowdon – Wales
Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales. It stands in Snowdonia National Park and towers 1,085 meters above sea level. Unsurprisingly, given its beautiful location and variety of treks, Snowdon is the busiest mountain in the UK and the third most visited attraction in Wales.
That’s not to say that Snowdon (Old English for “Snow Hill”) is a gentle stroll, however. In fact, Sir Edmund Hillary used the mountain for training as he prepared for his ascent of Mount Everest in 1953.
3. Scafell Pike – England
With breath-taking views across the Lake District, Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England. It stands at 978 meters above sea level, and is an enjoyable (and challenging) climb for experts and enthusiastic novices alike.
Almost 100,000 people per year climb Scafell Pike, with many thousands of those part of the National Three Peaks Challenge (where climbers attempt to conquer Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike within 24 hours).