With 2021 set to be the year for Brits to discover more of what the UK has to offer than ever before, we conducted research into the best peaks to visit.
Hopefully our research will inspire many to take on their first mountain climbs, as well as giving seasoned climbers a few additional challenges to add to their bucket list!
Are you ready to discover the UK’s most Instagrammable, most family-friendly, most loved and best-rated peaks?
The UK’s most Instagrammable peaks
Having reviewed 120 mountains across the UK, we are thrilled to reveal that Snowdon is the most Instagrammable mountain, topping the charts with more than 386,000 photos featuring the hashtag! As Wales’ highest mountain - standing proudly at 1,085m - it comes as no surprise that this is amongst the most popular peaks captured on camera. From the top, breathtaking views can be seen and, with the Snowdon Mountain Railway, visitors can choose to either take on the challenge up the rocky crags or leisurely glide up to the top on the tracks.
Pen Y Fan also made the top 10 most Instagrammable peaks, with almost 134,000 uses of the hashtag. Despite being downgraded from a mountain to a hill due to its height in 2018 - a mere 1.5m short of mountain status - it remains to be an ever-popular summit to scale providing incredible panoramic views across rugged landscapes.
Those who are familiar with the National Three Peaks Challenge, which sees thousands trek Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike each year - all within a 24-hour period - will be pleased to see that the full lineup features amongst the most Instagrammable. Their appearances are quite possible due to the popularity of the challenge itself!
The UK’s most loved peaks
When looking through TripAdvisor reviews to find the peaks where reviewers most frequently included words such as ‘love’ and ‘favourite’, alongside those with the highest proportion of good and excellent reviews, we collated a list of the most ‘loved’ peaks! The top three was made up of two Lake District locations, including the iconic Great Gable and Helvellyn, alongside Welsh mountain the Skirrid.
Y Garn and Cadair Idris also made their way into the most loved mountain charts, in 5th and 8th place respectively, and both are set within the gorgeous landscape of Snowdonia.
Coming in 10th place, surprisingly, was a hill in Cornwall - an area that not many would associate with challenging peaks! It is 334m high - which is just over 3 times the height of Big Ben.
The full top 10 consists of:
- Great Gable, Lake District
- The Skirrid, South Wales
- Helvellyn, Lake District
- Buachaille Etvie Mor, Scotland
- Y Garn, North Wales
- Ingleborough, Yorkshire
- Stiperstones, Shropshire
- Cadair Idris, North Wales
- Kinder Scout, Peak District
- Kit Hill, Cornwall
The UK’s most family-friendly peaks
Continuing our research, we sought out the peaks that are particularly good for children and families looking to take on a challenge. To do this, we searched the mountains on TripAdvisor to collate the percentage of reviews that commented on the climb’s suitability for children or families. The chart in this category comprises many lesser-known hikes, with the highest being Tinto at 711m, and the majority sitting at under 500m, making them perfect for the smaller walkers without compromising on scenic views.
The full top 10 is:
- Dumyat, Scotland
- Hallin Fell, Lake District
- Sugarloaf Mountain, Ireland
- Ben A'an, Scotland
- Beacon Hill, Wales
- Catbells, Lake District
- Slemish Mountain, NI
- Gummer's How, Lake District
- Tinto, Scotland
- Great Gable, Lake District
The UK’s best-rated peaks overall
Each peak was scored on a number of ranking factors, including the number of excellent/good TripAdvisor reviews, the percentage of family-friendly reviews, those which most featured words such as ‘love’ and ‘favourite’, and the number of Instagram hashtags for the location. The data was then ranked overall to reveal the top 10 peaks to visit in the UK, with Great Gable in the Lake District taking the top spot!
We’re pleased to reveal that two Welsh mountains also made the final top 10, with The Skirrid at number 5 and Snowdon at number 10.
Whilst the Peak District, Lake District, Scotland and various other locations across the UK certainly offer incredible peaks to scale, those on offer in Wales have definitely proved themselves to be up amongst the very best!
Are you feeling inspired to take on your next mountain climb in Wales? Why not take a look at one of our holiday cottages in Wales to find the perfect retreat to put your feet up after conquering your next challenge? Plus, we’ve got more in-depth guides to the Brecon Beacons mountains and Snowdonia's mountains packed full of useful information to get you ready for your next adventure.
*Data collected by Sugar & Loaf during January 2021.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.