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Mountains and hills of Scotland facts for kids

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See also: Lists of mountains and hills in the British Isles

Scotland is the most mountainous country in the United Kingdom. Scotland's mountain ranges can be divided, in a roughly north to south direction, into: the Scottish Highlands, the Central Belt and the Southern Uplands, the latter two primarily belonging to the Scottish Lowlands. The highlands contains the country's main mountain ranges, but many hills and mountains are to be found south of these as well. The highlands includes Britain's loftiest peaks, the Munros, the highest being Ben Nevis at 1,344.53 m. The below lists are not exhaustive; there are countless subranges throughout the country.

Sgurr fiona
Sgurr Fiona and the Corrag Bhuidhe pinnacles on An Teallach
The Five Sisters of Kintail - Flickr - Graham Grinner Lewis
The Five Sisters of Kintail
Ben Nevis south face
The steep south face of Ben Nevis from Sgurr a' Mhàim
The eastern Mamores and Grey Corries from the Aonach Eagach
Main ridge of the cuillin in skye arp
The main ridge of the Black Cuillin in Skye
The Paps of Jura from near Keills Chapel

Hills of the Central Lowlands

Ochil Hills
Ochil Hills (Wood Hill and Elistoun Hill) viewed from South-West of Tillicoultry
The Campsie Fells from Bar Hill above Twechar

The southern and eastern parts of Scotland are usually referred to as the Scottish Lowlands, but these areas also have significant ranges of hills, although these are lower than the Highland mountains. Because they are much closer to towns and cities, they are more popular for hill walking and rambling than the more distant mountains of the northern Highlands.

In addition to the main ranges, there are numerous individual hills in the Lowlands, often volcanic in origin. Many are known by the Scots word Law, meaning hill.

Southern Uplands

Ice climbing in the Black Gutter, Merrick, Galloway Hills

The Southern Uplands form a continuous belt of hills across southern Scotland from Galloway to the Borders. The Uplands are divided into several local ranges. The heartland of the Galloway hills lies to the north of Loch Trool and many excellent walks into that particularly wild remote territory start from the extensive car park by Bruce's Stone. There are three ridges which run northwards from the Loch Trool/Loch Dee/Clatteringshaws area - The Awful Hand on the west, The Rhinns of Kells to the east, and the Dungeon hills in between.

Scotland's highest mountains

The ten highest mountains in Scotland are also the ten highest in the UK.

  1. Ben Nevis 1344 m (4409 feet)
  2. Ben Macdui 1309 m (4295 feet)
  3. Braeriach 1296 m (4252 feet)
  4. Cairn Toul 1291 m (4236 feet)
  5. Sgor an Lochain Uaine 1258 m (4127 feet)
  6. Cairn Gorm 1244 m (4081 feet)
  7. Aonach Beag 1234 m (4049 feet)
  8. Aonach Mòr 1221 m (4006 feet)
  9. Càrn Mòr Dearg 1220 m (4003 feet)
  10. Ben Lawers 1214 m (3983 feet)


See also: Hill lists in the British Isles

Scottish peaks are categorised by means of the following hill lists. Note that any one peak may ‘qualify’ for inclusion in several lists.

  • The Munros are the most significant hills in Scotland over 3000 feet (914.4 m), according to original compiler Sir Hugh Munro. The list was first drawn up in 1891, and is modified from time to time by the Scottish Mountaineering Club (SMC). It currently comprises 282 peaks, following the demotion of Sgurr nan Ceannaichean in September 2009 and of Beinn a' Chlaidheimh in 2012.
  • The Corbetts are hills in Scotland between 2500 and 3000 feet (762 and 914.4 m), with a relative height of at least 500 feet (152.4 m). The list is maintained by the SMC. There are currently 221 hills.
  • The Grahams are hills in Scotland between 2000 and 2500 feet (609.6 and 762 m), with a relative height of at least 150 metres (492 ft). The list of hills fitting these criteria was first published by Alan Dawson in The Relative Hills of Britain. under the provisional name Elsies (LCs, short for Lesser Corbetts). They were later named Grahams after the late Fiona Torbet (née Graham) who had compiled a similar list around the same time. The SMC incorporated the list into Munro's Tables in 1997 but Dawson continues to maintain the list. There were originally 224 Grahams, but the current total stands at 221 after Corwharn, Ben Aslak and Ladylea Hill were surveyed as falling short of 609.6 m
  • The Donalds are hills in the Scottish Lowlands over 2000 feet (609.6 m). The list was originally compiled by Percy Donald, and is maintained by the SMC. It comprises 89 summits and 51 subsidiary tops, giving a total of 140 hills.
  • The Marilyns are hills in the British Isles that have a relative height of at least 150 m, regardless of distance, absolute height or merit. The list was compiled and is maintained by Alan Dawson. There are 1216 Scottish Marilyns, see List of Marilyns in Scotland.

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