Six epic introductory mountain routes

Heralding the stunning scenery around High Street in the Eastern Fells of the Lakes.

Heralding the stunning scenery around High Street in the Eastern Fells of the Lakes.

Need some inspiration to take your first steps in the mountains? No problem! Here’s six awesome, ready-to-go routes ideal for kicking off any hillwalking CV. Written by Trail magazine experts, the routes are available to download and follow using the OS Maps app.

1. New Bridge Loop, Dartmoor

Climbing high above the Dart Valley in wild Dartmoor this walk offers panoramic views, two granite and thatch hamlets, and a riverside finale.

Dartmoor’s rolling wilds seen from Mel Tor.

Dartmoor’s rolling wilds seen from Mel Tor.


2. Aran Fawddwy, Snowdonia

To wander aloft and lonely is to walk on Snowdonia's Aran Fawddwy. Slow down and be reminded why you love high places on this inexplicably neglected mountain – the highest peak south of Snowdon.

Looking north from the summit of Aran Fawddwy.

Looking north from the summit of Aran Fawddwy.


3. Howgill Fells, Yorkshire Dales

A hybrid of the Lakes and Dales, the Howgill Fells boast huge whaleback hills which are rounded and grassy yet offer plenty of ascent, plus ridge opportunities and great valley views.

At the top of Cautley Spout, looking north to Yarlside.

At the top of Cautley Spout, looking north to Yarlside.


4. High Raise from Grasmere, Lake District

Not to be confused with another namesake fell in the far eastern Lake District, here in the Central Fells you will find waterfalls, peaceful tarns, epic ascents and the best views around – this is a walk that has it all.

The wonderfully-named Sourmilk Gill leading to High Raise.

The wonderfully-named Sourmilk Gill leading to High Raise.


5. High Street via Long Stile, Lake District

Enjoy the slender ridge approach of choice to the summit plateau of High Street – the giant of the Eastern Fells, and an exhilarating mountain walk.

Looking down the Long Stile ridge, with Blea Water in the foreground and Haweswater beyond.

Looking down the Long Stile ridge, with Blea Water in the foreground and Haweswater beyond.


6. Beinn Eich, Southern Highlands

Beinn Eich in Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park may be dwarfed by its bigger, better-known neighbours – Ben Lomond and Ben Ime, for example – but a climb to its summit has plenty to offer.

Peak views from Beinn Eich in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

Peak views from Beinn Eich in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.


Subscribers to Trail magazine get a 50% discount on a digital subscription to OS Maps, allowing you to view routes online and download them to your smartphone. You can also view and print OS 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 scale maps at no extra cost. Click here for full details.


What is a GPX file?

A GPX (GPS Exchange Format) file is a digital version of a route. Each GPX file contains a long list of the precise GPS coordinates that make up a route, which can be placed on top of a digital map for printing or following on a GPS device or smartphone. How to upload and use a GPX file depends on which navigation device you’re using, but they work on everything from handheld Garmin devices and Suunto watches to smartphone apps like OS Maps. As GPX files are made up of unique and universal latitude/longitude coordinates, they can be used with almost any type of mapping software.

Jake Kendall-Ashton