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Discussion Forum - Hills and County Tops - Access to County Tops

Author: David Purchase
Posted: Sun 16th Sep 2018, 15:41
Joined: 1999
Local Group: Bristol & West

I realise that this reply is too late to help your specific enquiry. Believe it or not, only in the last couple of weeks have I become aware of this forum!

I would like to send some comments in the hope that they might be of interest to others. But first, which were the two County Tops that you were wishing to visit? It is more helpful if I can refer to specific instances as well as making general comments.

David Purchase
HR Recorder
Author: Paul Glynn
Posted: Mon 8th Jan 2018, 15:25
Joined: 2015
Local Group: Wessex
I'm planning to take in two county tops on an upcoming social walk.
As neither of these tops sit on a public footpath or on access land I'm intending to route the walk to the nearest point of public access.
Would this be an acceptable alternative for those in the group wishing to claim the top?
(i.e alternative to arranging access for potentially 20 or so people).
I'd be interested in other people's views on this.
Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Wed 15th Nov 2017, 15:32
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
I have the 2011 edition of John Muir’s book and it is a very useful and interesting book.
Like most lists it assumes you will be making most of the journey by car so those of us without cars have to do a bit of extra planning but that all adds to the fun.
Many of the tops are so near a road that it does not seem to me much of an achievement if a car is used.
I like to do a few days trips so that all my tops are linked together.

John Muir’s book uses the traditional counties but does not list all the tops for such counties which had sub divisions, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire had 3, Suffolk and Sussex had 2 subdivisions. East Suffolk’s top is in the middle of an airfield and that is the only one which for me has no appeal, whereas the highest point of Holland, Lincs, is not quite in reach of the high spring tide, but seems amusing to visit, although I have not done this one yet.
There are lots of lists, and some variation in the list. One considers mountains and county tops to have a sort of biblical permanence but this is not evident in the lists which keep changing, Hills get re named, resized and added to and removed from lists from time to time.

There are lists for the counties after the 1974 re-organisation but counties are changed quite often and many of the tops are uninspiring so it is the traditional counties for me.
One can start with Wiki and work onwards

An older list, England and Wales 2000 foot hills and county tops, is by George Bridge, another interesting book but out of print and had a lot of inaccuracies.
However, he explains how all the fills fit onto a 230 foot islands above 2000 feet. He goes onto explain:
‘that is to say, supposing the sea level ever rose to 2000 feet ( an event which few of us could contemplate with complete composure) there would be exactly so many real islands riding above the waves.
Author: Iain Connell
Posted: Tue 14th Nov 2017, 15:33
Joined: 2010
Local Group: North Yorkshire
Probable (website doesn't say so but it's in October-November's list) 2017 reprint of Jonny Muir's 2011 Cicerone guide. Blurb says:

The UK's County Tops
Reaching the top of 91 historic counties
by Jonny Muir
Book published by Cicerone Press
ISBN: 9781852846299
Inspiring guide to 82 walking routes reaching the tops of the UK's 91 historic counties in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, from Inverness-shire's Ben Nevis (1344m) to Huntingdonshire's Boring Field (80m) visiting 10 national parks and the full range of UK countryside. OS maps, colour photography, many county facts.

Author: Raymond Wilkes
Posted: Tue 14th Nov 2017, 9:15
Joined: 2013
Local Group: West Yorkshire
Most County tops are on rights of way or access land. But a few are on private land.
These are the ones I know of.
Arbury Hill Northamptonshire: I called at the farm for permission and the farmer was very friendly and helpful. He strongly objects to people going on his land without permission but is happy to give permission. He worries about dogs and litter as he has had problems in the past with both. I would recommend getting permission and leaving the dog at home on your Arbury Hill day. Gates are not locked and there is no barbed wire on them.
Ask at Staverton Lodge, Northamptonshire, NN11 3DA

Staverton Clump. Twin top Northamptonshire. The farm, south of the Clump, to ask is owned by Wakefields . I do not know its address. From you may get the impression permission is not necessary, however, all gates are locked and there is plenty of barbed wire to deal with. So I guess permission is advisable and same point about dogs.

Kent county top is famously in someone's garden and access without permission is a no-no. But apparently the occupant will invite you in if she is in the garden when you visit. When I get there I will try remember to take some chocolates as a present!

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