© Alan Dawson 1992
Hill walking is true mountaineering, however the hard-bitten rock climber may regard it. Walking is the head and corner stone of all mountain climbing, whether we are dealing with the little 1000-foot hill near our homes or taking part in an assault on an unclimbed 20000-foot giant of the Himalaya. In certain kinds of weather and atmospheric lighting the one can look almost as beautiful and impressive as the other.
J. H. B. Bell
How many hills are there in Britain?
Has anyone climbed them all?
Where is there for hill walkers to go in the South of England?
What is a hill anyway?
The answers to these and other questions will be found in The Relative Hills of Britain. This book dispenses with the common assumption that a hill must be 2000 feet high to be worth climbing. Instead it concentrates on listing all the hills that are relatively high, compared to the surrounding land, rather than compared to sea level. This approach leads to some interesting results: for example, the highest points in the Cotswolds and Chilterns, Campsies and Quantocks are all included, as well as the main summits on numerous Scottish islands, whereas well-known mountain summits such as Cairn Gorm, Bowfell and Carnedd Dafydd do not qualify. As well as being an invaluable reference work for all walkers, this book contains a fascinating collection of not-too-serious facts and figures about the Marilyns, as these relative hills have been called. The book is illustrated by a set of relevant photographs and a large number of very clear maps which make it easy to locate all the hills in each region.