English County Challenge

I occasionally get asked if there are any challenges that can be done as a family with no time constraints and allows for freedom to do it as and when and where you want!  Well of course there are many challenges that will fit this bill, but I have one which I started a few years ago and is still ongoing.

We live in a very beautiful country yet very few of us will ever see more than 10% of it during our lifetimes.  The draw of the package holiday and the sun is just too much for some.  Sure we visit the Lakes, Dales and the Peaks but there is so much more to see and enjoy about our green and pleasant land.

Set yourself a challenge to see every county in England

bishopswaltham
Initially this may seem like a monumental task but it does not have to be completed in one go – unless of course you have retired and have found a new wunderlust.  No, this is a challenge that you can start when you are young and continue into old age – maybe doing a county a year!

However, there is a catch

494px-England,_administrative_divisions_(ceremonial_counties)_-_de_-_colored_(+London_zoom).svg.pngWhen you visit each county in England you must walk to the top of its highest point!  The official list includes 48 different ceremonial Counties and of course each has its own high point.  Some of them will be easy, for example – Normanby le Wold in Lincolnshire and Ditchling Beacon in East Sussex are ‘Drive-On’ summits.  But even here you can plan a pleasant walk around the local area.  Then there are the more challenging summits such as Scarfell Pike in Cumbria and Kinder Scout on Derbyshire.  But even these are accessible to the seasoned walker.

The great advantage to this GetOutside challenge is that it can fit into a family holiday with other activities, therefore catering for all tastes.

The Ordnance Survey OS Road series of maps make great planning tools for this type of challenge because with just a handful of maps you can highlight the whole of the countries high points and start planning your holidays for years to come.

Why restrict yourself to England?  Add the Welsh and Scottish Counties and now you have a greater and more varied challenge.

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The 1997 Ceremonial Counties of England

County

Highest Point

Height (m)

Grid Ref

Bedfordshire

Dunstable Downs

243

TL008194

Berkshire

Walbury Hill

297

SU373616

Bristol

 Dundry Hill

160

ST593668

Buckinghamshire

Haddington Hill

267

SP890090

Cambridgeshire

Great Chishill

146

TL427386

Cheshire

Shining Tor

559

SJ994737

City of London

High Holborn

22

TQ304815

Cornwall

Brown Willy

420

SX158800

Cumbria

Scafell Pike

978

NY215072

Derbyshire

Kinder Scout

636

SK085875

Devon

High Willhays

621

SX580892

Dorset

Lewesdon Hill

279

ST437011

Durham

Mickle Fell

788

NY805245

East Sussex

Ditchling Beacon

248

TQ311130

Essex

Chrishall Common

147

TL443362

Gloucestershire

Cleeve Hill

330

SO996245

Greater London

Westerham Hts

245

TQ436564

Gtr Manchester

Black Chew Head

542

SE056019

Hampshire

Pilot Hill

286

SU398601

Herefordshire

Black Mountains

703

SO255350

Hertfordshire

Pavis Wood

244

SP914091

Isle of Wight

St Boniface Down

241

SZ569785

Kent

Betsom’s Hill

251

TQ435563

Lancashire

Gragareth

628

SD687793

Leicestershire

Bardon Hill

278

SK459131

Lincolnshire

Normanby Top

168

TF121964

Merseyside

Billinge Hill

179

SD525014

Norfolk

Beacon Hill

105

TG183414

Northamptonshire

Arbury Hill

225

SP540587

Northumberland

The Cheviot

815

NT909205

Nottinghamshire

Newtonwood Lane

204

SK456606

Oxfordshire

Whitehorse Hill

261

SU300863

Rutland

Cold Overton Park

197

SK827085

Shropshire

Brown Clee Hill

540

SO593865

Somerset

Dunkery Beacon

519

SS891415

Staffordshire

Cheeks Point

520

SK026699

Suffolk

Great Wood

128

TL786558

Surrey

Leith Hill

294

TQ139431

Tyne & Wear

Currock Hill

259

NZ107592

Warwickshire

Ebrington Hill

261

SP187426

West Midlands

Turners Hill

269

SO967887

West Sussex

Blackdown

280

SU919296

Wiltshire

Milk Hill

295

SU104643

Worcestershire

Worcester Beacon

425

SO768452

East Yorkshire

Bishop Wilton Wold

246

SE821570

North Yorkshire

Mickle Fell

788

NY805245

South Yorkshire

High Stones

548

SK188943

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