Oh no, I can hear you cry, has Glyn finally lost it and gone stark raving mad? Or are we discussing bodily features that develop as we grow older? No we are talking about the plethora of categories or lists created to define hills and mountains.

I was recently questioned why I called my blog Hill-Walking For The Over 60’s, when a lot of over 60’s can’t climb great hills. Simple – a hill is as high as you want it to be. In fact there is a series of categorisations or lists relating to the heights of hill and their prominence.


We will look at the different categories and then you will be able to decide which hills you wish to pursue. But firstly, we need to look at the two elements that define a hill – the elevation and the prominence.

Elevation – this is the absolute height normally measured from the mean sea level or, in the UK, a fixed datum.


Prominence – this is the height above the surrounding ground also referred to as the relative height, or drop, or re-ascent, between neighbouring peaks. The lowest minimum prominence is 15 metres (49.21 ft) however most definitions do not consider prominences below 30 metres (98.43 ft).


The original list was probably the Munros, compiled by Sir Hugh Munro this was a list of all the Scottish mountains over 3000 feet (914m). The original list has been modified several times and there are currently 282 Munros. This list spurned a plethora of lists within each country and across GB.

But it is not this end of the height spectrum we wish to be looking at. We need to be looking at the smaller hills and for this we turn to the HuMPs and TuMPs.

HuMPs – Hundred and upwards Metre Prominence, which reduces the prominence requirement to 100 m (330 ft). The list was compiled by Mark Jackson from a number of sources and published online in 2010 in More Relative Hills of Britain. There are 2,986 HuMPs in the British Isles: 2,168 in Scotland, 833 in Ireland, 444 in England, 366 in Wales and 11 in the Channel Islands.

TuMPs – Thirty and upwards Metre Prominence, in 2010, Mark Jackson further expanded the HuMPS and compiled the TuMPs, a list of all hills in Britain having a prominence above 30 m (98 ft). There are 17,044 TuMPs and since 2012 the list has been published and maintained by the editors of The Database of British and Irish Hills.

For further information on all of the hill and mountains across the British Isles, then pay a visit to:

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Register with Hill bagging and you can then track the hills you complete. They are easily divided into categories or lists, and then by region or county. This makes it very easy to find the hills close to you. If you want to start low then select the TuMPs and click on your local area.

You may find that as you ‘bag’ more smaller hills, your fitness levels will start to improve and you can then progress to HuMPs and upwards. Oh, and the BuMPs in the title – there are no hills on this list, it just made the title sound better.

So get out there and bag some hills