Members’ Books

Books by members and subscribers

The Relative Hills Society has approximately 250 members and subscribers, all enthusiastic hill walkers in Britain and abroad. A selection of the books they have written is included below and more will no doubt be added soon

The Top 500 Summits of Britain and Ireland

Barry Smith

Barry is a keen hillwalker and climber with 750 Marilyns (not even halfway!) and our current Treasurer. Having finished the Munros in 2004, he decided to complete and write about the Top 500 Summits, with a drop of 500ft on all sides, in Britain and Ireland. These include most of the Munros (those with a 500ft drop), all the Corbetts, the highest Grahams and 70 mountains in England, Wales and Ireland. The highest mountain on the list is Ben Nevis (4,411ft), the lowest is Knockanaffrin in Ireland (2,477ft). Only nine people, including Barry, have registered as having completed all 500, but many more are close.

Please contact Barry at barry.k.smith@hotmail.co.uk if you would like to purchase a copy of the book (£20 including postage)

The Top 500 Summits of Britain and Ireland Barry Smith

Mountain Adventures by the Birmingham Research Expeditionary Society (published 2020)

Jo Bradwell (founding member and chairman of BMRES)

‘Great science, pioneering medicine, fine writing, and striking illustrations combine to make this a unique, distinguished, and important addition to mountaineering literature. Here is the story of how medics who love high places transformed our understanding of the effects of altitude and the effectiveness of treatments. Rarely has science been so dramatic.

This book gives a detailed account of 15 major expeditions to many of the World’s most remote and mountainous places, including Nepal, the Karakoram, Bhutan, Africa, Equador and Bolivia. It outlines the routes to the mountains and high places where testing was undertaken, tells stories of the local people who helped along the way, and the complexities and deprivations required to test altitude sickness. The BMRES also undertook Alpine expeditions and trips to complete some of Britain’s classic big walks. These are also featured in the book.

A beautifully presented book of 450 pages, 300 colour photographs, 100 line drawings and 16 detailed colour maps.

Please contact Amy.Cogswell@harborneoffice.co.uk if you would like to purchase the book. The price is £40 plus postage.

Gasping Thin air - Mountain adventures

Lake District Mountain Landforms

Peter Wilson

Written with fell walkers and other countryside enthusiasts in mind this thoroughly engaging and absorbing book shows that there is much more to the Lake District than simply 'stanes and watter'. Have you ever wondered why Scafell is different from Skiddaw, or why the east side of Helvellyn is different from the west side, or why Ullswater is different from Windermere, or why the summit of Helm Crag is, well, a bit craggy? If so, this book will provide some answers, together with a deeper understanding of how the fell country acquired its special characteristics.

The physical landscape of the Lake District acts like a giant magnet, attracting several million visitors every year to the fell country. From John Constable to Alfred Wainwright, via William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, the Lake District has inspired visitors and residents alike. Although often romanticised in words and pictures as static and enduring, the mountains of the Lake District are dynamic elements of nature undergoing constant change.

Media interest in climate change, storms, floods and landslides has done much to increase the public's perception of a 'dynamic' rather than a 'static' physical landscape. For those who think they know all there is to know about the mountains of the Lake District this book provides details of a different facet that is accessible to all who take the time 'to stand and stare'

The book is available from bookshops at £20 or from Amazon.

Lake District Mountain Landforms Peter Wilson

The British Lighthouse Trail

Sarah Kerr

The British Lighthouse trail is a colourful and informative book covering over 600 lighthouses. Sarah Kerr has occasionally leapt but, more often, cautiously stepped on and off boats in her quest to visit and photograph every lighthouse in the United Kingdom, from Shetland to Jersey including Northern Ireland. She started in earnest in 2012 and has collated an amazing amount of information.

The Country is covered in 25 regions, each of which has a chapter preceded by a map for ease of location. Each lighthouse has a brief description together with a grid reference and directions. For those wanting to climb them, it tells you whether or not there is access inside the tower. The majority of the lights have colour photographs included, about 500 photos in total. There is also a box to mark the date you visited.

The price is 18.99 from Whittles Publishers. The book can also be obtained from Amazon or eBay.

The British Lighthouse Trail Sarah Kerr

Beyond the Dark Peak

Kevin Borman

This book is a compendium of Kevin Borman’s memories as a fell runner and hill walker, including winter walking and scrambling. It is a collection of articles, poems, book reviews and memories, with tales of trips to the hills and descriptions of walks. The book describes fell races and trips with friends. There are a number of intriguing encounters with mammals and birds.

There are descriptions of expeditions to Nepal, Pakistan, Equador and Spain, as well as articles on the Peak District, the Lakes, Wales and Scotland. The articles contain accurate and enjoyable descriptions of the more interesting and challenging walks and runs.

Amazon paperback: £9.99.

Amazon Kindle e-book £6.99 (or £0.00 on kindleunlimited).

It is also available direct from the publisher: FeedARead for £8.99 plus p&p and any bookshop for £9.99 by ordering with the ISBN: 978-1-78876-874-0.

The Dales 30

Jonathan Smith

The ‘Dales 30’ are the mountains in the Yorkshire and Cumbrian Dales (defined by the new National Park Boundary) which are over 2,000 foot high. They are a subset of the Hewitts, defined in the Official classification of Mountains as hills in England, Wales and Ireland over 2,000ft (609.6m) in height with a minimum 30m prominence.

As well as a good challenge, they also provide an excellent reason to visit many of the popular, and less popular, areas in the Dales. The hills range from the well-known, Ingleborough, Penyghent and Whernside, to the less well known like Great Shunner Fell and Birks Fell. The book has colour photographs throughout, together with a guide and map to help you reach each summit.

The book is available for £12.95p including postage by visiting the website, where2walk.co.uk.

The Dales 30 Jonathan Smith