Yorkshire's 1,000-Foot Peaks

By Jeff Kent

Published by Witan Books, price £14.75

It is available from bookshops and Amazon and signed copies can be bought at www.witancreations.com

IF YOU have done the Munros or the Wainwrights and want a new challenge – especially closer to home – then why not try the Kents.

Not heard of them? Well that is not too surprising as the catagorisation is a recent creation of explorer and author Jeff Kent.

Mr Kent has spotted not only both a gap in the market but a gap in the walking book landscape – the bit below the highest peaks which walkers often ignore, intent as they are on bagging the biggest, often at the other end of the country, and overlooking fine hills just down the road.

This is Mr Kent's third book in a series looking at the peaks across England that lie outside the coverage of Nuttalls which are mountains of 2,000 feet and above and so these are the bridesmaids of geography, not high enough to be called mountains (unless you're a plateau outside Queensbury at 1,229 feet with that moniker) but still pretty impressive and challenging if isolated or in adverse weather.

Scotland has its Munros (mountains over 3,000 feet), Corbetts (those between 2,500 and 2,999 feet) and Grahams (those between 2,000 and 2,499 feet) and having cut his teeth on mountains that high, Mr Kent decided to look at the hills of his home county Staffordshire and wondered how many 1,000-plus-foot peaks there were in the shire.

Having discovered no-one had done it before he decided to compile a list – he found 65 on Ordnance Survey maps - and then walked them, naming them Kents in honour of his parents Cyril and Helen.

He then did the same for Cheshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Derbyshire and set his sights on cataloguing all the mini-mountains in England and writing a volume featuring all of them.

But Mr Kent discovered such a huge number of them, he realised he would have the split the book into a series and, after Southern England's 1,000-Foot Peaks and Northeast England's 1,000-Foot Peaks, this book continues the series.

With so many peaks in Yorkshire you won't be surprised to know that this is a weighty volume, containing 833 of them across 208 pages. They are divided into chapters covering the three counties of 1997's Lieutenancies Act – North, South and West – complemented with chapters on how the peaks were determined and Yorkshire's history and heritage.

The lists are full of interest and are dominated, unsurprisingly, by the Pennine Hills with the Dales National Park containing those butting up to the 2,000 feet limit. The highest at 1,995.8 is a peak Mr Kent has dubbed Sugar Loaf because it is a name close by on the OS map.

The highest in West Yorkshire is Black Hill at 1,905ft right on the border with Derbyshire outside Holmfirth and many of the county's top tops are down in the South West corner.

Closer to home, the book includes many hills in the Bradford district that are well known such as Penistone Hill outside Haworth (1,047ft) and nearby Withins Height (1,499ft) below which Top Withins of Bronte fame shelters on the Pennine Way.

Mr Kent's detailed and excellent research describes each hill in detail and includes salient features including their exact location and how to get to them.

The book is very comprehensive but it could do with an index by hill name, though perhaps that would have been quite long and, with many Blacjk Hills or Round Hills, pretty complex so I can forgive the author that and instead spend time getting to know them better.

There is lots to explore here and discover on your doorstep. You don't have to do all 833 like Mr Kent but the book could inspire you to find new areas and a new perspective on the vast Yorkshire realm.

Tim Quantrill