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Britain's widest ranging view?

Britain's widest ranging view?


Postby simon-b » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:57 pm

"Widest ranging view" could mean a number of things, but what I'm asking is:
Does anyone know what the greatest distance between two British landmarks, visible from the same viewpoint, is?
It is known that the greatest distance (theoretically) between two points visible from each other in Britain is that between Snowdon and Merrick. Ben Lawers is also visible from Merrick on a clear day. Snowdon and Ben Lawers are something like 387 km apart, so it's quite remarkable that they can both be seen from the same place, at least in theory.

What made me think of this was seeing things in near opposite directions from hills I've been on, and finding it an eye opener to see them both. Examples are Ben Rinnes and Stuc a' Chroin from Chno Dearg, or the power stations near Pontefract in West Yorkshire and the Lake District form the same day-walk in the Dales. But neither can compare with the distance between Snowdon and Ben Lawers! But does anyone know of two such landmarks greater than 387 km apart? It's just something I've become curious about.
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Re: Britain's widest ranging view?

Postby Caberfeidh » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:40 am

I'm sure someone here could say for sure, I reckon Sgurr Alasdair on Skye has a spectacular reach of vista, and of course Ben Nevis, being highest should surely have a fantastic view (if you're lucky enough to get a clear day, obviously), Ben MacDui is visible to the East, I'm not sure how far South, West and North though...
I grew up hillwalking in Galloway, I remember that the Merrick was famous for being able to see Five Kingdoms from the summit; England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Man. The poetic could stretch that to six, with the Kingdom of Heaven above!
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Re: Britain's widest ranging view?

Postby prog99 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:37 am

Its an interesting subject.
It'd be great so see photographic evidence of the Merrick/Snowdon view but none have ever surfaced.

Lochnagar offers The Cheviot 111 miles to the south(which I've seen) and Ben Klibreck 98 miles to the north. Something similar available from Macdui.
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Re: Britain's widest ranging view?

Postby PerthAlly » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:10 am

Am I right in saying that you can see Snowdon from Merrick but not Merrick from Snowdon.

A very clever person explained the technical reason and at the time it made sense :)
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Re: Britain's widest ranging view?

Postby Dave Hewitt » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:50 am

Interesting subject. It would probably help to be on a big western hill with far-ranging views out to the Hebrides (or Ireland) in one direction. Cruachan is a candidate in those terms, and from Jonathan de Ferranti's excellent site, http://www.viewfinderpanoramas.org/panoramas.html, it appears that it's possible to see Hecla on South Uist at 101 miles and various Gallowayish things (including Corserine and Merrick, both at 93 miles) in roughly the opposite direction. I've been on Merrick on a very clear day (5 Sept 1992) and could see Cruachan, and could also see Ireland (although Slieve Donard is "only" 88 miles away), but I didn't think to try and pick out North Wales, something I now regret.

Another candidate could be Torridon, as Conachair on St Kilda is visible from Beinn Eighe at 118 miles. Jonathan de F doesn't have a panorama for Beinn Eighe but does have one for Alligin. This doesn't include St Kilda but does have Boreray (but not Conachair) at 110 miles and in the south-east the moorlandy hills of Moy at 65 miles.

I climbed Beinn Edra on the Trotternish ridge on possibly the clearest/sharpest day I've ever been out (19 Oct 1999), and both main parts of St Kilda could be distinctly seen with the naked eye - Conachair is 87 miles from there. It was equally clear in the other direction and a huge stretch of the western seaboard could be picked out. I can't remember much detail but we could see Foinaven (77 miles) and I'm pretty sure we reckoned we could see Cape Wrath or somewhere close to it. On the southern chunk of mainland various big Lochaber things were in view and we had a go at trying to work out if we could see Cruachan (which doesn't seem to be quite visible from there according to JdeF's site). Cruachan is a good candidate for this kind of stuff generally, eg it has views to Mingulay and the Lammermuirs in opposite directions, 99 miles each time.

(This is all linked to the old game - which I've seen/heard discussed a time or two, of trying to jump from the north coast of Scotland to the south coast of England in as few views as possible - both theoretically and in practice.)
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Re: Britain's widest ranging view?

Postby jmarkb » Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:43 am

Going to be hard to beat Snowdon and Lawers from Merrick, I think.

prog99 wrote:Something similar available from Macdui.


Ben Hope and The Cheviot are both visible from Macdui and are 225 miles (361km) apart.

PerthAlly wrote:Am I right in saying that you can see Snowdon from Merrick but not Merrick from Snowdon.


It's (even) harder to see Merrick from Snowdon as only a tiny sliver of The Merrick appears behind closer hills - see http://www.viewfinderpanoramas.org/panoramas.html#longlinesbrit
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Re: Britain's widest ranging view?

Postby Sgurr » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:05 am

You might get some help from David Squires' article in the Scottish Mountaineer "On a Clear day...Can You See Forever?"

http://edition.pagesuite-professional.c ... 56&from=se

He has also been researching Scottish view Indicators and a book is due out within the next year. Not yet sure what it is to be called.
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Re: Britain's widest ranging view?

Postby Mal Grey » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:15 am

JdF's site suggests that you can see Ben More from Merrick, which at 108 miles, would beat Lawers.


It always seems as if you can see forever from the Summits of the hills of the North West Highlands, even from lowly Suilven's ridge we could clearly see the Cuillin, well enough to pick out features, at 75 miles, at the same time as seeing Clisham (63m) and other hills on the outer isles.
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Re: Britain's widest ranging view?

Postby Sgurr » Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:09 pm

Have just had another look at the table in the article quoted above, there are 17 lines of sight between hills that are longer than 200 KM,none of them totally within Scotland. The longest in Scotland is between Beinn Mhor, Sout Uist and Beinn Spionaidh the most northerly Corbett which comes close at 199.4 KM
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Re: Britain's widest ranging view?

Postby Kevin29035 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:17 pm

Not quite longest but I have stood on a summit a few years ago and seen (and known) An Teallach in one direction and Ben Lomond on the other side. Wish I could remember where I was, likely in the Meagaidh or Affric area... No doubt I've a panorama somewhere that would tell me.
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Re: Britain's widest ranging view?

Postby Sabbathstevie » Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:31 pm

This topic has come up before but I still can't resist it - it's just really fascinating.

We haven't even managed to discuss whether it was truly physically possible (by some fluke of atmospheric refraction) for someone to have seen Norway from Ben MacDui - can anyone remember that discussion?
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Re: Britain's widest ranging view?

Postby Dave Hewitt » Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:53 pm

Kevin29035 wrote:Not quite longest but I have stood on a summit a few years ago and seen (and known) An Teallach in one direction and Ben Lomond on the other side. Wish I could remember where I was, likely in the Meagaidh or Affric area... No doubt I've a panorama somewhere that would tell me.

Quite a hard combination to get - JdF has Creag Meagaidh (but not Ben Alder) as being visible from An Teallach, whereas Ben Lomond has Ben Alder but not Creag Meagaidh (hidden behind the big Crianlarich stuff etc). Should be possible from somewhere, though, if on quite a narrow pair of gaps. Possibly northern/western Cairngorms if high enough, or perhaps in the Beinn a'Chlachair area at a squeeze. From something big at Cluanie it could be feasible too - there are lines of sight through to there in various bits of the southern Highlands. There are two unnamed bits of faraway ground either side of Creag Mhor in the third panel of the Ben Lomond view here:
http://www.viewfinderpanoramas.org/panoramas/GRW/LOMOND-N.gif
and those are probably the furthest-north points visible from Lomond. Mullach Fraoch-choire is visible, at 42 miles, from An Teallach.

Incidentally, JdF has Ben Klibreck as being visible from Ben Alder at 99 miles - but only a small upper chunk of it, so very clear skies, snow on top and good eyesight would probably all be necessary.
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Re: Britain's widest ranging view?

Postby prog99 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 3:24 pm

Sabbathstevie wrote:This topic has come up before but I still can't resist it - it's just really fascinating.

We haven't even managed to discuss whether it was truly physically possible (by some fluke of atmospheric refraction) for someone to have seen Norway from Ben MacDui - can anyone remember that discussion?

Probably this one. I was on Macdui the same time.

http://www.scottishhills.com/html/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=8638&highlight=norway
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Re: Britain's widest ranging view?

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Aug 03, 2015 4:16 pm

A fascinating subject for sure, the thread about Norway from Ben MacDui is fascinating reading. The furthest views I consider confirmed that I've seen are all around 80 miles. I have probably seen further than this but been unable to identify the hills in question at the time of from subsequent photos. I'm sure if I had taken the time (or had the knowledge of where to look) an amazing February day on Merrick would have yielded so very distant views indeed. I remember the Lakes looking incredibly close and bigger than I would expect for being 70 miles away. I did check my pics later for any sight of Snowdon but found none. Not that I used my zoom in that direction however.

ImageThe Lake District from Merrick by Anthony Young, on Flickr
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Re: Britain's widest ranging view?

Postby Cairngormwanderer » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:48 pm

Sgurr wrote:He has also been researching Scottish view Indicators and a book is due out within the next year. Not yet sure what it is to be called.


Slightly off topic, but you might be interested in this article (at p 56 of Scottish Mountaineer, Feb 2015) by David Squires. http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk//launch.aspx?eid=1c323677-0a04-4ccc-aa02-37489f440dd0
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