The list of Marilyns was first published in 1992 by Alan Dawson in his book 'The Relative Hills of Britain'. The aim of the book was to compile a list of hills that were relatively high compared to their surrounding area regardless of actual height.
This approach was in contrast to most UK hill lists which start with a minimum height of 2000 or even 3000ft. The name is apparently an ironic contrast to the famous Munros of Scotland. To qualify as a Marilyn a hill must have a drop of at least 150m (492ft) on all sides. Thus a Marilyn can be anything from 150m upwards in height.
In practice this means that some well known hills and mountains are excluded in favour of some not quite so well known hills some of which seem to be no more than innocuous bumps.
This is also the case in the Pennines and Cheviots. In the Peak District, for example, Bleaklow misses out as do some of the North Pennine giants such as Great Dun Fell and Knock Fell. In fact it is something of a surprise that the whole of the North Pennines can only muster a total of 5 Marilyns.
Personally I think the list is great at identifying the main summits in some of the lower hill ranges in the country. On the other hand if you were to visit the Newlands Valley in the Lake District I doubt very much if people would seriously want to walk up Swinside (244m) when surrounded by so many impressive mountains.
As far as I know no one has actually completed the full list of UK Marilyns (mainly because there are two remote sea stacks 90 miles off the Scottish coast that qualify for the list) and few have even got close. Completing the full list of UK Marilyns is certainly not on my agenda however I do hope to visit all the Marilyns in the Pennines and Cheviots - an aim that I think is much more obtainable.
The list below only shows the Marilyns in the Cheviots and Pennines. For a full list of British Marilyns go to the Database of British Hills website.
Cheviot and Pennine Marilyns completed: 48 / 54 = 88.88%
Bowland & Pendle
|Pendle Hill||557||1827||SD804414||1, 2|
|Fair Snape Fell||520||1706||SD597472||1|
Howgills & Westmorland
|The Calf||676||2218||SD667970||1, 2|
|Cross Fell||893||2930||NY687343||1, 2|
|Ilkley Moor||402||1319||SE114452||1, 2, 3|
West Pennines & Rossendale
|Hail Storm Hill||477||1565||SD835193||1|
|Winter Hill||456||1496||SD659149||1, 2|
|Whernside||736||2415||SD738814||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6|
|Ingleborough||724||2375||SD741745||1, 2, 3, 4, 5|
|Great Shunner Fell||716||2349||SD848972||1, 2, 3, 4|
|Wild Boar Fell||708||2323||SD758988||1, 2, 3|
|Great Whernside||704||2310||SE002739||1, 2, 3, 4|
|Buckden Pike||702||2303||SD960787||1, 2, 3, 4, 5|
|Pen-y-Ghent||694||2277||SD838733||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8|
|Great Coum||687||2254||SD701835||1, 2, 3|
|Baugh Fell||678||2224||SD740916||1, 2|
|Lovely Seat||675||2215||SD879950||1, 2|
|Great Knoutberry Hill||672||2205||SD788871||1, 2|
|Dodd Fell Hill||668||2192||SD840845||1, 2|
|Fountains Fell||668||2192||SD864715||1, 2|
|Nine Standards Rigg||662||2172||NY825061||1, 2, 3|
|Birks Fell||610||2001||SD919764||1, 2, 3|
|Middleton Fell||609||1998||SD664856||1, 2|
|Cracoe Fell||508||1667||SD993588||1, 2, 3|