The Six County Tops                                              The Peak

Inspired by the 'Dark Peak 4 County Tops' this route extends the concept by adding the county tops of Cheshire and Staffordshire.  To make the distance manageable a linear route has been adopted giving a distance of over 50 miles and some 9000 feet of ascent.  It was devised by Steve Leach and first completed as an unsupported night-time traverse by Steve along with Jon Kinder (both of Rolls-Royce Harriers, Derby) and Bryan Carr (Congleton Harriers) in a time of 20-23 during some of the atrocious weather of December 2011.  Further information together with a schedule of actual times has been compiled by Steve for the guidance of future runners - see below.

Some may be interested to know that the last traverse of six county tops was in Easter 1968.  This linked together what are now known as the historic county tops of: The Cheviot, 2676' (Northumberland); Burnhope Seat, 2452' (Durham); Mickle Fell, 2591' (Yorkshire); Helvellyn, 3118' (Westmorland); Scafell Pike, 3210' (Cumberland); and Coniston Old Man, 2633' (Lancashire). The 145 mile, non-stop epic was completed over four days by the infamous Stan Bradshaw, then 55, and Brian Ripley, 24, already an outstanding mountaineer who was tragically killed in a Karakorum expedition later that year.


The object is to visit the six county tops listed below in any order. The inaugural traverse started at Fairholmes Visitor Centre in the Derwent valley (GR 172 893) and finished at the lay-by on the A53 at Axe Edge Moor (GR 034 698) as illustrated on the map above. This is not mandatory and Steve Leach encourages other runners to explore alternative routes subject to using access land or rights-of-way.  Use OS Explorer Maps (1:25000): The Peak District - Dark Peak Area OL1 and White Peak Area OL24.


The link below to the 'Six County Tops Challenge' includes a schedule of actual times for the inaugural traverse.


This is an informal challenge without registrations or time limits.  Why not share your experience on facebook to encourage and inspire other runners to have a go! 

 Links and Further Information


Where there is a recorder please contact them to log your completion. In addition, or if there isn't a recorder, you are invited to share your experience on the gofar facebook page to encourage and inspire other runners to have a go!


All the routes on this site require proven mountain running experience. You undertake them entirely at your own risk. Please take full mountain safety precautions at all times.  Always ensure you carry sufficient clothing, food and equipment to cope with dramatic changes in the weather conditions!  Appropriate insurance cover is recommended.


The object of this website is to provide a single, ready source of information on the ultra-distance mountain challenges which have been developed over the past three or more decades. It now offers a diverse range of long and "short", old and recent, formal and informal routes from around the UK to encourage runners of all ages and abilities to have a go subject to proven mountain experience in all conditions.



Please send details and a schedule of any record-breaking runs and the like to Martin Stone who maintains records on behalf of the Fell Runners Association.  Email:


This site is generally updated each winter.  These updates will be announced on gofar facebook. If you are not on facebook and wish to subscribe to future updates email: and put "subscribe" in the subject line, or "delete" if you wish to unsubscribe.


If you can improve on the accuracy of this resource, offer details of other routes (old and new), spot any errors in grid references, names, heights, spelling or punctuation, or find a link which does not work please email: