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  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




UK Big 3 Rounds
Challenges by Region

Records & Logs


Route Index

Andy's  Southern Fells

Assynt Traverse
Bala Challenge

Bay Limestone Round

Bob  Baxter  Traverse
Bob Graham Round
Bowland Dozen
Bowland 1500’s
Broxap Round

Cairngorm Munros
Canary Islands 3 Peaks
Charlie Ramsay Round
Charnley Way

Cleveland Hills Challenge
Cuillin Round
Cumbrian Traverse
Dales Skyline
Dales Top Ten
Dales 2000’s

Dark Peak County Tops

Dark Peak 15 Trigs

Dartmoor Round

Denis Rankin Round

Dragon’s Tongue
Durham Hewitts

Etive Munros Round

Freeman Round

George Fischer Tea Round
Glen Lyon Corbett Round
Great North Inns Run
Harvey Howgill Tops

John Fleetwood Lakes 40

John Fleetwood Lakes Routes

John Fleetwood Scottish Routes

John Fleetwood Welsh Round

Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge

Knoydart 7
Lakes 24

Lakes 25@25
Lakes 2500’s

Lakes Sea to Summits

Llangollen Hills Run

Loch  Lomond  Round

Leventon’s Line
Meirionnydd Round
National & Yorkshire 3 Peaks
No Cure Always Hope
Over The Hill Round
Paddy Buckley Round

Peak Traverses & Rounds

Pikes of the Lakes

Rigby Round - Cairngorms

Run the Line - Dales

Ring of Fire - Galloway

Saddleworth 10 Trigs
Scottish 4000’s
Six County Tops - Peak
Snowdonia Skyline
Snowdon to Pumlumon

South Pennine 39 Trigs
South Wales Traverse

Steve Parr Round

Tan Hill to Kirkstone Pass Inn
Tranter’s Round

Tyndrum Round
Upper Calder 13 Trigs
Wainwright 7 Summits

Wainwrights 30@30

Wicklow  Round
Yorkshire Round
Yorkshire 2000’s


More Challenges

Links & Articles

Sub-ultras (under 50 km)


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 four 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 of any record-breaking runs and the like to Martin Stone who maintains records on behalf of the Fell Runners Association. Email:

Please also refer to the guidelines and definitions in the FRA Handbook.


If you can improve on the accuracy of this resource, spot any errors in grid references, names, heights, spelling or punctuation, or find a link which does not work please email Tony Wimbush.:

Similarly, if you wish to submit any new (or old) routes for inclusion see the contact page for the information and format that is required:. 

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