Anyone who has ever visitied or lived in Glasgow is probably aware that it’s a fairly hilly place. You’ll be especially aware of this if you’ve ever lived on one of those hills and reguarly had to cycle or walk up it with shopping! This all left me with a question: just how many hills does Glasgow have?!

There’s a very quick answer to this question: none. By many definitions of what a hill is none of the rises in Glasgow would meet the criteria. I’d argue though, that most of these criteria are oriented towards hills out in the countryside, and that if you’re strolling about town you’re going to notice something smaller as being a hill, and regard it as such. So we don’t need to apply the same criteria here which are used to make Corbetts and Munros. We can, however, take a similar approach, and adjust the criteria appropriately.

To cut to the chase, I downloaded the Scottish remote sensing data, which is made up of LIDAR measurements of the topology of Glasgow, with some post-processing done to remove things like structures from the data. This isn’t the same as a survey, and I imagine it will have introduced some unexpected errors, so the list I’ve compliled is certainly not a final version. But that seems fitting with Scottish hill list tradition.

The list is made up of hills which are at least 30 metres in height, and which have a topolographic prominence of at least 10m. A future update to the list will provide the equivalent tops, which have the same height criterion, but a reduced prominence requirement to 5m.

I believe a surprising number of these hills’ summits are accessible, with either roads running across the summit, or they stand in parkland. That said, some appear to be in gardens. As such, I suspect bagging the whole list in a traditional way isn’t possible, and I guess I should say that I don’t encourage it. I’m open to suggestions for the appropriate way to record a “bagging” of such a hill though. (I also, on this note, am a little worried that at least one of the hills is actually a motorway interchange, and this is why I’ve not yet released the tops list, which seems to be polluted with several bits of the M8).

I’ve not visited all of these hills, but it seems like an interesting thing to do, so watch this space. I also don’t know the names for them all, and in many cases had to guess either from street names or by looking at old maps. Please let me know if you spot any errors, or have an opinion about any of the methods.

For anyone interested I’ll follow up with a post about the code and method for computing these in due course.

The relative hills of Glasgow

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