Northwest Europe

Range TypeBogus mountain grouping for this site
Highest PointPuy de Sancy (1885 m/6184 ft)
CountriesFrance (39%), United Kingdom (22%), Germany (21%), Ireland (6%), Denmark (4%), Netherlands (3%), Belgium (3%)
(numbers are approximate percentage of range area)
Area1,094,676 sq km / 422,655 sq mi
Area may include lowland areas
Extent1,962 km / 1,219 mi North-South
1,594 km / 990 mi East-West
Center Lat/Long50° 28' N; 4° 1' E
Map LinkMicrosoft Bing Map

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The Northwest Europe category is a very random grouping of mountains. It is a large area that includes everything north of the Alps and the Pyrenees: Great Britain, Ireland, the Low Countries, Denmark, and most of France and Germany. When it comes to mountain ranges, the main unifying terrain characteristic of this area is low, rolling hills with very few areas of real mountains. Elevations never rise above 2000 meters, and in most of the area hills above 1000 meters are rare.

The eastern border of this area is arbitrary, since the lowlands of Eastern Europe are very similar to the lowlands of Northwest Europe. Also, it is unusual to include large islands like Great Britian and Ireland with areas on the continent, but the terrain on both sides of the narrow English Channel shows topographic similarity.

Historically, culturally, politically, and economically, this small area has played a strikingly disproportionate role in world affairs. The low rolling hills and fertile countryside here sustained the cities of Paris, London, Amsterdam, and Berlin, all seats of empires that together emcompassed half the world. So these low peaks have seen an unusual amount of scrutiny over the years.

Map of Northwest Europe
Click on red triangle icons for links to other ranges.

Note: Range borders shown on map are an approximation and are not authoritative.
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Other Ranges: To go to pages for other ranges either click on the map above, or on range names in the hierarchy snapshot below, which show the parent, siblings, and children of the Northwest Europe.
EuropeLevel 1 (Parent)
         Scandinavia-European ArcticLevel 2 (Sibling)
         Northwest EuropeLevel 2
                 IrelandLevel 3 (Child)
                 Great BritainLevel 3 (Child)
                 North France-West Rhine AreaLevel 3 (Child)
                 German HighlandsLevel 3 (Child)
                 Massif CentralLevel 3 (Child)
         Iberian PeninsulaLevel 2 (Sibling)
         AlpsLevel 2 (Sibling)
         Italian Peninsula and IslandsLevel 2 (Sibling)
         Eastern Europe RangesLevel 2 (Sibling)
         Balkan PeninsulaLevel 2 (Sibling)
         Ural MountainsLevel 2 (Sibling)
         Caucasus MountainsLevel 2 (Sibling)

Major Peaks of the Northwest Europe

Ten Highest Peaks
RankPeak NamemftRange3
1.Puy de Sancy18856184Massif Central
2.Plomb du Cantal18556086Massif Central
3.Puy Ferrand18546083Massif Central
4.Puy de Peyre Arse18065925Massif Central
5.Puy de Cacadogne17855856Massif Central
6.Puy Mary17835850Massif Central
7.Puy Redon17815843Massif Central
8.Puy des Crebasses17625781Massif Central
9.Mont Mézenc17535751Massif Central
10.Puy de l'Angle17385702Massif Central
Sub-peaks are excluded from this list. List may not be complete, since only summits in the PBC Database are included.
Child Range High Points
RankPeak NamemftRange3
1.Puy de Sancy18856184Massif Central
2.Crêt de la Neige17205643North France-West Rhine Area
3.Feldberg14934898German Highlands
4.Ben Nevis13444409Great Britain

Photos of Peaks in the Northwest Europe

Puy de Sancy

The Puy de Sancy from the northwest (1985-06).
Ben Nevis

The summit area of Ben Nevis on a typically cloudy day (1993-06-29).

Snowdon is the high triangular peak in this view from the Pen-Y-Pass approach (1993-06-27).

The craggy summit of Ireland's high point. Photo by Leon Firth (1993-07-03).
The Saddle
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The Saddle from Sgurr na Forcan (2014-04-18). Photo by Peter Stone.
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Mont Saint-Rigaud
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The wooden double-helical observation tower on Mont Saint-Rigaud, highest point in the Department of Rhône (2011-08-20). Photo by Peter Stone.
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Crib Goch
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Climb up the pinnicles on a blustery day (2012-09-06). Photo by Mark Hyland.
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Pen y Fan
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The marker on top of Pen y Fan at dusk on a hazy day in early September 2014 (2014-09-04). Photo by Marcus Lostracco.
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Slieve Donard
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The mist-shrouded summit of Slieve Donard. Photo by Paul Place.
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Askival (centre right), the highest mountain in the Rum Cuillin, from the cross-island track to Glen Harris (2014-05-28). Photo by Peter Stone.
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