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Map of Marilyns in the British Isles


A Marilyn is a type of mountain or hill in Great Britainmarker, Irelandmarker or surrounding islands with a relative height of at least 150 metres (492 ft), regardless of absolute height or other merit. The name was coined as an ironic contrast to the designation Munro, used of a Scottish mountain with a height of more than , which is homophonous with (Marilyn) Monroe.

There are 1555 Marilyns identified in Great Britain and surrounding islands: 1215 in Scotlandmarker, 178 in Englandmarker, 157 in Walesmarker and 5 on the Isle of Manmarker. (The Black Mountainmarker, on the border between England and Wales, was formerly counted in both countries but is now treated as being in Wales only.) There are a further 455 in Ireland (66 in Northern Irelandmarker and 389 in the Republic of Irelandmarker) bringing the total to 2010. The list of Marilyns in Britain was compiled by Alan Dawson in his book The Relative Hills of Britain, and continues to change as the Ordnance Surveymarker brings out new maps with revised heights for hills and the passes between them. The list was extended into Ireland by Clem Clements in a booklet, The Hewitts and Marilyns of Ireland.

Many of the islands' largest hills are Marilyns, including Ben Nevismarker, Carrantuohillmarker, Scafell Pikemarker and Snowdonmarker. On the other hand, many large hills, including some Munros, and other well-known hills such as Bowfellmarker, the Langdale Pikes and Carnedd Dafyddmarker, are not Marilyns because they do not have sufficient relative height. However, some infrequently-visited or lower hills such as Seatallanmarker and Watch Hillmarker on the edges of Lakelandmarker and the Long Mynd in Shropshiremarker do qualify because of their isolation from higher peaks. Not all of the Marilyns are even hills in the usual sense: one lies within the East Sussexmarker town of Crowboroughmarker, whilst the top of the Yorkshire Woldsmarker, Bishop Wilton Woldmarker lies alongside the A166 road. At the other extreme are Stac Leemarker and Stac an Arminmarker, the two highest sea stacks in the British Isles, in the St. Kildamarker archipelago, over 81 miles (130 km) west of the Scottish mainland.

In Scotland, Marilyns tend to be sidelined by other lists of hills based primarily on absolute height, such as the Munros, Corbetts, Grahams and Donalds, though all Corbetts and Grahams, about two-thirds of the Munros, and around half of the Donalds are also Marilyns. Some hillwalkers attempt to climb as many Marilyns as possible as a form of peak bagging. Some radio amateurs attempt to operate from the summit of every Marilyn. As of the end of 2008, no one has completed the list; however, six people are only four or five short of completing the Great Britain list (because of the inaccessibility of five of the St Kildamarker Marilyns).

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