WEST YORKSHIRE: Black Hill (1,909 feet/582 metres)
53° 32′ 18″ N, 1° 52′ 53″ W
No controversy this time, at least not for us Yorkshire folk. We approve of everything about this Hill. For a start, it’s got a great name. It’s a hill, and it’s black, thick with peaty bog everywhere you look. The Pennine Way starts not too far south of here, and anyone who has walked even a fraction of those famous 268 miles knows that most of the way consists of paving slabs, across flat plateaus of peaty bog.
In fact the Pennine Way goes right across the top of this big black hill, and at its summit passes right by a lovely trig 582 metres above sea level, marking the highest point in West Yorkshire. Admittedly t’other side of those paving slabs is the county of Derbyshire that wants so desperately to be northern, but as and when I choose to trust the Ordnance Survey, the trig point is definitely in West Yorkshire.
The only claims of controversy I hear are from the only slightly more northern folk of Cheshire. For this used to be their county top, in an area of the county known as the “Pan Handle”, for it’s sticky-outy nature compared to the rest of Cheshire. Those pesky 1974 reforms left Black Hill in West Yorkshire, on the border of Derbyshire and close to Greater Manchester, nearly 20 miles away from modern Cheshire.
In fact Cheshire has very few hills at all these days. It’s new county top, known as Shining Tor and 23 metres lower than Black Hill, is right on the Derbyshire border. From it you get excellent views of the rather lovely but low lying county that Cheshire is today. Unlike the view atop Black Hill, of flat expansive peat filled bogs. Still, one to tick off the bucket list (if you have a bucket list long or nerdy enough to include the highest point in West Yorkshire).