Mount Everest is the Biggest Mountain in England?

Caitlin Dempsey


If you’re one of six out of ten adults in the United Kingdom, apparently you believe that either Mount Everest, Snowdon, or Ben Nevis is the answer to “What’s the Biggest Mountain in England?”  At least Snowdon (highest mountain in Wales) and Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in the British Isles but it’s located in Scotland) are located within the United Kingdom.  How Mount Everest entered the mix is a mystery.  Perhaps the ranking of the UK as the fourth county in terms of ascents of the world’s highest mountain with 237 ascents by climbers.  With 1991 ascents, Nepal has the largest number of climbers to Mount Everest, followed by the United States (478 ascents) and China (276 ascents).

In anticipation of this year’s Summer Olympics being hosted in London, England, OnePoll carried out a geographic literacy survey of 2,000 UK adults on behalf of a travel company, Journeys of Distinction.  Sadly, home based geography knowledge is lacking among many adults in Britain. Almost 20% of British adults didn’t know how many countries make up the United Kingdom (there are four: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales).

Some other findings from the survey:

Ten per cent of those polled have no idea that the huge Angel of the North is even in the UK, let alone in the north-east of England.

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And almost a quarter of Brits think Australia’s iconic Ayers Rock is actually in Britain, while one in 20 confessed they had absolutely no clue that Stonehenge is also based here in Britain.

Astonishingly, one in five Brits confessed they don’t know where in the UK Britain’s legendary seaside resort, Blackpool, is located. And the majority (53%) have no clue where Balmoral Castle is based.

Almost a third of the nation (32.3%) don’t know that Canterbury, home to the world famous Canterbury Cathedral, is based in the county of Kent.

Angel of the North.  © Copyright Bill Henderson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Angel of the North. © Copyright Bill Henderson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License.
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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey is the editor of Geography Realm and holds a master's degree in Geography from UCLA as well as a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from SJSU.