The UK has hundreds of islands, hills and rivers and a coastline almost 20,000 miles long, inspiring a passion deep within us. Plus: top five wild hotspots

Recently, I climbed Maol Chean-dearg, a mountain in the far north-west of Scotland. Down in the glens, it was not far above freezing, and the cold air pooled as mist. But up on the summits the sun blazed, and the temperature touched 15C. The result was one of the most dazzling cloud inversions I have seen in 30 years.

In the high corries of the peak, I climbed out of the mist and into clearness. To the west, jagging from a glowing sea of cloud, were the Black Cuillin of Skye and the Clisham on the Outer Hebrides. Nearby were the graceful Torridon tops: Beinn Alligin, whose Gaelic name means the jewelled hill, and Liathach, the grey one. Far to the east rose the white domes of the Cairngorms. I had a sight-span of almost 200 miles, across mountain, glen, sea and loch. There was nowhere I would rather have been than there.

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Source: Guardian Environment