Longest line of sight (UK)

Altrincham

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Although the theoretical longest line of site in the UK is Snowdon to Merrick, at 144 miles, it is quite difficult to photograph due to a number of conditions needing to be right.

But I have to say that the photograph of Snowdon taken from Bleaklow Head in Derbyshire at a distance of 96 miles is one of the best line-of-site photos I've seen on this subject. Link here: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/329077

The longest line of site that I've seen myself (although not photographed) is possibly the Isle of Man from Amlwch on Anglesey earlier this year (seen from sea level). I've also seen the Isle of Man from the top of Blackpool Tower.

Stood on top of Winter Hill I've seen Blackpool Tower in one direction and Mow Cop in the other direction.

And I've also seen the Wirral from the Cat & Fiddle near Buxton.

A good source of what can be seen from where is Viewfinder Panoramas: http://viewfinderpanoramas.org/panoramas.html#england

Anyone else got their own longest lines of site?
 
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DaveNewcastle

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Slightly unclear what you are asking here. If you wanted to restrict the answers to the visibility of some land mass by a viewer standing on another land mass, then that would be reasonably clear. And if you open the field out to include viewers on elevated vantage points, then we could include the views from hot air baloons, aircraft, or even space vehicles. And as you have specifically included a view from the Blackpool Tower, then we seen to be including some elevated vantage points.

Where are you wanting to draw the line between the Blackpool Tower and a tethered baloon, or a hang glider, or a routine passenger air flight, or the International Space Station?
 

RichmondCommu

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G'day everyone,

If anyone intends to venture onto Bleaklow to enjoy the magnificent views and indeed the wonderful solitude you need to be proficient with a map and compass as even on a clear summers day it is very easy to get lost / become disorientated.

For the sake of yourself and the local mountain rescue team please also ensure that you are properly equipped with walking boots, waterproofs, warm clothing and a hot drink and preferably a survival bag. Please also let people know where you are heading for the day so that they can raise the alarm if you do not return.

Whilst Bleaklow is not even the highest place in Derbyshire it's very easy to get yourself lost and indeed can be down right dangerous in bad weather and even more so in winter if you are not properly kitted out. Hypothermia can kill you.

Happy exploring!

Richmond Commuter!
 
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Altrincham

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Slightly unclear what you are asking here. If you wanted to restrict the answers to the visibility of some land mass by a viewer standing on another land mass, then that would be reasonably clear. And if you open the field out to include viewers on elevated vantage points, then we could include the views from hot air baloons, aircraft, or even space vehicles. And as you have specifically included a view from the Blackpool Tower, then we seen to be including some elevated vantage points.

Where are you wanting to draw the line between the Blackpool Tower and a tethered baloon, or a hang glider, or a routine passenger air flight, or the International Space Station?
It was just a land-based question to see if anyone else on this forum was as interested in this topic as I am. Land-based whether from a man-made elevation point or from a naturally-formed elevated vantage point.

But would also like to hear about your airborne longest-line-of-site views too.
 
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Clip

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You could see quite far from the Big Wheel in Dreamland in Margate on a clear day.....Allegedly
 

Cowley

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I've seen Portland Bill from somewhere near Brixham on a clear day. Not sure how far that is though. It often seems more hazy these days.
 

ungreat

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Although the theoretical longest line of site in the UK is Snowdon to Merrick, at 144 miles, it is quite difficult to photograph due to a number of conditions needing to be right.

But I have to say that the photograph of Snowdon taken from Bleaklow Head in Derbyshire at a distance of 96 miles is one of the best line-of-site photos I've seen on this subject. Link here: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/329077

The longest line of site that I've seen myself (although not photographed) is possibly the Isle of Man from Amlwch on Anglesey earlier this year (seen from sea level). I've also seen the Isle of Man from the top of Blackpool Tower.

Stood on top of Winter Hill I've seen Blackpool Tower in one direction and Mow Cop in the other direction.

And I've also seen the Wirral from the Cat & Fiddle near Buxton.

A good source of what can be seen from where is Viewfinder Panoramas: http://viewfinderpanoramas.org/panoramas.html#england

Anyone else got their own longest lines of site?
Fascinating website! Many thanks for the link
 

Howardh

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Interesting topic (thanks!) something I've always been fascinated with.
I know the area well, and you don't have to be as high as Winter Hill to see Blackpool Tower, the slopes around Rivington will do! There's a spot on Matchmoor Lane (Horwich) where the sea can clearly be seen - some 30 miles away, thus a cottage would have the right to cal itself "sea view"!!
Matchmoor Lane goes to 1000'+ and has magnificent views of the Peak District, and on the other side of the moors (Anglezark) the Welsh mountains can be in full view, way beyond Joderall Bank!
Back to Winter Hill, feast your eyes on this... http://www.viewfinderpanoramas.org/panoramas/ENG/WINTER.GIF and I think it's from the summit and not the top of the tower.
 

Altrincham

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I've seen Portland Bill from somewhere near Brixham on a clear day. Not sure how far that is though. It often seems more hazy these days.
That's interesting you should mention that because I've heard that Portland Bill can be seen from St Catherine's Oratory on the Isle of Wight. Looking at the map, that might be possible as it looks the same distance as Brixham does from Portland Bill.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Fascinating website! Many thanks for the link
Brilliant, isn't it?! One of the few websites in recent years that was a joy to find.
 

Shaw S Hunter

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Many years ago during a drive around the Yorkshire Wolds we came across an unexpected view from what I think was Londesborough Hill looking broadly south. One distant structure stood proud but at the time we were unable to identify it. Later we worked out it had to be Lincoln Cathedral, some 75km/46.5ml away.
 

Altrincham

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Interesting topic (thanks!) something I've always been fascinated with.
I know the area well, and you don't have to be as high as Winter Hill to see Blackpool Tower, the slopes around Rivington will do! There's a spot on Matchmoor Lane (Horwich) where the sea can clearly be seen - some 30 miles away, thus a cottage would have the right to cal itself "sea view"!!
Matchmoor Lane goes to 1000'+ and has magnificent views of the Peak District, and on the other side of the moors (Anglezark) the Welsh mountains can be in full view, way beyond Joderall Bank!
Back to Winter Hill, feast your eyes on this... http://www.viewfinderpanoramas.org/panoramas/ENG/WINTER.GIF and I think it's from the summit and not the top of the tower.
Wonderful isn't it, to think that the panorama from Winter Hill includes Snaefell and also the hills of Powys.

Matchmoor Lane must also have some great night-time views of the Greater Manchester conurbation.
 

Haydn1971

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I wonder if it's possible to see South Uist from the top of Ben Nevis - the view is relatively uninterrupted along the line of the A830, then the island would be easy to pick out (if clear) - as the crow flies, about 90 miles.

This bloke seems to think 90 miles is the max visibility to sea level from Ben Nevis - http://stevenhorner.com/blog/2013/08/30/the-most-visible-mountain-in-scotland/



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Altrincham

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I wonder if it's possible to see South Uist from the top of Ben Nevis - the view is relatively uninterrupted along the line of the A830, then the island would be easy to pick out (if clear) - as the crow flies, about 90 miles.

This bloke seems to think 90 miles is the max visibility to sea level from Ben Nevis - http://stevenhorner.com/blog/2013/08/30/the-most-visible-mountain-in-scotland/
Yes, according to Viewfinder Panoramas it is possible to see South Uist from Ben Nevis (a distance of 92 miles looking WNW).

http://viewfinderpanoramas.org/panoramas/GRW/NEVIS-North.gif
 

Howardh

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Wonderful isn't it, to think that the panorama from Winter Hill includes Snaefell and also the hills of Powys.

Matchmoor Lane must also have some great night-time views of the Greater Manchester conurbation.
Not bad! When the first permanent set of floodlights were used at (proper) Old Trafford for cricket, I couldn't go to the game but I went up Matchmoor to see what they looked like from there!
BTW on a very clear day you can see the aircraft just about to land at Ringway. Not sure if you can see the actual runway....anyone?

Another quation...are there atmospheric conditions in which places can be seen from a lot further than the visible horizon - ie cities reflected/light defraction etc (no, I don't know what I'm talking about...help...:oops:;))
 
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Peter Mugridge

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But would also like to hear about your airborne longest-line-of-site views too.
A horizon 290 miles away in my case, from 56,000 feet on Concorde.

Assuming a neutral horizon, this site: http://www.ringbell.co.uk/info/hdist.htm will calculate the horizon for you from any given elevation. It follows that if you know the height of any two landmarks, you can calculate if they should be visible from each other.
 

Howardh

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I'm sure as a kid there was a sign on Brighton pier saying "look this way on a clear day and you will see the Isle of wight".
On a wall in Ancoats was written "On a clear day, you can see the gasworks from here".

According to The Great And Honourable James H. Reeve. ;)
 

Shaw S Hunter

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It follows that if you know the height of any two landmarks, you can calculate if they should be visible from each other.
Not quite, you also have to take into account any other hills between the two. At the most extreme ranges this becomes very significant as it can make it impossible to distinguish between landmarks at different distances.
 

Peter Mugridge

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Not quite, you also have to take into account any other hills between the two. At the most extreme ranges this becomes very significant as it can make it impossible to distinguish between landmarks at different distances.
True, it does only show the theoretical distances but I suspect we are not far off from when Google Maps can incorporate into their product the ability to click on a location and be shown the line of sight area for that spot - now that would be good wouldn't it?
 

DynamicSpirit

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My two favourite viewpoints would be

  • Jubilee Tower, near Lancaster (coincidentally, the site of my current avatar), from which to the SW you can easily see Blackpool Tower (about 20 miles away) as well as much the intervening countryside. I was told that you can also see the Welsh mountains on a clear day from there, although I'm not convinced that I have ever done so . Simultaneously, you can see some of the hills of the Lake District to the NW, while to the West is the coast, framed by Heysham Power Station. And of course, much closer, Lancaster University and part of Lancaster is very clearly visible. Not huge distances, but the sheer number of different places you can see from one spot makes for very interesting viewing.
  • Dover Castle, from which you can see not only the town of Dover and some of the surrounding countryside, but on a clear day you can see what I /think/ is the hills around Calais, France. Nothing like the distance of some of the lines of sight being quoted in this thread, but there is something somehow very satisfying about being able to see across the sea to another country - and knowing how much history has taken place across that very sea.

On a different note, I'm curious about some of the longer lines of sight being mentioned here. My own experience has tended to be that beyond about 30 miles, even if you have a clear line of sight, everything looks too hazy to be very impressive (even through binoculars) - all you can make out are perhaps a few outlines of hills against the sky. Is that not other people's experience?
 

Shaw S Hunter

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On a different note, I'm curious about some of the longer lines of sight being mentioned here. My own experience has tended to be that beyond about 30 miles, even if you have a clear line of sight, everything looks too hazy to be very impressive (even through binoculars) - all you can make out are perhaps a few outlines of hills against the sky. Is that not other people's experience?
It's fair comment that haze is a significant issue in this country thanks to our climate and location tending to keep humidity relatively high. However the right combination at a given moment of weather conditions and sun angle can open up the vista quite dramatically. Perhaps the best probability for long views is on a bright, cold and crisp winter's day but few will be willing to find the best viewpoints in the middle of winter.
 
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Bald Rick

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I wonder if the amount of haze has reduced around these isles over the past few decades as industrial pollution has dropped.

30-40 years ago we used to holiday in South Pembrokeshire. Where we stayed had a decent sea view, and on a bright day, if it was particularly clear, you could just about see Lundy, around 30 miles away. It might happen once or twice in the fortnight we were there.

On my most recent visits in the last few years, if it's a bright day, invariably you will see Lundy very clearly. Often you can also see the North Devon Coast another 10-20 miles further on, and sometimes even the hills of Dartmoor.

It might just be luck. But it doesn't feel like it.
 

MonsooN

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It's probably not as impressive, but there's a spot on the A693 near Stanley where you can see right over Washington, Sunderland and several miles out to sea beyond.

There's also the view from the Hartside Top on a clear day. You can see the mountains of South West Scotland around Dumfries. Not sure how far this is, but Google Maps says it's 53 miles if you walk and that's in a fairly straight line, so being generous, it must be at least 45 miles.
 

tsr

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30-40 years ago we used to holiday in South Pembrokeshire. Where we stayed had a decent sea view, and on a bright day, if it was particularly clear, you could just about see Lundy, around 30 miles away. It might happen once or twice in the fortnight we were there.

On my most recent visits in the last few years, if it's a bright day, invariably you will see Lundy very clearly. Often you can also see the North Devon Coast another 10-20 miles further on, and sometimes even the hills of Dartmoor.

It might just be luck. But it doesn't feel like it.
Funnily enough, I was up on the cliffs in a couple of places around said South Pembrokeshire Coast earlier this year and sighted Lundy. I initially thought it couldn't possibly be that island, as I'd slightly mistaken the direction in which I was looking, but on further examination it was definitely a land mass and not, say, an indistinct view of some very large but distant vessel (nothing of an especially large size was in the area). I was impressed and indeed struck by just how clear it was, at a variety of times of day and night, too (I also ended up taking photos by star and moonlight). Yet inland it was often much more murky - not necessarily near towns, either. Some of the shallow valleys really did seem to capture moisture.

(For the pedantic, obviously I couldn't see Lundy at night. That would probably be absurd.)
 
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