PANORAMAS

[Technical Information] [Gallery] [Viewfinder Panoramas Home Page and Terms of Use]


These panoramas are not primarily designed for internet display; they are designed to be printed, folded or cut into halves, encapsulated back to back, placed in rucksacks and used "in situ". They are not works of art and are not intended to be judged as such. The images are designed to be legible when printed on A4 paper, and the colors are designed to allow maximum contrast between different distances. Questions and helpful comments about these panoramas are welcome; my e-mail address can be found at the bottom of my home page.

Some users of this page may recall the publication of some hand drawn panoramas by Chris Jesty. These were created in the 1970s, before the rise of computer power, and contain much general information and local detail which the computer drawn panoramas do not. As they are no longer in print, their author has made them available for this site. They can be downloaded from here. See also two detailed discussions about lines of sight from two summit viewpoints in west England, and between Scotland's Cairngorms and Cuillin.

NOTE The file sizes vary from about 500KB to 1MB. Some of the larger files (marked *) may not download directly. It may be necessary to download them to disk before opening them. This should be possible by clicking with the mouse button on the right and selecting "Save Target As..", but earlier versions of Windows (9x) may not allow this either. The problem will be resolved soon by splitting the larger files, which should also allow better output to A4 printers.

I still occasionally respond postively to requests for 360° panoramas from customer specified locations, but response and delivery may be slow. Alternative solutions may be available from Ulrich Deuschle or Peakfinder. Pricing is based on cost of reproduction. For contact details click here.




If anyone is seriously interested in helping to create more of these panoramas, please contact me.

SCOTLAND * ENGLAND * WALES * IRELAND * IOM
NORTH AMERICA * SOUTH AMERICA * ASIA * AFRICA * NORWAY * OTHER EUROPE
Longest Lines of Sight


NORTH AMERICA

Alaska

  • Denali North South (aka Mt.McKinley)
  • Mount Sanford North South Photograph showing 227 mile view to Denali

    Canadian Rockies

  • *Mount Temple Banff, Alberta

    Colorado, USA

  • *Mount Elbert HP Colorado
  • Pike's Peak North South
  • Mount Silverheels North South
  • Bald Mountain North South

    Washington State, USA

  • North Gardner Peak Photograph showing 208 kilometer view to Mount Rainier
  • Mount Olympus
  • Seattle (downtown)

    South West USA

  • Mount Whitney, California North South Photograph showing 190 mile view to San Gorgonio
  • *Charleston Peak Nevada
  • Mount Diablo, near San Francisco, California North South. The views are extensive, but claims that their coverage area is second only to Kilimanjaro are false.
  • Grapevine Peak, Nevada North South
  • Mount Lemmon, Arizona North South
  • Humphreys Peak, Arizona North South
  • Browns Peak, Arizona North South
  • White Mountain Peak, California North South
  • Mount Jefferson, Nevada North South
  • Arc Dome, Nevada North South

    Eastern USA

  • Mount Washington New Hampshire North South More details of the long view west to the Adirondack Range
  • *Mount Madison NH
  • *Mount Pierce NH
  • *North Twin NH
  • *Mount Lafayette NH
  • Lookout Tower GA/AL. The length of sight to the NE and E is impressive, but claims that seven states are visible are false. Apart from GA,TN,AL, only NC is visible and that only just.
  • Lookout Mtn NE end GA/TN
  • Empire State Building, New York

    SOUTH AMERICA

  • Aconcagua South American High Point. Revised 02.01.2006, but there are still some discontinuities due to incomplete data, mostly beyond 100km between 175 and 190 degrees.
  • Paine The classic and much photographed view of the Paine Cordillera (Chilean Patagonia) from Lake Pehoe.

    EUROPE

  • Mont Blanc, HP Alps, France/Italy North South
  • Ortler, Lombardia/Trentino, Italian Alps North South
  • Finsteraarhorn, Switzerland North South compare with Photograph of View to Pennine Alps
  • Monte Rosa, Switzerland/Italy North South
  • Marmolada, Italian Dolomites North South
  • Triglav, Slovenia North South
  • Grossglockner, Austria North South
  • Hoher Dachstein, Austria North South Photograph of View to Grossglockner
  • Polinik (2784m), Austria North South compare with photographs of long distance views into Slovenia and Italian Dolomites
  • Zugspitze, Germany/Austria North South compare with several long distance photographs
  • Hochtor, Austrian Alps North South
  • Grosser Priel, Austrian Alps North South
  • Reisskofel, Austrian Alps North South
  • Furgler, Austria North South
  • Cornetto. Italian Alps North South
  • Grande Ruine, Écrins, France North South
  • Le Taillefer, Dauphiné Alps, France North South. Excellent viewpoint for the Écrins, see photograph
  • Pointe Percée, French Alps North South. Excellent viewpoint for the Mont Blanc group, see photograph
  • Pointe d'Arcalod, French Alps North South
  • La Tournette, French Alps North South
  • Grigna Settentrionale, Italian Alps North South. Compare with the summit indicator (external link), there are some positional errors on this indicator.
  • Monte Cinto, HP Corsica North South
  • Hirschenstein, Bayerischer Wald, Germany North South
  • Olympic Tower, Munich
  • Ballon de Guebwiler, Vosges, E.France (Grand Ballon)
  • Belchen, Schwarzwald, S.W.Germany (Black Forest)
  • Kirchbuhl, Witthoh, S.W.Germany to Swiss Alps
  • Babia Gora, north of Tatra, Poland North South
  • Kralova Hora, south of Tatra, Slovakia North South
  • Marseille 250 km to Canigou, Pyrenees. Compare with this photograph and many others (external links).
  • Sveto Brdo, Velebit, Croatia, 260 km to Corno Grande, Italy. Compare with this photograph (external link).
  • Monte Cimone Italian Apennines. Possible view extends along the full length of the Alps.
  • Albania: Korab, Valamara, Kendervica
  • Austria: Zirbitzkogel, Hoch Obir, Mirnock
  • Cima Tosa, Italian Alps
  • NEW Mont Clapier, Alpes Maritimes North South

    NORWAY

  • More information and photographs from most of these viewpoints can be found on the site maintained by Petter Bjørstad. The panoramas are based on contours from 100k Russian maps and are less accurate than those in other sections. If you have problems downloading these panoramas, see note at top of page.
  • Galdhøpiggen, HP Scandinavia North South 61°38'12" 8°18'45" 2469m Oppland New edition uploaded 21.08.2008
  • *Grytenuten 59°25.801 5°57.820 863m Rogaland
  • *Fjetlandsnuten 59°26' 6°04' 714m Rogaland
  • *Gøysen 59°31.176 8°35.698 1370m Telemark
  • *Gaustatoppen 59°51.258 8°38.953 Telemark
  • *NEW Veslebotnskarvet 60°55.776' 8°36.956' Hemsedal
  • Høgeloft North South 61°03'14" 8°13'02" 1920m. Great vista of Jotunheimen.
  • *Spåtind 61°04.617 9°47.371 1414m Oppland
  • *Grindane 61°05'32" 8°31'13" 1724m SE of Jotunheimen
  • Myssmørhelje 61°07.263 10°04.282 1072m
  • *Djuptjernkampen 61°09.422 9°37.923 (distances in km)
  • Uranostind North South 61°25'36" 8°09'01" 2157m. Central Jotunheimen.
  • *Ruten 61°28'07" 9°33'29" 1510m
  • *Heidalsmuen 61°38'30", 9°19'30" 1745m Oppland
  • *Gjegnen 61°48'09" 5°49'16" 1670m Sogn og Fjordane
  • Snøhetta North South 62°19' 9°16' 2286m Dovre (distances in miles)
  • Urfjellet North South 62°19'32" 6°40'57" 1267m Sunnmøre
  • *Kleneggen 62°23'48" 8°12'17" 1964m Møre og Romsdal
  • Melshornet North South 62°20'54" 6°01'32" 668m Hareid Island
  • Trolltinden North South 62°34'25" 6°58'38" 1170m Sunnmøre
  • Blåskjerdingen North South 62°35'50" 6°44'02" 1069m Sunnmøre
  • *Store Trolla 62°41.004' 8°44.540' 1850m Møre og Romsdal
  • *Trollhetta 62°51.123 9°19.461 1614m Trollheimen
  • Inderbergsalen, Stabblandet island North South North 63°10.281, East 8°13.189
  • *Todalsfjellet 63°14.651, 8°49.665 821m west of Trondheim
  • *Sætertind 68°35'12" 16°21'38" 1095m Troms
  • *Snøhetta 68°41.365 18°19.677 1506m Troms
  • *Spanstinden 68°41'59" 17°51'59" 1457m Troms
  • *Hjerttinden 68°59'43" 18°13'32" 1380m Troms
  • *Stormauken 69°03.716' 18°58.001' 1249m Troms
  • *Indre Russetind 69°08'02" 19°33'40" 1527m Troms
  • *Leirtinden 69°17'59" 18°27'19" Troms
  • *Rasmustind 69°21'40" 19°31'35" 1224m Troms
  • *Jiekkhevarri 69°28'08" 19°52'34" 1834m Troms
  • Nordberg 69°39'27" 19°40'17" 5m Troms (low elevation viewpoint)
  • *NEW Store Lenangstinden North South 69°42.605' 20°05.156' Troms
  • *Vanntinden 70°05'53" 19°46'51" 1031m Troms

    ASIA
    The quality of some Asian panoramas is variable. It subject to the availability of complete SRTM data or accurate topographic mapping. Many, but not all, of the source SRTM no-data areas have been corrected, see my DEM page for more information about this.

  • Everest North South External link to 360° photograph
  • Stok Kangri, Leh, India North South Photograph showing view west to Nun and Kun
  • *Elbrus Caucasus, Russia
  • Mount Ararat North South
  • Suphan Dag, East Turkey
  • *Manaslu Nepal
  • Raksha Urai 3, West Nepal: see also photograph and external link to source photograph

    AFRICA

  • Jebel Toubkal, High Atlas, Morocco North South; external links to Trip Report including 4 x 90° panoramic photographs NE SE SW NW.
  • Table Mountain, Cape Town

    SCOTLAND North West Highlands * Islands * Grampians West * Grampians East * Central * Southern Uplands

    NORTH WEST HIGHLANDS Munro Sections 10-16

  • Map 2
  • Carn Eige Area HP
  • NEW Foinaven, Sutherland North South
  • NEW Ben Stack, Sutherland North South
  • NEW Arkle Sutherland
  • Ben Hope Sutherland
  • Ben Klibreck, Sutherland
  • Suilven, near Lochinver North South
  • Stac Pollaidh, near Lochinver North South
  • Morven Caithness
  • Ben Wyvis North South
  • Beinn a Bha'ach Ard, Strathfarrar North South
  • An Teallach (Bidean a'Ghlas Thuill), Wester Ross
  • *Slioch Wester Ross
  • Beinn Alligin Torridon
  • *Beinn Damh Torridon
  • Sgurr Fhuaran Kintail
  • *Ben Attow Kintail
  • Ladhar Bheinn, Knoydart
  • Sgurr na Ciche East of Knoydart
  • Rois Bheinn Moidart
  • Sgurr Domhnuill Ardgour
  • Ben Resipol Sunart
  • Ben Hiant Ardnamurchan

    ISLANDS Munro Section 17

  • Maps 1 2
  • Goatfell, Arran North South
  • Heaval Barra
  • An Sgurr, Eigg North South
  • *Clisham Harris
  • Iona
  • Beinn Bheigier Islay
  • Beinn an Oir Jura
  • *Suainaval Lewis
  • Ben More, Mull North South
  • Dun Da Ghaoithe Mull
  • Beinn Talaidh Mull
  • Askival, Rum North South
  • Sgurr Alasdair Skye
  • Rona's Hill HP Shetland
  • Ben Hynish Tiree
  • NEW Ben Hogh Coll
  • Hecla South Uist
  • Conachair, HP St Kilda
  • Ailsa Craig

    GRAMPIANS WEST Munro Sections 1-4

  • Map 2
  • Ben Nevis, HP Great Britain North South
  • Ben Alder SW of Dalwhinnie
  • Beinn Bhuidhe near Inveraray
  • Bidean nam Bian, Glencoe North South
  • Binnein Mor Mamores
  • An Caisteal Crianlarich
  • Ben Chonzie Crieff
  • The Cobbler Arrochar
  • Ben Cruachan between Oban and Crianlarich
  • Sgor Dhonuill Ballachulish
  • Beinn Dorain Bridge of Orchy
  • Beinn Ime Arrochar
  • Ben Lawers, Loch Tay North South
  • Ben Ledi near Callander
  • Ben Lomond North South
  • Ben Lui, Tyndrum North South
  • Ben More Crianlarich
  • Schiehallion North South
  • Beinn Sgulaird north of Oban
  • Ben Vorlich, Loch Earn North South

    GRAMPIANS EAST Munro Sections 5-9

  • Map 2
  • Bennachie near Alford, Aberdeenshire (Mither Tap)
  • Bennachie (Oxen Craig)
  • Mount Blair north of Blairgowrie
  • *The Buck Aberdeenshire
  • Cairn Gorm North South
  • Culloden east of Inverness
  • *Driesh north west of Kirriemuir
  • Beinn a'Ghlo north east of Blair Atholl (Carn nan Gabhar)
  • Glas Maol above Glen Shee
  • Lochnagar Balmoral
  • Ben Macdui HP Cairngorms
  • *Morrone Braemar
  • Morven Ballater
  • *Nairn view from town
  • Ptarmigan Cairngorm railhead
  • Ben Rinnes
  • *Ben Vrackie Pitlochry

    see also an article about seeing the Skye Cuillin from the Cairngorms

    CENTRAL

  • Map 3
  • Arthur's Seat Edinburgh
  • Benarty Hill Fife
  • Cat Law SE Grampians
  • Cleish Hill Fife
  • Ben Cleuch, HP Ochils North South HP Ochils
  • Craigowl Hill HP Sidlaws, near Dundee
  • Deuchary Hill near Dunkeld
  • Drumcarrow Craig near St.Andrews
  • Duncryne Law near Drymen
  • Dundee Law
  • Earl's Seat HP Campsie Fells
  • Elie on Fife south coast
  • Forth Road Bridge (warning, not for drivers)
  • Greenock
  • Kinnoull Hill Perth
  • Knock Hill Fife
  • Largo Law Fife
  • East Lomond Fife
  • *West Lomond HP Fife
  • Norman's Law North Fife
  • Hill of Stake HP North Ayrshire
  • Stirling Castle
  • Beinn an Tuirc Kintyre

    SOUTHERN UPLANDS

  • Map 3
  • Allermuir Hill NE Pentlands
  • Beneraird South Ayrshire
  • Broad Law Ettrick
  • Cairnsmore of Carsphairn
  • Corse Hill Renfrewshire
  • Criffel south of Dumfries
  • Culter Fell
  • Dun Rig Ettrick
  • Middle Eildon Hill
  • Cairnsmore of Fleet
  • *Hart Fell
  • Lammer Law
  • Lowther Hill
  • Merrick, HP Southern Uplands North South note about view to Snowdon
  • North Berwick Law
  • Queensberry
  • Scald Law HP Pentland Hills
  • Tinto

    ENGLAND Cheviot and Kielder * Cumbrian Lakes N NW W C S E EE Outer * North Pennines * Yorkshire Dales * South Pennines and Bowland * Peak District and Cheshire * North York Moors * Central * West * South West * South East

    Direct links to panoramas from about 100 new locations were added on 7 April 2008. Most are in Cumbria but a few are in other English counties and Wales. A zipped file containing these panoramas can be downloaded. I am very grateful to Mark Jackson for creating these.Some of them, marked (C), are on an English "coast to coast" route. Most of the panoramas come in 8-strip format. To print these out onto A4 paper, crop them to split the image into a north page and a south page, then use an entire A4 sheet for each half. If all eight strips are printed onto one sheet of A4 paper, the labels will be too small to read. The 4-strip images can be printed directly onto A4 paper. I hope they come out OK...

    On 9 April 2008, a few more panoramas were uploaded and some bad links were fixed.
    NEW About 30 more panoramas were added on 11 May 2009.

    KIELDER FOREST AND THE CHEVIOTS

  • Map 4
  • *The Cheviot
  • Peel Fell
  • Sighty Crag
  • Shillhope Law
  • Tosson Hill
  • Long Crag
  • Ros Hill
  • Housedon Hill

    CUMBRIAN LAKES: NORTH

  • Map 4
  • Skiddaw North South
  • Blencathra
  • Knott
  • Carrock Fell
  • Dodd
  • Binsey
  • Latrigg

    CUMBRIAN LAKES: NORTH WEST

  • Map 4
  • Grasmoor
  • Grisedale Pike
  • Dale Head
  • Causey Pike
  • Lord's Seat
  • Catbells
  • Barrow
  • Swinside
  • NEW Robinson

    CUMBRIAN LAKES: WEST

  • Map 4
  • Great Gable North South
  • Pillar
  • Scoat Fell
  • Black Crag
  • Red Pike
  • Steeple
  • High Stile
  • Kirk Fell
  • Haycock
  • Seatallan
  • Yewbarrow
  • Haystacks (C)
  • Middle Fell
  • Blake Fell
  • Crag Fell
  • NEW Mellbreak
  • NEW Low Fell

    CUMBRIAN LAKES: CENTRAL

  • Map 4
  • High Raise
  • Ullscarf
  • High Seat
  • Helm Crag (C)
  • Silver How
  • High Rigg
  • Loughrigg Fell

    CUMBRIAN LAKES: SOUTH

  • Map 4
  • Scafell Pike, HP England North South
  • Sca Fell
  • Bow Fell
  • Crinkle Crags
  • Coniston Old Man North South
  • Slight Side
  • Pike of Blisco
  • Cold Pike
  • Harter Fell
  • Illgill Head
  • Hard Knott
  • Whin Rigg
  • Green Crag
  • Lingmoor Fell
  • Black Fell
  • Holme Fell

    CUMBRIAN LAKES: EAST

  • Map 4
  • Helvellyn North South
  • Fairfield
  • St Sunday Crag (C)
  • Red Screes
  • Great Mell Fell
  • Little Mell Fell
  • NEW Seat Sandal

    CUMBRIAN LAKES: FAR EAST

  • Map 4
  • High Street
  • Kidsty Pike (C)
  • Tarn Crag
  • Wansfell
  • NEW HallinFell

    CUMBRIAN LAKES: OUTLYING AREAS

  • Map 4
  • Black Combe
  • Dent (C)
  • Top o'Selside
  • Kirkby Moor
  • Gummer's How
  • Hutton Roof Crags
  • Claife Heights
  • Watch Hill
  • Muncaster Fell
  • Arnside Knott
  • Whitbarrow
  • Lambrigg Fell
  • NEW Grayrigg Forest
  • NEW Whitfell

    NORTH PENNINES

  • Map 4
  • Cross Fell HP Pennines
  • Mickle Fell
  • Burnhope Seat
  • Cold Fell
  • NEW Dufton Pike

    YORKSHIRE DALES

  • Map 4
  • Ingleborough
  • Whernside
  • Pen-y-Ghent
  • Wild Boar Fell
  • The Calf
  • Rogan's Seat
  • Dodd Fell Hill
  • Nine Standarads Rigg (C)
  • Hoove
  • Smardale Fell (C)
  • Great Whernside
  • Birks Fell
  • NEW Aye Gill Pike
  • NEW Baugh Fell
  • NEW Kisdon
  • NEW Yarlside

    SOUTH PENNINES AND BOWLAND

  • Map 5
  • Wards Stone HP Bowland
  • Pendle Hill Pennines
  • Blackstone Edge
  • Winter Hill near Bolton
  • Blackpool Tower
  • NEW Boulsworth Hill

    PEAK DISTRICT AND CHESHIRE

  • Map 5
  • Kinder Scout HP Peak District
  • Bleaklow Head
  • Black Hill
  • Shining Tor near Buxton
  • Mam Tor
  • The Roaches
  • Ecton Hill
  • Mow Cop
  • The Cloud
  • Shutlingsloe
  • Crich Stand, Derbyshire
  • Beeston Castle Cheshire
  • Wallasey Merseyside
  • Chester
  • NEW Wetton Hill
  • NEW Narrowdale Hill

    NORTH YORK MOORS

  • Map 5
  • Urra Moor (C)
  • Cringle Moor (C)
  • Sleights Moor (C)
  • NEW Bishop Wilton Wold

    CENTRAL ENGLAND

  • Map 5
  • Cleeve Hill(NW top) Cotswolds
  • Bardon Hill Leicestershire. Claims that the Sugar Loaf in Monmouthshire is visible from Bardon Hill at a distance of more than 90 miles are nonsense.
  • Barr Beacon, Walsall, West Midlands
  • Beacon Hill Leicestershire
  • Broadway Tower, Cotswolds
  • West Midlands: Sedgley Beacon and NEW Darby's Hill

    WEST ENGLAND

  • Map 5
  • Malvern Hills Worcs Beacon (HP). See a discussion about this viewpoint, featuring the possibility of a line of sight to Dunkery Beacon, the highest point of Exmoor. Written by Matt Mills.
  • Brown Clee Hill
  • Titterstone Clee Hill
  • Caer Caradoc Hill
  • Wrekin Shropshire. Contrary to the summit indicator claim, Snowdon is not visible from the Wrekin. Here is a PDF file, written and supplied by David Squires, documenting the history of this misinformation.

    SOUTH WEST ENGLAND

  • Map 7
  • Exmoor Dunkery Beacon (HP)
  • Swyre Head
  • Nine Barrow Down
  • Ballard Down
  • Hambury Tout
  • Somerset: Brent Knoll and Burton Pynsent Monument
  • Dartmoor High Willhays (HP)

    SOUTH EAST ENGLAND

  • Map 10
  • Alexandra Palace, London
  • London Bridge Tower (elevation 300 metres)
  • Leith Hill, HP North Downs North South
  • Wendover Woods
  • Coombe Hill

    WALES

  • Map 6
  • Snowdon, HP Wales North South note about view to Merrick
  • Cadair Berwyn
  • Foel Cwmcerwyn West Dyfed
  • Moel Famau Clwyd
  • Aran Fawddwy
  • Glyder Fawr, Snowdonia North South
  • Moel Hebog, south of Snowdonia North South
  • Cadair Idris, south of Snowdonia North South
  • Pen-y-fan, Brecon North South
  • Plynlimon
  • Moel Siabod, Snowdonia North South
  • Tryfan, Snowdonia North South
  • Waun Fach Black Mountains
  • NEW More Snowdonia: Cnicht, Craig Cwm Silyn Elidir Fawr, Carnedd Llewelyn, Moelwyn Mawr, Moel y Diniewyd, Mynydd Mawr, Yr Aran
  • Llyn Peninsula: Yr Eifl, Carn Fadryn Porth Dinlaen, Point 324267 (2km SE of Abersoch), NEW Bardsey_Island
  • NEW Holyhead Mountain, Anglesey
  • Great Orme, Llandudno

    IRELAND

  • Maps 8 9
  • Carrauntoohil Kerry, HP Ireland North South
  • Slieve Donard, Down, HP Ulster North South
  • Ben Bury Mweelrea, Connemara
  • Cuilcagh Fermanagh
  • Errigal Donegal
  • Forth Wexford
  • Galtymore Tipperary
  • Knocklayd Antrim
  • Mount Leinster
  • Lugnaquillia, Wicklow North South
  • Mangerton Kerry
  • Monercrom Cavan
  • Croagh Patrick Mayo
  • Slieve Rushen Cavan
  • Scrabo Hill Antrim
  • Slieve Snaght North Donegal
  • Sugarloaf, near Dublin North South

    ISLE OF MAN

  • Snaefell, HP Isle of Man North South

    LONGEST LINES OF SIGHT

    As far as I know the longest ground to ground line of sight that has ever been photographed in the US lower 48 is to San Gorgonio Mountain, 190 miles or 306 kilometers from Mount Whitney, California. It was photographed by John Samson of Loughborough, England and can be seen here.

    It is stated in Guinness World Records 2006, under "longest lines of sight", that "Mount McKinley can be seen from Mount Sanford, a direct distance 370km (230 miles)". The two mountains are intervisible, and this line of sight, which has been photographed and can be seen here, may be the longest that has ever been seen and recognised, but there are longer lines of sight which certainly could be seen by anyone knowing exactly where to look for them. Denali (aka Mt McKinley) is intervisible at a greater distance with Mount Blackburn, see the Denali panorama.

    The longest ground to ground line of sight that I have seen in a photograph is 381 km (237 miles), from Mont Canigou in the French Pyrenees, to the French Alps, against the background of the rising sun. See here.

    If anyone knows of any photograph with a longer line of sight then please tell me!

    GWR go on to claim that "owing to the light bending effects of atmospheric refraction, Vatnajökull (2119m), Iceland, can sometimes be seen from the Faroe Islands, 340 miles (550km) away". I think this is based on the claimed similar sighting by a British sailor in 1939, see below. In my opinion the statement is too tenuous to merit a place in GWR and should be withdrawn. It is a case of people seeing what they want to see.

    Assuming normal refraction, the distance of the sea horizon, in kilometers, can be calculated by multiplying the square root of the elevation in meters by 3.85. I make that 177km for Vatnajökull and 114km for the high point of the Faeroes (882m). These distances can be added to create a net distance of 291km. Refraction is variable but not that variable. Clouds and mountains, especially icy mountains, look very similar from long distances (c.f. the legend of Tir Nan Og west of Ireland) and I cannot see how anyone could have known that anything visible from the Faeroes was a vast ice dome in Iceland and not a similarly shaped cloud.

    Temperature inversions can enhance the effect of refraction; a good example from the German Alps, across a distance of 135 kilometres, has been captured on camera. But freak light ducts distort lines of sight and usually break them up, rendering them unrecognisable. Such ducts are part of the "arctic mirage" or (in Icelandic) hillingar phenomenon and are discussed here. Although there is speculation that Iceland may have been seen from the Faeroes by Celtic mariners, there is no mention of any recorded observation of such a line of sight. The claimed observation of an Icelandic landmark (Snaefells Jokull) from a comparable distance from the direction of the southern tip of Greenland is interesting. It is claimed that "the apparent distance of those landmarks was judged to be 40 to 50 km (25 or 30 miles) distant; however, from ship's actual recorded position, they were located 536 to 560 km (335 to 350 miles) away". But if these landmarks appeared so close, then either they were magnified in both the horizontal and vertical directions, which would seem impossible, or they were elongated vertically by a factor of more than 10, which would make them unrecognisable. It seems to me to be more likely that the "landmarks" were clouds that looked a bit like the SJ skyline.

    Perhaps light from Iceland can reach the Faeroes, but it would be very unlikely to be recognisable as such, and the use of the word "sometimes" by GWR would seem to be at best inappropriate.

    The true longest possible line of sight based on normal refraction was researched by Xavier Eguskitza of Bilbao, and he found the line of sight between Cerro Paramillo (Colombia, N 7°06'12" W 75°58'09") and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, 483km (300 miles) to the north east. The virtual view is shown here, but it is very unlikely that it has been seen, let alone photographed, in practice. It is possible that longer views exist from south west of Paramillo, but despite extensive searching I have found no longer lines of sight anywhere else in the world. Anyone who thinks there is a longer one, please contact me.

    Update 23 April: I still have not found any longer lines of sight anywhere other than across the Colombian plain to/from the Santa Marta, but longer lines of sight than the above are theoretically possible. From the west of Paramillo, there is a 491km view from Altos de Tres Morros, and from the south, there is a 500km view from Paramo Santa Ines (W 75°41'33" N 6°46'22"). In perfect visibility, Pico Ojeda (503km) would be visible through binoculars; and with a telescope part of the ridge further east could be visible at 506km. But I doubt if anyone will ever see this for real.

    British Isles The longest theoretical line of sight in the British Isles is 144 miles (232 km) from Merrick, in the southern uplands of Scotland, to Snowdon in North Wales. I have found no longer sightlines, and none were found in a study by topographic researcher Chris Jesty in the 1980's. A 1990's Guinness Book of Records published this superlative, but gave the distance as 144 km (sic). Unlike the longer US views above, the line of sight is low altitude and passes primarily over the sea, so Snowdon would only be observable from Merrick on an exceptionally clear day. No sightings have come to my attention.

    Merrick would be practically impossible to observe from Snowdon, because of the very thin aperture it shows behind nearby Lamachan hill. To give an analogy: if a colleague and I were in neighbouring rooms, and I were at a desk but the colleague were looking through an empty keyhole, he would probably see my clearly, but I would not see him. The "keyhole" is Lamachan Hill, which is much closer to Merrick, so an observer on Merrick would see Snowdon much more easily than vice versa. Infact, Merrick would be impossible to observe from Snowdon other than with a telescope, and then only if there were a suitable contrast with Lamachan Hill (e.g. snow or sun on one but not the other). That is why Merrick is not shown on the Snowdon panorama.


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    PRICING Price of CD containing all the above panoramas, including packing, postage and administration: £7. E-mailed panoramas from customer specified viewpoints may be available free of charge, but this may be changed without notice. Due to technical difficulties and high costs, printed copies are now only available by special request.

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    Panoramas created and collated by Jonathan de Ferranti, 1994-2007. Last update 25 January 2007.