Walking the Wainwrights

in Outdoors

Like so many people I own Wainwright's Pictorial Guides to Lakeland Fells and over the years have started to walk them with the aim of bagging them all. I've tracked these in various ways from spreadsheets, Memory Map POIs, websites and wall charts but for various reasons I always gave up and ended up walking the same hills again and again. Usually the most obvious ones like Scafell Pike, Blencathra, Helvellyn, etc.. I have walked more than 214 Wainwrights in total, probably treble that, but this would be Scafell about a dozen times and the various Langdale fells more than I can count and the bagging attempt would be on hold or restarted.

Traci my wife has walked a large number of the Wainwrights too and we did start tracking her total but again at some point we fell off the wagon and lost track. Over the last year walking has suffered with the day job regularly consisting of 12-15 hour work days often eating into my weekends, outside of work I feel like all I've been doing is DIY. Traci's list of DIY projects has been ever expanding. So much so that I have now recorded her confirming that we are only "doing the attic next year" 2017. If anything else is mentioned this recording will be played back to her. I think I may need to create a special shortcut on my phone for easy access to the recording.

Years ago I bought "Walking the Wainrights" by Stuart Marshall which is a guide to completing the Wainwrights in 36 walks. On one of my previous Wainwright bagging attempts, I started following his routes but from the start I was cherry picking and choosing the ones containing the big hills. This time though I intend to start from the beginning, Route 1 and finish with Route 36 no matter the weather or the desirability of the fells included.

I am intending to write a very short post after each, with the route name/number, a GPX of our route, Wainwrights included, a rating and a short summary along with a few pictures. I may expand on this but don't want to make a massive time commitment of writing complex trip reports that will be just the same as the hundreds of others out there and offer nothing extra that you couldn't find done better elsewhere.

If you think this sounds like a good way of bagging the Wainwrights, please buy the book not because that link could earn me a few pence but because it's a good book and will offer more that just downloading my GPX files which you are of course welcome to do. You would be missing out on the route descriptions and the alternate 2 day routes which could be useful in Winter when the days are short or the weather just not conducive to an enjoyable day. Anyone who plans their own routes will understand how much work must have gone into planning these.

The latest version of the book is several years old (2009), mine is even older. This is obvious when reading about access problems to certain fells like the Nab which should no longer be an issue, hopefully I can highlight anything I find that is out of date. The route descriptions and maps are more of a guide than an exact planned walk, the maps are very basic and hand drawn.

Below are the 36 walk titles, you will either need to buy the book or wait until I've completed them all to see the actual routes.

Route 1 - The Greater Grisedale Horseshoe
Route 2 - A Glenridding Circuit
Route 3 - The Greater Fairfield Horseshoe
Route 4 - The St John's Vale Skyline
Route 5 - A Kitkstone - Dovedale Circuit
Route 6 - A Mell Fell Medley
Route 7 - The Eastern Martindale Fells
Route 8 - The Western Martindale Fells
Route 9 - A Swindale Round
Route 10 - The Greater Kentmere Horseshoe
Route 11 - A Troutbeck Medley
Route 12 - Grasmere to the Langdale Pikes
Route 13 - The North Central Fells
Route 14 - High Raise and Greenburn
Route 15 - A Stonethwaite Medley
Route 16 - The Scafell Group
Route 17 - Great End and Glaramara
Route 18 - The Head of Langdale
Route 19 - The Coniston Fells
Route 20 - An Elterwater Excursion
Route 21 - An Eskdale Medley
Route 22 - The Skiddaw Group
Route 23 - The Blencathra Group
Route 24 - Back o' Skiddaw
Route 25 - Back o' Blencathra
Route 26 - The Coledale Horsehoe
Route 27 - The Newlands Horseshoe
Route 28 - The Wythop and Lorton Fells
Route 29 - A Whiteside - Grasmoor Round
Route 30 - Great Gable and Neighbours
Route 31 - The Moseedale Horseshoe
Route 32 - A High-level Tour of Wast Water
Route 33 - The Buttermere Marathon
Route 34 - The Loweswater Fells
Route 35 - Low Fell and Fellbarrow
Route 36 - The Far Western Fells