Alfred Wainwright- A Lakeland Legend - Lake District

Alfred Wainwright-A Lakeland Legend

Alfred Wainwright-A Lakeland Legend:

In June 1930, a 23-year-old Blackburn man on a day trip, got off a bus at Windermere station and strolled up Orrest Head.

Little did he know this short stroll would change the course of his life and make him a Lakeland legend.

At the top, he caught the first view of the Lake District and ignited a love affair that lasted the rest of his life.

Alfred Wainwright-A Lakeland Legend

His thoughts are now written in stone at the viewpoint overlooking Windermere.

This love affair resulted in a seven-volume masterpiece: ‘A pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells’.

Alfred Wainwright began writing in 1952, a year after the Lake District became Britain’s second national park.

He devoted 13 years to his project, producing one page every evening after his day job as Kendal Borough Treasurer.

For walkers who enjoy hiking on the Cumbrian fells there’s one indispensable companion. It’s a Wainwright; a small guidebook, mapped, written and illustrated by Alfred Wainwright, who has written some 50 books and his Lake District guides have sold more than a million copies.

Each guidebook is detailed with pen and ink drawings of the fells and footpaths, with handwritten descriptions of different routes.

Alfred Wainwright-A Lakeland Legend

All in all, Wainwright charted 214 fells – now known as the Wainwrights.

He chose Haystacks near Buttermere as his final resting place. 

He described Innominate Tarn sitting on the top of Haystacks as ‘a quiet place, a lonely place’.

Betty McNally, his second wife, scattered his ashes there in 1991.

In ‘Memories of a Fellwanderer’ he wrote of his intention. ‘And if you, dear reader, should get a bit of grit in your boot as you are crossing Haystacks in the years to come, please treat it with respect. It might be me.’

Alfred Wainwright was once a guest on Desert Island Discs. He famously began the conversation by saying he didn’t much care for music and preferred silence. He did when pushed, admit he did like the Happy Wanderer!

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June 3rd
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