Adventurer Nic

All the Wainwrights in seven weekends — a book by book adventure

Adventurer Nic

All the Wainwrights in seven weekends — a book by book adventure

Hiking Collection by Adventurer Nic

7

Tours

217:24 h

382 mi

101,350 ft

If you're a UK mountain hiker, there's a good chance you've heard of the Lake District National Park’s Wainwrights. Alfred Wainwright is a legendary guidebook writer who wrote seven ‘Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells' and each book split his favourite 214 summits into seven geographical areas - Eastern, Far Eastern, Central, Southern, Northern, North Western and Western.

The 214 Wainwrights weren't chosen because of their height. For example, quite a few high points, such as the lofty summits of Broad Crag and Ill Crag on the Scafell massif, are absent from the list. Instead, it is believed Alfred simply selected the ones he was most fond of.

He chose the fells with the most breathtaking views, the hills with the most interesting history, and sometimes his chosen Wainwright summit isn't even the fell’s highest point. The summits on his list range in height, from the charming Castle Crag, at a mere 950 feet (290 m), to the highest of all — Scafell Pike at 3,209 feet (978 m), the roof of England.

Soon after the books were published in the mid-20th century, determined hill walkers started to use the fells in his guidebooks as a tick list. The Lake District peak bagger was born! There are plenty of people out there who are drawn both to spending long days in the uplands, disconnected from technology, but also enjoy the organisation of ticking things off spreadsheets and I’m definitely one of them!

I first hiked the Wainwrights in 2017/18 and I then went on to hike the 282 Munros of Scotland in 2019. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, I chose a less well-known list and hiked Wainwright’s subsequent 116 Outlying Fells of Lakeland over the course of 30 routes.

Many will treat the peak bagging pursuit as a lifetime goal, especially if they live far from Cumbria. But in recent times fell runners and hikers alike have come up with ways of ticking off the fells in a more challenging way. As at October 2021, the record for the fastest single ‘supported’ round of the Wainwrights is held by Sabrina Verjee, who scaled all 214 fells in five days, 23 hours and 49 minutes in June 2021. The record for an unsupported round of the Wainwrights is held by Christopher Gaskin, who finished the epic loop in 11 days in May 2021.

In 2021, I was also excited to be embarking on my own Wainwright challenge, starting on 16 April 2021. The idea was to hike the Wainwright fells ‘book by book’ resulting in seven routes over seven adventurous long weekends. I undertook the challenge in a self-supported, backpacking style, carrying all my own food and camping equipment and wild camping along each route.

My hope is that this Collection will be a great resource for other peak baggers to pick up and use. Each route is between 44 and 64 miles (70 and 100 km) and involves between 9,800 and 18,000 feet (3,000 and 5,500 m) of ascent. Collectively, the tours amount to over 380 miles (600 km) of walking and over 100,000 feet (30,000 m) of ascent.

I’m really excited to share what was an incredible journey with the komoot community. I have contributed Highlights for all the summits and produced reliable route traces that others can follow at their own pace.

To make my challenge a tad harder but more environmentally friendly, I set the routes to start and finish from bus stops. This was to show that you can go on a big Lake District adventure without parking and adding to what can be an already congested national park. During the adventure, I promoted responsible wild camping, the principles of the Countryside Code and the ethos of Leave No Trace along the way.

So, what more is there to do other than to grab your hiking shoes and get out there? The Wainwrights are waiting!

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Difficult
    33:15
    59.3 mi
    1.8 mph
    15,500 ft
    16,450 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The Eastern Fells was the first of Wainwright’s Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells to be published and they are the subject of the first of my seven peak bagging …

  • Difficult
    33:54
    61.0 mi
    1.8 mph
    15,850 ft
    15,825 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The Far Eastern Fells was the second of Wainwright’s Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells to be published and they are the subject of the second of my seven peak …

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  • Difficult
    24:10
    44.6 mi
    1.8 mph
    10,225 ft
    9,900 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The Central Fells was the third of Wainwright’s Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells to be published and they are the subject of the third of my seven peak bagging …

  • Difficult
    37:49
    63.8 mi
    1.7 mph
    18,675 ft
    18,775 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The Southern Fells was the fourth of Wainwright’s Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells to be published and they are the subject of the fourth of my seven peak bagging …

  • Difficult
    26:47
    49.4 mi
    1.8 mph
    12,600 ft
    12,200 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The Northern Fells was the fifth of Wainwright’s Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells to be published and they are the subject of the fifth of my seven peak bagging …

  • Difficult
    26:42
    45.3 mi
    1.7 mph
    12,100 ft
    12,175 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The North Western Fells was the sixth of Wainwright’s Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells to be published and they are the subject of the sixth of my seven peak …

  • Difficult
    34:48
    58.3 mi
    1.7 mph
    16,425 ft
    16,425 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The Western Fells was the last of Wainwright’s Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells to be published and they are the subject of the last of my seven peak bagging …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    382 mi
  • Duration
    217:24 h
  • Elevation
    101,350 ft

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Adventurer Nic

All the Wainwrights in seven weekends — a book by book adventure