You are at the home page of the Wainwright Society website
About the Wainwright society
A brief bio of Alfred wainwright
How to join the society
The benefits of joining the Wainwright Society
The Wainwright Society Members Only area
Click to visit the Merchandise Page
Log in to the Wainwright Society Forum
The latest news and media - Wainwright related
Upcoming and past events
Read articles about and relating to the Society
Walking The Coast To Coast
Find out more about the Pennine Journey
Click for details on the Wainwright Society Annual Calendar
Click to visit the Sketchbook Project
Photographic Competition page
Click here to view the full range of Book reviews we have on the site
View the 214 Completers List as maintained by the Wainwright Society
How the wainwright Society raises money for worthy causes
Click here for details of our link-up with YHA
Wainwright related links

Follow the Society on FacebookFollow the Society on Twitter

Book Reviews

The book reviews have been written by members of the Wainwright Society and were first published in the Society's quarterly magazine 'Footsteps'.

Note: The views and statements expressed in the book reviews do not necessarily reflect the views of The Wainwright Society and the inclusion of a review does not imply an endorsement or recommendation by the Society.

Howgills and Limestone Trail by David and Heather Pitt -
The Howgills and Limestone Trail is a new 76-mile long-distance walk from Kirkby Stephen to Settle, devised by David and Heather Pitt. The guidebook of this walk is a worthy sequel to A Pennine Journey and again features the combined talents of mapmaker, Ron Scholes, and landscape artist, Colin Bywater ..... more

Julia Bradbury’s Wainwright Walks - Coast to Coast - Most readers will have seen or at least be aware of the BBC television series covering Julia Bradbury’s walk in AW’s footsteps on the Coast to Coast Walk. This book is her description of that adventure, the places she visited, the people she met and her observations and thoughts as she progressed along the route ..... more

Wainwright’s Secret Lakeland by Chris Stanbury Vol 1: Northern, North-Western and Central Fells - This is perhaps best summed up in Eric Robson’s Foreword ‘Chris Stanbury is a sinner come to repentance. His last book was The World of a Wainwright Bagger ..... more

Wainwright’s Way - A long-distance walk through Alfred Wainwright’s life from Blackburn to Haystacks by Nick Burton
- Over recent years, there has been a vast number of books by writers jumping on the Wainwright bandwagon. Not another Wainwright book, I hear you say! But this book is different. It has an air of charm about it as it takes the reader on a journey following AW’s life from his youth among what he called the ‘dingy houses and shabby streets’ of Blackburn to Kendal ..... more

The Wainwright Companion by Clive Hutchby - The jacket copy claims this book is guaranteed to ease the restless sleep of Lakeland exiles. That would certainly be the aim of a ‘companion’. However, I suggest the book should have been called The Wainwright Compendium. It is absolutely crammed with information, statistics and facts culled from the seven PGs and The Outlying Fells ..... more

Behind the Scenes with Wainwright - A Publisher’s Perspective of a Reluctant Celebrity by Andrew Nichol -
Very few people visited AW at his home and even fewer did so on a regular basis. Of those who did, how many are still alive and, further, kept a diary from which they could draw information about their dealings with him? If anybody other than Andrew Nichol falls into that category, I’d be very surprised ..... more

Never Mind the Quantocks by Stuart Maconie
This entertaining and engrossing book is a collection of fifty of the author’s columns in Country Walking, Britain’s bestselling publication for walkers. Through them, the reader gets to know him a little whilst enjoying his accounts of a range of walking experiences – from visiting favourite Lakeland places to pub treks ..... more

Wainwright Family Walks – Volume One: The Southern Fells edited by Tom Holman
Tom Holman has chosen twenty Wainwright walks that he considers suitable for families or for newcomers to walking in Lakeland. The distances of the walks included range from .... more

Walking with the Brontës in West Yorkshire - Norman and June Buckley
This pocket-sized book is the third written by Norman and June Buckley that introduces the reader to a series of walks with a literary connection. The first two books, Walking with Beatrix Potter (reviewed in Footsteps September 2007) and Walking with Wordsworth (reviewed September 2010) both covered walks in the
Lake District .... read more

Mardale - Echoes and Reflections of a lost Lakeland community by Shap Local History Society
Shap Local History Society has produced a highly informative book about the history of Mardale, taking the reader from the early Iron Age with its settlements such as the fort at Castle Crag to 1936 when the villagers left Mardale Green following the flooding of the valley to create a reservoir for Manchester .... read more

The Pennine Way - Roly Smith
This is a refreshing publication by Roly Smith, graced with stunning photography by John Morrison, which reminds the fell walker that we should remember what the Pennine Way has to offer .... read more

The Outlying Fells of Lakeland - A.Wainwright -
This Pictorial Guide has now been revised by Chris Jesty, as he did for the original 7 guides, after re-walking the routes to provide an up-to-date guide of the fifty-six walks included by AW .... read more

The Wainwright Letters -
Hunter Davies’ book, The Wainwright Letters, when published caused some controversy regarding the inclusion of love letters from Wainwright to Betty ..... read more

Wainwright’s Snowdonia in Photos -
Michael Mumford and his team have endeavoured to bring attention to AW’s latent interest in Snowdonia and his subsequent drawings in Welsh Mountain Drawings, published by Westmorland Gazette in 1981 ..... read more

Winter in the Lake District - by Val Corbett -
This book is filled with well over 100 beautiful photographs covering a range of subjects – stunning scenes of fells mirrored in still lakes, Christmas scenes ..... read more

Heritage of Lakeland - A Centenary Collection -
Harry Griffin was a fabled fellwalker, rock climber, author and journalist. This book of previously uncollected writings has been compiled by Peter Hardy who previously edited The High Places ..... read more

The Lure of the Lake District: Places, People and Passion -
Steve Goodier, born in 1962, is a freelance outdoor writer who specialises in the Lake District, Yorkshire and Scotland. and his 25-year passion for the Lake District is explored in depth in this book ..... read more

The English Lakes: A History -
Ian Thompson looks at the cultural history of the Lake District from the time of Wordsworth, De Quincy and Southey through to the creation of the National Trust ..... read more

Blencathra: Portrait of a Mountain
- This book encompasses not only Blencathra but also ‘Back o’Blencathra’, thus including Souther Fell, Bowscale Fell, Bannerdale Crags, Carrock Fell, High Pike and Mungrisdale Common .... read more

Ramblers Rewards - Cooking from Coast to Coast -
Over the last eight years, Footsteps has included reviews of various types of books but I believe this is the first time that we have reviewed a cookery book ..... read more

Lake District Mountain Landforms -
Lake District Mountain Landforms is concerned with the geomorphology of the Lake District, which the author defines as the study and appreciation of landforms, their origins and their age, including ..... read more

The World of a Wainwright Bagger
- This book is an autobiographical account of climbing Lake District peaks. Chris Stanbury describes the long-distance walks he has undertaken ..... read more

Light on the Fell Light: Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team: the first forty years -
marking the fortieth
anniversary of the Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team formed by Sid Cross MBE ..... read more

Wainwright’s Lost Tour -
After AW’s first visit to the Lake District in June 1930, he devised an ambitious walking tour, to be undertaken over Whitsuntide the following year with three colleagues from the Borough Treasurer’s department at Blackburn Town Hall ..... read more

Story of the Newlands Valley -
In 1992, Susan Grant, Society member no. 1434, began to research the family of her favourite ancestor, her great-grandmother Mary Elizabeth Dover. Little did she suspect that, twelve years later, it would lead to her writing a book ..... read more

Lake District Mountain Landscape -
Alastair Lee, started climbing when he was nineteen, at which point he developed a passion for mountaineering. He has combined this with a love of photography and his mountain and climbing pictures ..... read more

Pictorial Guides to the Mountains of Snowdonia -
John Gillham has produced the first two books in a series of four, which are intended to form a comprehensive guide to the mountains of Snowdonia ..... read more

Landscapes of the Ribble -
The River Ribble flows through some of England’s finest landscapes as it links the two counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire ..... read more

Coast to Coast: the Wainwright Route -
Whilst Wainwright’s original guide will never be bettered as Bill Mitchell cites in his introduction, ‘The type of publication that Wainwright himself would have appreciated … a credit to the author and publisher.’ ..... read more

Walking with Wordsworth in the Lake District - Norman and Jean Buckley wrote this book of walks based on the places in the Lake District associated Wordsworth and his works ..... read more

The Best of Wainwright Second Edition & Wainwright’s TV Walks Second Edition - Revised and updated versions of these two books have been released by publishers Frances Lincoln ..... read more

Coast to Coast (revised) - In 1972 AW completed a book describing a walk he had devised and created from St Bees Head to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Sea. Now, Chris Jesty, has revised and updated the book ..... read more

Three re-issued books by Hunter Davies - In the autumn of 2009, Frances Lincoln Ltd reprinted three of Hunters books that were originally published in the late 1970s -
A Walk Around the Lakes, A Walk Along the Wall and William Wordsworth ..... read more

Joss - A book about Joss’s life and achievements which takes the reader from Joss’s early childhood, through his youth when he sustained a severe back injury, and onto the time when he started competing in fell races, later setting many records ..... read more

Pendle - known locally as ‘the hill of the witches’, Pendle is one of Lancashire’s most distinctive hills ..... read more

Granite and Grit - Walkers spend much of their time looking at the views around them without thinking too much of what is under their feet, but it is the rocks below that have created the scenery they enjoy ..... read more

Coast to Coast with Wainwright - In 1973, following many months of research, AW compiled his book of the walk he had devised from St. Bees on the Cumberland coast to Robin Hood’s Bay on the Yorkshire coast ..... read more

Unforgettable Walks to Take Before You Die - This is the fifth in the ‘unforgettable’ series of books and features thirty varied walks throughout the world ..... read more

Swaledale - Swaledale stretches from Hollow Mill Cross on Great Shunner Fell where the River Swale rises, down to Myton-upon-Swale where it joins the River Ure, which in turn becomes the River Ouse ..... read more

A Camera in the Hills - W. A. Poucher is quite rightly recognised as one of the greatest outdoor photographers and writers of the 20th century, but until I read this biography I did not realise what a fascinating person he was in other aspects of his life ..... read more

Sun and Mist - A Celebration of Walking in the Lake District - This book has been written by Society members Clive and Rosemary Palmer (no. 179) and is the tale of a sixteen-year period of walking in the Lake District, during which time they have completed the ascent of all 214 fells in the seven Pictorial Guides ..... read more

Wainwright Memorial Walk (DVD) - After AW’s first life-changing visit to the Lake District in 1930, he returned home to Blackburn where he sat down with his maps and worked out a walk for himself and three other friends for the following year ..... read more

A. Wainwright's Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells:
Book 6: The North Western Fells
- This area of the Lake District is one of my favourites and I was eagerly waiting to see the revised version of Book 6 when it was published in October in order to ascertain what changes there have been from AW’s original 1964 publication ..... read more

Hadrian’s Wall - Derry Brabb's book celebrates the period around 122AD when, on the orders of the Emperor Hadrian, the most important extant monument from the Roman Empire in this country was built to secure and control the Empire’s northernmost border. ..... read more

The Good Guide to the Lakes - Our Vice President Hunter Davies has now been producing his Good Guide for over twenty-five years and this is the seventh edition of this popular book ..... read more

The Fell Walker - Apart from the obvious title link, the book engages personal memories for those who know the fells. The main plot of the book takes part in Lakeland, revolving around local small-town journalist, Ben Foxley, and his attempts to trace a serial killer ..... read more

A. Wainwright's Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells
Book 5: The Northern Fells
- A number of members have wondered whether or not they should buy the revised series of the Pictorial Guides. On the evidence of this latest addition to the series, I would say YES! ..... read more

Scafell – Portrait of a Mountain - After his books about three of the Lake District valleys (Langdale, Borrowdale and The Duddon Valley), Bill Birkett has turned his gaze (and camera lens) to England’s highest range of mountains, the Scafell group ..... read more

Twelve Favourite Mountains - This book is probably aimed at those who have recently started walking in the Lake District but who do not necessarily want to purchase all seven Pictorial Guides but who wish to ascend what AW specifically picked out ..... read more

Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint’s Trunk - this book is not only an essential companion to the Ransome books but a magical transposition of story into reality, which enchants and bewitches ..... read more

Coast to Coast on an In-Growing Toenail - As early as the fourth page, Mike McKever makes the point that this is not a guide to the Coast-to-Coast Walk ..... read more

Outside Broadcaster - Most members know of Eric Robson through his chairmanship of the Society and probably also as chairman of Gardener’s Question Time and the Cumbria Tourist Board ..... read more

Walking with Beatrix Potter - Windermere residents Norman and Jean Buckley have devised a series of fifteen short walks, visiting many of the locations used in Beatrix Potter’s books ..... read more

Wainwright’s TV Walks - On the back of the recent BBC series of Wainwright Walks, Frances Lincoln have produced a book containing all of Wainwright’s chapters for the seventeen walks featured ..... read more

A. Wainwright’s Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells
Book 4: The Southern Fells
- When I visited Chris Jesty in Kendal about 18 months ago, just after the publication of the revised Book 2, he told me he was busy working on Book 4. This book is now published ..... read more

Fellwalking with Wainwright - This was one of the Christmas presents my wife bought me in 1984 and I spent many happy evenings reminiscing over some of the walks I had already undertaken, and planning others that the book inspired me to tackle ..... read more

Best Walks in the Lake District - Frank Duerden originally wrote this book twenty years ago but following his death, it has recently been updated by Tom Holman and is now republished by Frances Lincoln ..... read more

Scratch & Co - A unique and intriguing account of the first ascent of the H.K.P., the Highest Known Peak in the Kingdom of Catland, originally published in 1968 with illustrations by Alfred Wainwright ..... read more

The Freedom to Roam Guides (Vols 6-9) - A further four books have now been issued and these, I feel, will prove more popular than their predecessors as they are of the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors, the Three Peaks area and the Howgills ..... read more

Coast to Coast on the Ravenber Way - Ron Scholes, Society member no. 140, has risen to this challenge and produced his own coast-to-coast walk ..... read more

A. Wainwright's Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells
Book 3: The Central Fells
- July 19 1970 was a key date in my life. It was my 18th birthday and one of the presents I received was Book 3 in A. Wainwright’s series of Pictorial Guides, The Central Fells ..... read more

The Border Line - In this book, Eric Robson describes his walk along the modern border line, following the route originally walked by James Logan Mack, an Edinburgh lawyer, in the 1920s ..... read more

Walking the Wainwrights - I wish this book had been written ten years ago when I was in the process of looking at which of the 214 fells in AW’s seven guides I had already climbed, and how many summits were still to be reached ..... read more

The Freedom to Roam Guides (Vols 1-5) - These five guides, published to coincide with the Right to Roam legislation now coming into effect, cover areas newly opened up to walkers ..... read more

A. Wainwright's Pictorial Guide to the Lake District
Book 2: The Far Eastern Fells
- Ever since I read the revised edition of Book 1 back in May, I have been eagerly awaiting the publication of Book 2 ..... read more

The Riddle of Sphinx Rock: The Life and Times of Great Gable - An exploration of the mountain that AW put amongst his finest half-dozen fells in his concluding notes to Book 7 ..... read more

In the Footprints of Wainwright - Derry Brabbs spent the best part of a decade working with AW on a total of seven books in the Lake District, Pennines and Scotland, beginning with Fellwalking with Wainwright ..... read more

A. Wainwright's Pictorial Guide to the Lake District
Book 1: The Eastern Fells - In AW's "Personal Notes in Conclusion "at the end of Book 3, The Central Fells, he made a comment that by the time he reached the end of Book Seven, age would prevent him undertaking the 'joyful task' of revising the series himself ..... read more

A Bit of Grit on Haystacks : A Celebration of Wainwright
This most attractively produced book was the brainchild of Dave Hewitt in which he and eight other authors contribute essays to mark the publication of the first Pictorial Guide in 1955 ..... read more

Westmorland Heritage - When I spoke to AW during one of my visits to him in 1986, I asked him what he considered to be his finest work.  I quite expected him to say the Pictorial Guides but was surprised when instead he said Westmorland Heritage ..... read more

Feet in the Clouds
To be a good fellrunner, you need four things.  Good heart and lungs, a light frame preferably under 10 stone, surefootedness that comes from lifelong familiarity with the hills and a disregard for pain and danger that verges on lunacy ..... read more

The Best of Wainwright - is the same size as and similar in length to the Pictorial Guides fitting snugly alongside them and will no doubt help to introduce a new generation to these masterpieces of literature and art ..... read more

After Wainwright - written by the Society's Chairman, Eric Robson this book tells the tale of a journey by Eric, his well-behaved border collie and not so well-behaved film crew ..... read more

A Year in Nature Notes - For those of us who regularly walk the fells and valleys of Cumbria, one thing that we notice most of all are the changes in nature. Whether this be the budding of leaves in the spring, the call of the cuckoo, the flight of the swallow or maybe even the eagle if one is up on the Mardale fells ..... read more