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back to Book Reviews

Best Walks in the Lake District
by Frank Duerden - Revised by Tom Holman
ISBN 0-7712-2421-8

Best Walks In The Lake DistrictFrank 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.

But what is a ‘best’ walk? This is subjective and everyone will have his or her own opinion. However, in this book there are, in my opinion, some of the classic walks in our wonderful Lake District.

The book contains forty walks, ranging from easy strolls of up to 5 miles in such beautiful areas as Aira Force, Tarn Hows and the summit of Catbells, through moderate routes onto Castle Crags, Haystacks and Place Fell, to the strenuous routes of various horseshoe walks – Fairfield, Kentmere, Mosedale, Wasdale Head and Langdale, plus the ridges of High Street and the Helvellyn range.

Each walk is accompanied by an up-to-date sketch map plus new photographs taken by Tom Holman and Andrew Midgley; there are instructions on how to reach the start of each walk, and some fascinating insights into the local history, flora and fauna encountered in the area of the walks.

Unfortunately, there are a number of errors in the book with regard to the photographs. For example, Crinkle Crags on page 43 is actually a picture of Loft Crag and Pike o’ Stickle in the Langdale Pikes, whilst in the Pike o’ Blisco chapter on pages 126 & 127 the picture entitled Red Tarn is not that tarn but Blea Tarn, which is located further along on the walk. It is a pity that the publishers, Frances Lincoln, with such a good reputation for walking books (including the republishing of the Wainwright Pictorial Guides) did not ask a third party, with knowledge of the Lake District, to check the captions against the photographs before going into print.

This minor blemish apart, it is an excellent book, particularly useful for those who are relatively new to walking in the Lake District and who wish to progress gradually to more difficult and challenging walks. This guide does exactly that by increasing the distance and difficulty of walks so long as you tackle them in the order they appear.

reviewed by John Burland - Member No. 2