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back to Book Reviews

The Lure of the Lake District: Places, People & Passions by Steve Goodier
ISBN: 9780711231696
Frances Lincoln

The Lure of the LakesSteve Goodier, born in 1962, is a freelance outdoor writer who specialises in the Lake District, Yorkshire and Scotland. He is a keen fellwalker and adventurer, producing regular articles for several national monthly magazines. His 25-year passion for the Lake District is explored in depth in this book.

The book is divided into five distinct sections. The first, ‘A Love of the Lakes’, begins with an account of those earliest fellwalkers who documented their walks thereby introducing the general public to the hills. He then introduces the idea of fellwalking in all seasons and expounds delights such as night-walking and sitting on a summit to watch the sun rise.

The second section, ‘Lost Lakeland’, tells of lesserknown places worth visiting; fell tops such as Iron Crag (otherwise known as Ennerdale Fell) and Great How (north of Thirlmere), and hidden valleys such as Southerndale to the north of Carl Side and Shoulthwaite Gill near Thirlmere. In the next section, ‘Lakeland Oddities’, Steve introduces us to the thrills of gill-dipping, looking for aircraft crash sites, and making the most of the lower fells. ‘Peak Profiles’, the fourth section, contains reflections on visits to several of the less-frequented fells, with the routes described likely to make readers reach for their maps. Throughout these four sections Steve uses reminiscent anecdotes to illustrate his adventures.

The final section is entitled ‘Lakeland Literature’. Here he encourages the reader to enhance the enjoyment of the fells and lakes by building a library of Lakeland books. He selects books from a number of authors including Coleridge and the lesser known H. H. Symonds, W. T. Palmer and novelist Graham Sutton, as well as illustrated books by the artist W. H. Cooper, giving a brief résumé of their life and work. This could soon have you scouring the rare-book shops or Internet for copies.

Although this book would probably not serve as an introduction to fellwalking for the novice, it demonstrates many alternative and unusual adventures that, with careful planning and correct equipment, are possible for the more experienced walker. Steve Goodier hopes to ‘inspire you to go out and try some of the ideas yourself’ even if ‘they may be a little unorthodox’.

aving said that, this book will be of interest to all lovers of the Lake District, walkers and nonwalkers alike.

reviewed by Jennifer McGuigan - Member No. 1325