By: Blonde One
There are 214 Wainwright’s in the Lake District, locally known as fells. Alfred Wainwright walked these fells and wrote about his travels in his seven volume A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells. Since the 50s and 60s when he was first walking and writing, there have many updates to these volumes and many, many walkers following in his footsteps. I think it’s fair to say that all walkers like to collect things. This might be the squares in the Dartmoor 365 book, trip points or hills themselves. Whatever it is, we like to record our progress with a tick list of the ones we have done. The scratch map has become increasingly popular for this very reason. The Wainwright’s are no exception. I have begun my collection but only have 5 done so far. That’s a mere 209 to go! All but one are above 1000 ft (304.8 m) high, with the highest being Scafell Pike standing at 3209 ft. The smallest is Castle Crag and is only just below the 1000 ft mark, at 951 ft.
So to the question: are Wainwright’s better than Munros?
Well, if you live in Devon, like I do, then the Wainwright’s are better because they are closer by about 150 miles (or three hours driving). This fact alone makes the Lake District a better option for some hill collecting. You could also argue that Wainwright’s are better due to their height, or lack of. There are 282 Munros in Scotland and they are all over 3000 ft; higher than a lot of the Wainwright’s. Munro himself died in 1919 and didn’t ever actually complete all of these mountains himself. Some of the Wainwright’s can be done in an hour or so whereas the Munros are a slightly more challenging hill.
Whichever you think is best, they are all stunning and well worth the lung-busting to get to the top!