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Walk! The Lake District (North)
Walk! The Lake District (North)
The Lake District has everything the dedicated wilderness seeker could desire. Walking routes include a route summary, ratings for Effort, Time, Distance, Ascents/Descents, Refreshments and Vertigo risk, a fully detailed walk description, full colour 1:40,000 scale OS mapping for every route, and short walk and stroll alternatives.
This North edition features routes in and around Borrowdale, Helvellyn and Fairfield ridges, Buttermere, Loweswater and many more.
Published by :
Discovery Walking Guides Ltd
Published Date :
Spiral bound paperback.
Colour photographs. Colour maps.
'Samuel Taylor Coleridge thought nothing of putting on his great coat, shoving a spare pair of socks in his pocket and setting out on a three-day walk following his whim. But he made the first recorded ascent of Scafell Pike in 1802 and I suspect he was fairly casual about the whole business.
Vivienne Crow of The Cumberland News takes her walking seriously. She recommends that you are properly clad with all the various layers and proofings to cope with our delightfully multifarious climate – there’s nothing more dramatic than the darkening clouds and sweeping sunlight of the Lakes – and, of course, you should be properly shod.
You should also carry a map and compass and then there’s the GPS – Global Positioning System. Take one with you and so long as the batteries are fully charged and you know how to use it you need never be lost again. Using a GPS sounds highly technical – a case of inputting GPS waypoints into a ‘route’ having set your GPS to OSGB datum.
Having dispensed with all this belt and braces stuff Vivienne’s book is a delight. She knows the hills and she loves the hills. She knows where to go and what to see. This isn’t one of those guides that just tells you to take fifty paces and turn right and ends up making a walk into a route march done with military precision.
At Aira Force, for instance, we may be told that we may ignore “another steep stairway off to the right,” before “we reach and cross a stone bridge at the base of the falls” but we are also told that we can be “delighting in the spray as the beck plummets noisily through the gorge”.
And in addition to being alive to her surroundings – it is surprising how bored and pedestrian
most guides can be – Vivienne is alive to the walking itself. She is still “puffing and panting” after one climb and then “plods up another steep stony staircase”.
She’s also alive to her surroundings. Again at Aira Force, she knows that the woods contain a Douglas fir which is the tallest tree in Cumbria and a Monkey Puzzle tree and she knows that they were planted by the Howard family from Greystoke.
And Vivienne is also alive to the fantasy, the adventure of walking. The gap in the national Trust stone construction at the far end of the car park is like “the gateway in The Secret Garden”.
You really feel that you are with a lively, imaginative, knowledgeable walking companion.
And she does know her Lake District. I’ve never been up Pikeawassa. To be honest, I’d never heard of it, but it sounds a splendid half-day walk starting at St Peter’s Church in Martindale. Here we’re given precise directions as this unfrequented route – Vivienne promises us the walk to ourselves - is tricky to find – you even have to start counting man-hole covers.
But on our way back, below us we will see the red-roofed bungalow where the Yellow Earl entertained the Kaiser in 1902. To keep his guest happy, the wily Earl rounded up hundreds of rabbits and released them all at once so that even the Kaiser could manage to bag some.
Walk! Is one of the better walking guides. The lively text is well supported with lots of small photographs and there is a copy of the OS map – on a rather small scale - as well as a useful diagrammatic summary – distance, time, steepness, and refreshment – Vivienne knows where to get the best ice-cream. There’s even an indication of vertigo risk although the only vertiginous walk in this book seems to be the one along the Deepdale Round.
It all comes in a neat, tough spiral bound form that will fit snugly in the pocket of your anorak or great coat.
See you at the top of Pikeawassa – with or without your GPS.' - Steve Matthews, Bookcase.
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