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Walking the Wainwrights : Walk 1

The route:

The stats:For my first Wainwright walk I decided to ease myself into the challenge with one of the shorter routes in Stuart Marshall's 'Walking the Wainwrights' book taking in Great Mell Fell, Little Mell Fell, and Gowbarrow Fell. Most of Mr Marshall's routes are split into two day alternatives, but that option wasn't on offer with this one. You could of course break it down and complete each fell individually; I imagine each would make a pleasant outing with children or a dog. I had the constraints of a year to work with however, and as I don't live locally it made sense to tackle them together.

Although I remember other walks in much more detail what I mostly remember about this one was that it was hot! What should have be an enjoyable excursion became rather an unpleasant one in parts due to an unusually sunny day in the Lake District.

I had the pleasure of company on this route with my fiancé (now husband) Ant joining me, along with our good friends Dan & Susie. The leisurely pace at which we completed this day on the fells meant I also had the time to learn how to map read, courtesy of Dan; a skill that would prove invaluable over the course of my challenge as, I'm proud to say, I didn't use a GPS once and navigated the old school way with only a map and compass. And I only got lost twice! Luckily, not for long.

At the summit of the first fell, a grassy hill with a pretty pathetic pile of stones, I shot a panaroma with my camera, and there and then decided that's how I'd document the peak of all 213 remaining Wainwrights (lots of terrible cloud-filled panaromas coming up!)

Great Mell Fell - 537m (1,762ft)

Little Mell Fell - 505m (1,657ft)

Gowbarrow Fell - 481m (1,578ft)

Summit shots
I also decided to take a shot of myself at each summit, which led to some rather embarrassing selfie taking on the solo hikes. At this point in my challenge, it was a case of 'none of the gear and no idea' which is perhaps preferable to the more common phrase. I was a novice and I looked like one!

More walking kit was accumulated over the course of the walks, as I learned how to be more comfortable on the fells, and I'll be sure to share my purchases with you in future posts.

With the walk complete we enjoyed some pub grub at The Brotherswater Inn and climbed into our tent on the adjoining campsite for a good night's sleep, before embarking on my second Wainwright walk the following day.


See the previous post for more information on my personal challenge to walk all 214 Wainwrights in one year.

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  • Susie on

    Awesome hot day and Elliotts first Wainwrights even though I had no idea he was there ;) looking forward to seeing the rest of your pictures. I’ve been looking forward to them x

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