A warm welcome to Andy Gray Outdoors!
This is where I’m going to be sharing all of my Wainwrights adventures, as I embark upon completing all 214 Wainwrights before I turn 25 in less than 2 years time. You’ll be able to see my hopefully not-too-bad photos of the beautiful Lake District landscape, read up on how my walks have been going and, well, whatever else crosses my mind! There might even be a helpful hint or tip every now and then.
If you’d like to know abit more about me then you’ll be pleased to know that there’s an ‘about’ page just for you, which also includes some information if you’d like to use anything from this website. There’s even the option to get in contact with me if you feel the need to do so.
My First Wainwrights
Wainwrights number: 1
Date: Sunday, 19 July 2015
My first ever visit to the Lake District was under just a couple of years ago, as part of an adult leadership team running a Summer Camp for young people aged 10-17. The Leader-in-Charge had arranged for a day trip to Catbells, and despite the initial ill-prepared bad start (forgot waterproof jacket, luckily rain held off), I instantly fell in love.
Getting exercise whist being surrounded by such stunning landscape, the friendly atmosphere of fellow hikers and a true sene of achievement when you get to the top, which rewards you magnificently by views that photos simply can’t do justice.
I went back less than a month later with my mam and younger sister, excited to show them this breathtaking part of the world. Since then, I’ve been back numerous times, often with a detour to Keswick at the end.
Catbells is a brilliant introduction that will make you yearn to explore more of the Lake District, but it took me until Easter 2017 before I bagged another Wainwright…
Skiddaw & Little Man
Wainwrights number: 2 (Skiddaw) & 3 (Little Man)
Date: Monday, 17 April 2017
Okay, so I first attempted to do Skiddaw on a rainy day in February, expecting the drizzle below to be no more than a good amount of rain at the top. How wrong was I? It was a quick trip back down Skiddaw path, into the car, heating on.
Round 2: much better!
Perfect weather conditions and the clouds had disappeared. It took a good 4 hours to complete, going up to Skiddaw from Underskiddaw Car Park and then back down via Little Man. The hike up maintains a pretty similar level of gradient until you’re near the top, some may need a small break, but most people should manage it with no problems, especially if you make a day of it.
The view from the top was incredible. It felt as if we were overlooking the whole of Cumbria, across the sea to the Isle of Man – as far as the eye could see. Little Man had a similar vantage, almost as if it was the throne of a bygone King of Keswick.
After completing Skiddaw I couldn’t stop thinking about what to do next. Various Facebook groups, friends and walking guides made me eager to find out more about ‘Wainwrights’, which lead me to buying all 7 of his Lakeland fells guides this month (May 2017).
Where to next?
I’m going to have a look at Stuart Marshall’s ‘Walking the Wainwrights’ book, which sets out how to complete all 214 Wainwrights in 36 walks, although I’ve heard that they can be long and some best split over 2 days. It should be a useful starting point as I set out on completing the Wainwrights, with map and compass in hand of course.
This adventure is something that I’m really excited about, and I hope that you’ll check back regularly to share in my journey across England’s Lake District.