Wainwright Memorial Walk


The Wainwright Memorial Walk is a 107-mile route through the Lake District, through Westmorland and Cumberland on a route first devised by the most famous fellwalker of them all, Alfred Wainwright. Wainwright himself wrote the walk up in a book, and after his death the route became a memorial to him, now known as the Wainwright Memorial Walk, and the book has been reprinted under that title.

The route originates in an arduous trek on which Wainwright took three friends over the Whitsunday holiday of 1931. His intent was to take in the highlights of Lakeland over a long, circular walk.

The route

The resulting route as now published is 107 miles long, with some 40,000 feet of ascent along its way. It runs over many of the Lake Disstrict’s most celebrated fells and looks down on its finest lakes: Wainwright intended to take his friends and those who followed to everywhere worth mentioning in Lakeland:

Every lake, Every valley, Every mountain, will be seen if not actually visited.

The route begins in Bowness-on-Windermere, on the Westmorland shore of Windermere and finishes at Ambleside, at the north point of that lake. On the way it takes in:

  • Bowness and Windermere
  • Applethwaite Common
  • Stony Cove Pike
  • High Street
  • Patterdale
  • Striding Edge, leading to Helvellyn (Westmorland’s highest point)

– and into Cumberland:

  • The Dodds
  • Threlkeld Common
  • Sharp Edge
  • Blencathra
  • Keswick
  • Derwent Water
  • Catbells
  • Dale Head
  • Crag Hill
  • Grasmoor
  • Buttermere
  • High Stile
  • Great Gable
  • Wasdale Head
  • Scafell Pike (Cumberland’s and England’s highest point)

– and back to Westmorland

  • Bowfell
  • Crinkle Crags
  • Langdale Pikes
  • Helm Crag (‘The Lion and the Lamb’)
  • Grasmere and Rydal Water
  • Ambleside

Books and maps

Route map