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wainwright audio tours to the lake district peaks...

Alfred Wainwright fans can now stroll eight classic Lake District mountains - personally guided by the man "himself."

Cumbria Tourism and Wainwright book publishers Frances Lincoln have produced a new book and CD featuring directions to his best walks. You can listen to 20 or 30 second highlights of the walks on this page by clicking on your chosen walk and also click through to buy the actual book and CD. Voiceover Nik Wood-Jones played Wainwright in the BBC series Wainwright Walks and reads the directions in his signature craggy voice.

The walks are downloaded from the CD onto your hand-held iPods and MP3 players and listened to accompanied with the new book, Wainwright The Podcasts, which contains the maps. It takes the principle of audio tours found in museums and puts it outdoors in the stunning Lake District environment Wainwright loved.

Each walk is split up into sections with walkers playing and pausing the directions to find easy-to-spot landmarks on the way. It also means walkers do not have wear headphones for the whole walk.  As well as the poetic observations Wainwright himself made on the routes, the tours also suggest precautionary do's and don'ts for the mountains.

The audio walks featured are: Orrest Head, Windermere; Place Fell, Ullswater; Latrigg, Keswick; Haystacks, Borrowdale; Helm Crag, Grasmere; Nab Scar, Rydal; Coniston Old Man and Catbells, Keswick.They have a combined height of 10,000 feet or nearly two miles into the sky.

Eric Robson, chairman of both The Wainwright Society and Cumbria Tourism, has written the foreword to the book. Mr Robson said: "I'm sure the Podcast wouldn't bother (Wainwright) one jot. If they brought just one visitor to a better understanding of his beloved Lake District, they'd be worth it. He cared about getting his message across to new generations of hill walkers.

"If someone is listening to a podcast through ear phones, at least they won't be talking on the hill. And in Wainwright's book - in all his books - that's the worst sin of all."

Between 1952 and 1966, "AW" combed 214 Lake District summits and wrote seven guide books - meticulously detailing and drawing the maps and routes by hand. They went on to the must-have accessory on a hill walk in the Lakes and are still in print today.

using the wainwright podcasts

Download an audio introduction to the walks:

  Catbells                                             Helm Crag

  Coniston Old Man                             Latrigg

  Haystacks                                         Nab Scar

  Orrest Head                                      Place Fell


Or a route guide to the Latrigg walk PDF download

John Nicoll, of Frances Lincoln, said: "Frances Lincoln are very pleased to able to help share Wainwright's unique knowledge of the fells with a new generation of walkers in this exciting new audio format."

Richard Warren, of the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, said: "The Wainwright podcasts are making a positive contribution to mountain rescue in the Lake District as they help spread messages about mountain safety for hill walkers. They underline the importance of good preparation, knowing where you are going, how long it will take and most importantly having the right clothing and footwear."

Over 15 million people visit Cumbria every year and 6.5 million go walking. The county is home to the Lake District National Park, England's largest.


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