Checking my Wainwright

Published 1 June 2014

Checking my copy of Wainwright on the side of Great Dodd

There’s no path down to take you from the top of Great Dodd, down to the valley. None at all. Even in the sixty odd years after Wainwright wrote about the fell in his pictorial guide to the Eastern Fells, no one has created one. You just head roughly west and hope for the best.

But maybe on your way down, you might stop and pull out your trusty copy and see what he says. Just to make sure you haven’t gone the wrong way. See if there’s a landmark or something.

Well there isn’t. Not until you’re very close to the bottom anyway. But still you look, expectantly. Just in case you have missed something.

Then maybe, just maybe, you look up again. Check out the view. And remember that the reason you came here wasn’t to look at a book but to admire Lakeland.

And then it’s time to get up onto your feet once more. To go down on that route without a path. Bounding over heavy grass. Going where you fancy. For, after all, when there’s no path, there’s no rules. And not much need of a map either.

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