I appear to have developed a new addiction.
It started innocently enough. I spent a weekend in the Lake District with a bunch of ultrarunners and was told in no uncertain terms that it would be criminal to leave without summitting* at least one of Wainwright’s 214 peaks.
A month later, I spent a week camping in the Lakes and picked up a copy of Walking the Wainwrights by Stuart Marshall. Flicking through it, I saw that one of the 36 circular walks started a mere mile or so away from our campsite. “Would you mind dreadfully, dearest, darlingest husband,” I asked, “if I deserted you for an hour or eight? It would be criminal to come camping in the Lakes without trying to bag some Wainwrights.” “Of course not, my sweet” he replied. “Nothing would give me more pleasure than spending a day of our first holiday together for years shopping in Keswick all by myself.”
Choosing to overlook the tones of heavy sarcasm, I thanked him profusely and set off. An hour and a half later, when I was completely and utterly lost and had yet to find my way to the first of five peaks, I was regretting that decision, but thirty minutes after that, when I’d followed a posse of walkers up a likely looking path and was stood on top of Clough Head looking at some of the most stunning views I’d ever seen, I knew I was hooked.
And so it was that last weekend, I stopped off in the Lake District for a day on my way to Liverpool from London, and completed a second of the circular walks.
2 circular walks down, 34 circular walks to go. Or rather, 12 Wainwrights down, 202 to go. Roll on next summer.
*There is no noun that can’t be verbed.