Alfred Wainwright

(1907 – 1991)
For more about Wainwright himself, see

Alfred Wainwright (1907 – 1991) is a hillwalking legend – best known for his meticulous hand-drawn guidebooks to the Lakeland Fells, and for inventing the “Coast to Coast Walk”. He featured on television with Eric Robson, and more recently Julia Bradbury followed in his footsteps in the series “Wainwright Walks”.

But Wainwright – or AW as he is known – was also a superb artist, bringing many scenes to life with his pen and Indian ink. He made literally thousands of drawings, but arguably his best work was in his five “Lakeland Sketchbooks”, published between 1968 and 1973, and containing 400 drawings of the landscapes, buildings, waterfalls and historic sites of his beloved Lake District.

To celebrate 50 years since publication of these works, Richard Daly embarked on a project to visit all 400 of Wainwright’s viewpoints for the sketches, and take a contemporary photograph, comparing what AW saw with how these places look today. This website presents the results, with notes as to how to locate the viewpoints, and what times of year and times of day might produce the best photographic results.

If you are interested in landscape history, the built heritage of Cumbria, the works of Wainwright, or if you just love Lakeland, browse this site and enjoy! If you feel you can add to what is here, contact me via this website and let me know.

Richard has been a Wainwright “enthusiast” since his school days, 50 years ago. He was one of the founder members of The Wainwright Society, and served on their Committee and as their Membership Secretary. He lives in Cumbria.

Wainwright's five Lakeland Sketchbooks contain 400 pictures of the English Lake District as it was 50 years ago.


A Lakeland Sketchbook


A second Lakeland Sketchbook


A Third Lakeland Sketchbook


A Fourth Lakeland Sketchbook


A Fifth Lakeland Sketchbook

Mountain tops are very satisfying. … They are remote, detached from everyday life. They are new viewpoints, reminders of true values, places to refresh the soul, to banish worries, to sweep away the cobwebs that so confuse the urban mind. In a changing world they remain unchanged. … One always feels better after climbing a mountain.

The Outlying Fells of Lakeland Introduction p. ix