‘A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells’ is a series of seven books by Alfred Wainwright, detailing the fells (the local word for hills and mountains) of the Lake District in northwest England. Written over a period of 13 years from 1952, they consist entirely of reproductions of Wainwright’s manuscript, hand-produced in pen and ink with no typeset material. The series has been in print almost continuously since it was first published between 1955 and 1966, with more than 2 million copies sold. It is still regarded by many walkers as the definitive guide to the Lakeland mountains. The 214 fells described in the seven volumes have become known as the Wainwrights.
Between 2005 and 2009, the series was factually revised by the publishers Frances Lincoln, to adjust the content to the present-day Lake District. Chris Jesty undertook the revisions, using an imitation of Wainwright’s hand lettering to make the alterations look as unobtrusive as possible. The most notable changes are that the covers of the revised books show photographs of the Lake District by Derry Brabbs, rather than the drawings that were on the covers of the originals, and the maps show the main paths in red.
As of 2014, a third edition of the guides, known as the ‘Walkers Edition’, is being prepared by Clive Hutchby. Book One: The Eastern Fells, was published in March 2015. Book Two: The Far Eastern Fells, was published in October 2015. Book Three: The Central Fells, was published in March 2016. Book Four: The Southern Fells, was published in March 2017. Book Five: The Northern Fells, was published in March 2018. Book Six (The North Western Fells) and Book Seven (The Western Fells), will follow in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
All quotations included in the written walks, that are taken from the guide books, will be signed either AW (Alfred Wainwright), CJ (Chris Jesty) or CH (Clive Hutchby).