Welcome to our page dedicated to giving you the best information on the 214 Wainwrights as possible. See below the questions that are the most popular that people like you are going to want answers for. We have also written more about the Wainwrights and what they are in more detail as you make your way further down the page too.
So we hope you enjoy the information that we have provided and if you need anything further on the Wainwrights then comment at the bottom of the page and we'll do our best to answer your questions.
A Wainwright is a fell, hill, or mountain in the Lake District which was catalogued by Alfred Wainwright.
There are 214 Wainwrights in total in the Lake District.
The 214 Wainwrights are located around Cumbria, within the Lake District National Park in the northeastern part of the UK.
Alfred Wainwright was an author, illustrator, and fell walker in the Lake District. He dedicated much of his life to cataloguing the Wainwrights. You can learn more about him here.
There are seven regions in which the 214 Wainwrights are found. These are in the northern, northeastern, eastern, far eastern, central, western, and southern Lakes.
You can bag all of the 214 Wainwrights by walking to the tops of each fell, hill, or mountain which are known as Wainwrights.
You can download our free PDF checklist containing all of the 214 Wainwrights. Then simply tick them off as you complete each one.
It is unknown the exact number of people who have completed all 214 Wainwrights but it would be easily into the thousands.
The tallest Wainwright in the Lake District is Scafell Pike. This is also the tallest mountain in the whole of England standing at 978m (3209ft) tall.
The smallest Wainwright out of the 214 is Castle Crag. It doesn't quite make it to 300m tall and is a small but mighty 290m (951ft) high.
Out of the 214 Wainwrights, there are many that are popular amongst the fell walkers and Wainwright baggers. Some of the most popular however are Scafell Pike, Catbells, Old Man of Coniston, Blencathra, and Helvellyn to name a few.
Check out our safety on the Wainwrights information here. But generally speaking a map, compass, good footwear, and plenty of food and drink will see you through most of the walking.
This isn't to say you shouldn't take more with you, so please do check out more information before heading out into the mountains in the Lake District.
When hiking up to any of the 214 Wainwrights you should check the weather beforehand. Take a look here to use the same weather forecast that we do while out in the fells.
Simply search the mountain that you are wanting to climb and it will give you a detailed daily forecast in the Lake District.
You can find some of the most popular routes and walks up to the Wainwrights through our Wainwright Hikes page which we post on a regular basis.
You can also use the search bar at the top of the website to search the exact fell that you are after.
What is a Wainwright and how many are there?
A Wainwright is a fell, hill or mountain in the Lake District. There are 214 Wainwrights in the Lakes and you can hike to the top each one. This is the process which is called hill bagging, fell bagging, or Wainwright bagging. They were devised by a man called Alfred Wainwright who put his life’s work into what for him was a hobby of logging his favourite fells to climb in the Lake District.
Unlike the Munro's etc., Alfred Wainwright walked up the fells and mountains in Cumbria that he simply enjoyed walking up the most. He started to write down notes and guides for his personal use. But it wasn’t too long before these books started to draw attention and so the name ‘Wainwright’, or ‘the Wainwrights’ was being used to name some of the fells in the Lake District.
The 214 Wainwrights in the making
It’s quite a remarkable story as Alfred Wainwright picked his favourite walks and fells in the Lakes. This is why there are certain fells that to other guides shouldn’t have ever made it into the so-called ‘Wainwright’ world. But they did because of the man writing the guides. He loved the Lake District and so if he enjoyed a fell he wasn’t shy to make it known. He didn’t care too much about the heights and difficulty of each one, but rather the opposite.
He was more bothered about the walks and routes to the tops of each. And in some cases like Blencathra, he dedicated a whole 36 pages to this fell alone. This shows that he didn’t write because he wanted the publicity but rather that he was in love with what the fells gave him. The freedom and diversity that they had, how a different path up to the top of the same Wainwright could offer something different entirely from another.
Welcome the Wainwrights
And so the 214 Wainwrights were devised and catalogued in a way that was only possible through Alfred Wainwright's eyes. So if you’re walking in the Lake District this is a term that you will hear often. And as you think about bagging all 214 Wainwrights for yourself you might want to consider buying the guide books from Alfred Wainwright yourself. We’ve got them and to read them gives you a whole new perspective that an ordinance survey map just doesn’t. They bring life to the fells in the Lake District and give you the joy to want to get out there as soon as possible.
The Alfred Wainwright Pictorial Guide books to the Lakeland Fells - The 214 catalogued
Alfred Wainwright created seven guide books to the Lakeland Fells and this is his Pictorial Guides. He was an organised man and listed them into the region that they sit in the Lake District. These are the following:
You can read more about each of these books on a recent blog which we did on Alfred Wainwright himself. And how he was and still is an inspiration to us with his same love towards the Lake District. This is why we devised this website. To help you to enjoy each of the 214 Wainwrights and to make memories as we have along the way. Truly incredible memories while getting lost in the beauty which the Lake District has to offer, and the Wainwrights for that matter too.
Each of the books took Alfred Wainwright just over a year on average to write. In fact, he dedicated a whole decade of his life to writing these Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells. Writing and drawing about each of the 214 Wainwrights that he loved the most.
Alfred Wainwright was dedicated the whole time
And he didn’t flit between regions either. When he wrote the books on the Wainwrights he would literally walk and hike each and every day in the same region to provide the best information possible. He would by the end know each wood, stream, crag, and tarn on each and every fell he climbed. Just imagine spending this much time on each region while still looking over towards the horizon to the likes of Scafell Pike, knowing that you may never visit it again. He said the following on leaving the southern lakes behind.
“I have said my farewell to Mickledore, and Esk House, and Bowfell, and all the other grand places described in this book, with the same ‘hollow’ feeling one has when taking leave of friends knowing that it may be for the last time. For the next few years I will be engaged elsewhere. To the north and west, and although I shall be straining my eyes to see these old favourites from afar, I shall not be visiting them during this period; and perhaps never again.”
This was how dedicated he was to his work, to make sure he completed what he set out to do. And boy did he do it well. We couldn’t recommend highly enough reading Alfred Wainwrights guide books and feeling this passion for yourself while out walking too.
Walking the 214 Wainwrights
If you’re looking to walk and bag all 214 Wainwrights then you will be joining thousands of others out there who have or are in the process of doing the same in the Lake District. And the benefit of taking on such a challenge is that you can set your own pace throughout the bagging of the Wainwrights.
You can choose to bag one of the 214 Wainwrights at a time or to join some of the routes together to have some big bagging days in the Lake District. It depends entirely on you and how you want to complete them. Most of the Wainwrights are accessible separately so the choice to bag one at a time is entirely possible. But for the likes of Fairfield, it is surrounded by plenty more of the 214 Wainwrights and so making a half or full-day is certainly advised for some.
You might just find yourself bagging one Wainwright such as Latrigg, and then looking up to the slopes of Skiddaw and Skiddaw Little Man from the top. Thinking if you have time, energy, and the determination to give it a shot too. You might like us, feel that each walk and Wainwright bagged gives you the freedom and encouragement like a warm hug on a cold day.
Who was Alfred Wainwright?
Alfred Wainwright was an author, illustrator and fell walker. He was originally from Blackburn but moved to the Lake District later in life when he fell in love with the surrounding mountains and landscapes. Wainwright saw it for its true beauty and chose to dedicate his life to all things Lake District.
Alfred Wainwright first visited the Lake District when he was 23 years old on a holiday with a few friends. This was where the love affair began and he knew that this was where he wanted to be. He changed his job to move his family closer to the Lake District and would travel on buses as he didn’t drive.
It’s crazy to think that from one means dreams of being in the Lake District to today where he has sold over 2 million copies of the Lakeland Fells Pictorial Guide books. How one person really can achieve anything that they want to in life.
You can find out more about Alfred Wainwright and how he came to write all 214 Wainwrights in his guide books on our blog here.
Some of the most popular of the 214 Wainwrights
There are some of the 214 Wainwrights that are more popular than others. This could be region dependant and where they lie in the Lake District. It could be to do with their heights and how easy they are to climb. Or it might be because of how many routes and the publicity that each of the Wainwrights gets throughout the years. Even down to the danger levels and challenges that face you on your hike to the summits. But whatever the reason for your favourite Wainwright and many other peoples here’s just some of the most popular and why that is the case.
Scafell Pike and the top Wainwright out of the 214 to climb
Scafell Pike summit sits at the top of England. It is the mighty Wainwright that is the tallest of all 214 and for this reason alone it is one of the most popular. When people read through the list of 214 Wainwrights, they very often look at the tallest first. It gives you a sense of what you can achieve. And when you look into the mountain more and more, you get the bug to want to climb it.
Being able to bag Scafell Pike is a moment of joy to many, and some leave it until their last as a way of completing the whole 214 Wainwrights with the tallest saved until last. This is down to personal opinion, and for us hiking to the top of England on our birthday was the perfect time to tick Scafell Pike from the list.
There are multiple routes leading to the top and the views are extensive over the whole of the Lakes and beyond. You can find out more about Scafell Pike on our information page here. Or check out our birthday walk to the top right here too. The choice is yours, but if you do read more about this Wainwright, you’ll want to be heading the Lakes pretty soon afterwards. Just to warn you.
Catbells and the perfect location for the Wainwright
Catbells is one of the 214 Wainwrights that is most popular because of where it lies in the Lake District. Being so close to the popular tourist town of Keswick, people gaze up to Catbells from the shoreline of Derwent Water on their visits here.
Alfred Wainwright once said that the Fell of Catbells was one for all of the family, young and old. And for any fitness ability. It has something for everyone and offers a great introduction to the sport of Wainwright bagging. Standing at 451m high it is a great beginners hill. There are steep sections, flat sections, as well as a scramble or two to make it o the top.
It really does draw in the crowds. And on a summers day, you can look up to Catbells from Derwent Water and see an ant trail of crowds making their way up to the summit and back down again. Which for most tourists draws them in more to this beauty of a little Wainwright in the Lake District.
Helvellyn, third-highest Wainwright of the 214
There is something magical about Helvellyn in the Lakes. Of all the 214 Wainwrights this is by far one of the most popular. It offers some of the best views in the Lake District because of its eastern location. You can see right across Cumbria from all directions without seeing really any man-made structure in sight.
What makes Helvellyn popular is not only its views and height but also the ridges that you can cross on your way to the summit. They are iconic and seen in many photographs when you search for the Lake District. These are the ridges of Striding Edge and Swirral Edge. Both formidable and to do a round circuit from Glenridding you walk over both of them. The most popular route is up Striding Edge and then back down Swirral Edge, where you can take a detour to Catstye Cam on the way back.
If it so popular even in the wintertime that there are walkers hired to climb Helvellyn every single day throughout the winter months, just to report back on the weather. And to keep those Fell walkers safe on their journeys. You can check out more interesting facts here, and learn more about this epic Wainwright of the 214 in the Lakes.
Haystacks the most important of the 214 Wainwrights to some people
To some people who follow Alfred Wainwright's books and legacy, Haystacks is a Fell that many leave until their last Wainwright to climb. This is because Alfred Wainwright’s ashes are scattered on this mountain and so to some finishing their Wainwright bagging journey here is important to them.
From the top of Haystacks, you get some beautiful views over Buttermere below and the surrounding Fells too. It is a good walk with clears paths from the shoreline of Buttermere and is in a great location to continue a day walking in the Lake District to bag more of the 214 Wainwrights at the same time.
When you do walk to the top of Haystacks then take a moment or two at Innominate Tarn to pay your respects to Alfred Wainwright, and as he said:
“If you dear reader should get a bit of grit in your boot as you are crossing Haystacks in the years to come, please treat it with respect. It might be me.” Alfred Wainwright
How we are helping you to plan each of your 214 Wainwrights walks
We have created this website to focus on the 214 Wainwrights and blog about them through our personal opinions and through our experiences. Over five years ago we visited the Lakes and now visit as much as we can. Our dream is to move there and enjoy the Wainwrights on a daily scale.
So creating this website is a way for us to give back to you what we found out about each of the Wainwrights. We have information pages on each of the 214 Wainwrights as well as weekly blogs to give an insight into the adventures that we have while we are there. It is constantly being updated with new information and guidance and you can subscribe below so that you don’t miss any of our latest blogs too.
In addition to this if you want to know more about who we are then check out our ‘about us’ page. It doesn’t make for great reading but you’ll see we are pretty normal people, I think.
But when we started walking the 214 Wainwrights we found it a jumble of information all over the place to really get what we wanted to know. So we thought we’d start our own site to give everything to you that we think a hiker would want to know before setting out into the Lake District to bag those Wainwrights. If you feel there is something further that you would want to know, then drop us a message or comment through our ‘contact us’ page or comment on any of our posts too.
Why are there 214 Wainwrights?
There is no exact clear answer as to why there are exactly 214 Wainwrights in the Lake District. But the simple answer is that Alfred Wainwright wrote and drew about the fells that he enjoyed the most. So he would have catalogued each of the hills and mountains in the Lakes that he felt were worthy enough to be eventually be classed as a Wainwright.
There was no amount that he wanted to hit specifically and through each of his Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells books, he didn’t have a set number for each. It was just which ones he favoured which he gave his reasons to and those were what he wrote about and spent his life climbing. If you want to hike all 214 Wainwrights too, then this is entirely possible for anyone out there.
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Who has completed all 214 Wainwrights?
There are thousands of people who have completed the task of bagging all 214 Wainwrights. Quite honestly there is no official number because each person takes on the challenge mainly for themselves. Although there are forums and sites that you can officially declare this completion, for many it is a victory that they share with those closest to them.
Some people have completed the 214 Wainwright bagging challenge in six months, some a year, some a lifetime on their visits to the Lake District. And this is truly the joy which has a personal goal. You set your own pace, your own time and therefore your own memories along the way. There is no rush to complete all 214 Wainwrights within a set time. Unless of course, you want to take on this sort of challenge. If you do you’ll have to be in pretty good shape.
A gentleman known as Paul Tierney broke the record last year when he ran around the Lake District. Not aimlessly, but taking on each of the 214 Wainwrights on his way. He left from Keswick and returned just 6 days, 6 hours and 5 minutes later. This is a massive feat to take on and we wouldn’t recommend just anyone trying this. I couldn’t even begin to imagine trying this and will stick to hiking them at a leisurely nature for now.
We have a list of all the 214 Wainwrights to get bagging for yourself
Because of our love of the Lake District and all things Wainwright. We have created a free PDF for you to download so that you can check off each of the 214 Wainwrights for yourself. We have three PDF’s which you will receive.
What to expect from your PDFs
The first has all of the 214 Wainwrights noted down in height order. So that you can see the big guys from the smaller ones. If you’re new to walking in the Lake District then the smaller ones might be a good entry point for Wainwright bagging. It will give you an idea of the walks and terrain that you’re be walking on. However, some of the smaller ones are just as difficult as the larger. So check out our information pages on each of the Wainwrights that you’re interested in to get more of an idea.
We write about the paths to the top of each, the routes that you can take, the views that you can expect to see from the tops of each of the 214 Wainwrights, as well as where to stay around the fell, and best parking for the day. So take a look to find out more, and give yourself the best advice before you head out.
The second PDF will give you the 214 Wainwrights in alphabetical order. For some people, it makes it easier to locate each of the Wainwrights to bag them off on your list. So this is the option that you can have.
And the last PDF shows you the 214 Wainwrights in region order. If you’re following the Alfred Wainwright books then this could be a great option for you to bag them off. As well as this, we created this list so that if you’re staying in a particular area in the Lake District then you have the closest Wainwrights in the area at your disposal. This way you can plan short or long day hikes to bag as many of the Wainwrights in that region that you choose to.
Why climb all 214 Wainwrights
So why should you climb all 214 Wainwrights? There really is no answer except the one in which you come up with yourself. For each person, it is for a different reason. Some people walk the 214 Wainwrights to give themselves the challenge to conquer. Some walk them to get healthier and feel fitter after each one bagged off. For some people, they just enjoy spending time in the Lake District and through walking all 214 Wainwrights they get to see sights they might not otherwise have had a chance to see.
Why do we climb the Wainwrights? Well, for us it is to spend time together, escape reality for a short while, forget the mediocre problems and stresses of the routine day, and to feel free. Truly free and small on top of a mountain which was here long before us, and will be here long after we’re gone too.
So why is it that you’d want to walk them? Well, only you know your own answer to that question. But whatever that reason is to climb all 214 Wainwrights. Make good memories and smile along your way. It’s quite an incredible journey.
Safety in the Lake District while bagging the 214 Wainwrights
Being safe in the Lake District is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are hazards in many areas so please have a quick read and make sure that you do think about your safety before heading out into the fells ill-equipped.
The weather in the Lake District
The weather in the Lake District can change within minutes. You can go through every season of the year within an hour or two when walking any of the 214 Wainwrights. So make sure you’re prepared for all weather eventualities so that you don’t get caught up in something you wasn’t expecting.
Always take a spare extra layer of clothing with you, as well as a raincoat to protect you from the elements. What was a sunny day when you left your car, may well become a gale during the same day. You can check the mountain weather here. Simply put in the Wainwright that you will be climbing and it will give you an up to date forecast for the next few days. It’s what we use when out in the Lakes, and it’s seen us both well throughout the years.
Also, prepare for more extreme weather conditions in the high summer and winter months. Make sure you have winter equipment with you like crampons etc., if you need them to climb the 214 Wainwrights. And in the summer, prepare for humid and hot conditions so take a hat and sunscreen etc.
Stay hydrated while walking the 214 Wainwrights
This might seem silly to you now. But on a sunny day and even an overcast day you will be burning much more energy than you would be if you weren’t hiking the Wainwrights. So take plenty of water with you to stay hydrated and even pack a few hydration tablets in the summer, to give you a quick boost should you need it.
When you’re on top of the likes of Fairfield for example, you could be hours away from your car, shop, or any civilisation. So making sure you have plenty of food and water with you is essential. Pack an extra chocolate bar or a pack of nuts just in case. You never know when you might need them.
Map and Compass to walk the 214 Wainwrights
Please, take a map with you on any of the 214 Wainwrights that you walk. You might think that you know the way to the top and around the routes, and you probably do. But this doesn’t mean that should something happen out of your control that you might not need a map for reference and a compass by your side.
Even the most experienced fell walkers take maps and compasses. So if you’re new to the world of Wainwrights and bagging the hills, then get yourself kitted out with the essentials. Below are the four Explorer ordnance survey maps that we have in our backpacks at all times when in the Lakes. I’d advise buying them all at once. This is because many of the Wainwrights cross over onto different maps, especially if you’re taking a long day hike so it’s best to have them all. So this way you’re never in a position when you might need one that you don’t have.
With regards to a compass. Get yourself one and learn how to use it. There are guides online as well as courses that you can take if you’d like more professional advice. But learn the basics so that you can get yourself out of a situation should it crop up. For walking in low cloud and poor weather conditions, it can be a lifesaver to know your position and how to get down off of any of the 214 Wainwrights out there.
First aid kit in your backpack
A quick little note here that you should pack yourself a first aid kit while walking the 214 Wainwrights. I’m not saying go to town on everything for every eventuality. But pack the basics, like plaster, blister plasters, paracetamol, bandages, etc. You never know when you might need them. And again if you happen to have a trip or fall while walking one of the Wainwrights, then patching yourself up will pay dividends when you might not see anyone else for miles.
As well as think packing the likes of a thermal blanket I’d advise too. They come vacuum packed so don’t take up much room. But if you did find yourself in difficulties, having a thermal blanket to keep you warm until someone reaches you is again, in our eyes, pretty important. This is not to say that you’ll ever need to use it. We carry one in each backpack and have done for years. They’ve never been opened, but they’re there should we need them.
The emergency number in the Lake District
If you’re in need of the mountain rescue team in the Lake District then you should dial ‘999’, then ask for the ‘police’, and then the ‘mountain rescue team’. They will then be able to take your details to forward onto the closest mountain rescue team for you. You will need to know your location, (this is why having a map and compass is essential), how many walkers are there, as well as injuries etc.
If you don’t have a signal then you can text ‘999’ and go through the same procedure. Sometimes a text may go through where a phone call doesn’t. For more information regarding mountain safety and the rescue teams take a look here.
Most importantly have fun climbing the 214 Wainwrights
The 214 Wainwrights are beautiful, scary, mischievous, superb characters and so more than anything have fun. Alfred Wainwright composed the seven books of his Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells to help you do the same thing. So get out there and enjoy them. Learn their structures, the routes to the top, and the views that take your breath away.
Enjoy every second that you spend climbing any of the 214 Wainwrights, for that is what they are there for. To make memories, get healthier and do something that you might not otherwise have done before. Being outdoors is great for us all mentally and physically and hiking to some of the best beauty spots in the UK just helps to get out there and achieve it for yourself.
So grab yourself our free PDF of the entire list of all 214 Wainwrights and plan which is going to be your first one. Take a read of some of our blogs too to give you some inspiration if you need it and they’ll give you the exact routes that we took to, just to help you out some more.
Happy hiking and Wainwright bagging.