On Valentine’s Day, most people’s thoughts must turn to finding the right words to say to your other half, or at least finding a card which can say it for you. Maybe you have turned to song lyrics for inspiration, or your favourite writer, but I doubt Alfred Wainwright would be top of anyone’s list for romantic inspiration.
Wainwright had a reputation as being a bit of a grump but his books say otherwise. His 7 pictorial guides are love letters to the fells he adored so much. The recently published collection The Wainwright Letters reveals he liked the ladies almost as much as the fells! However one of my favourite passages comes from his guide to the North Western Fells, which reveals where his heart truly lay:
'Words cannot accurately describe the rare charm of Catbells nor its ravishing view. But no publicity is necessary: its mere presence in the Derwent Water scene is enough. It has a bold come hither look that compels one’s steps, and no suitor ever returns disappointed, but only looking back often. It only has to be seen from Friar’s Crag and a spell is cast. No Keswick holiday is consummated without a visit to Catbells.'