The latest from Inspired by Lakeland is a first... A walking book!
For those that know me, walking is up there at the top of my list of passions, alongside traditional Irish and Scots music, one too many ales, and pizza, so when approached by guidebook writer and linescape artist extraordinaire Mark Richards to work with him and the Friends of the Ullswater Way on a new Official Guide to the Ullswater Way I jumped at the chance.... not just to try my hand at a walking book, but to give me an excuse to head over the Dodds and spend a few days in the company of lovely Ullswater.
The result? A pocket-size guidebook packed with Mark's timeless line drawings, interesting notes about the many points of interest along the Way and no-nonsense instructions to keep you on track.
The thing I like most about the book - and the Ullswater Way - is the community involvement in the walk. This is a trail born of hardship - specifically the pounding the valley took from Storm Desmond back in 2015. Shortly after that the 'Friends' started work on a new long-distance path to bring more visitors and cash into the valley. The fantastic 20-mile Way is the result of those labours. Also of note are the evocative Heritage Installations along the route, where local craftspeople and artists celebrate the valley and what it means to them.
We're also doing our bit, not only giving print to Penrith's H&H Reeds to keep jobs local, but also donating £1 per copy sold to the National Park so that they can keep the Way in good shape for years to come. You can buy yours here.