I always knew that one day I would walk the Outlying Fells and I guess after the success of completing the Lakeland 2,000 footers and my Wainwrights in 30 project, I feel it’s now the right time to take on one of Alfred Wainwrights legacies with the Outlying Fells. As with both of my previous projects, the walk routes have already been decided prior to the project taking place. I’ve also completed quite a lot of behind the scenes website preparation that has kept me busy of an evening for the best part of the last three months.
From the beginning I had always felt it was important not to rush through the Outliers as much like I did with my Wainwrights in 30 project, which at times felt like a race. I can only put that down to my own enthusiasm from which I have learned valuable lessons. Mainly because of the injuries I picked up along the way. The Outlying Fells of Lakeland should not be rushed, they should be walked at a leisurely pace just as Wainwright enjoyed them when he first walked them. He described them as "a extended activity for semi-retired walkers"
Written with such conviction I have decided not to just take on the Outlying fells, but to walk them in Wainwrights footsteps by doing my upmost to keep to the original routes. Although, some of them aren't as accessible as they once were and this might lead to a few unavoidable changes here and there.
Unlike previous projects, this years Outlying Fells will be walked with a more relaxed approach. I may walk two, three or even four routes back to back, on the other hand I may just walk one route a month which will allow me to keep up with my regular walking, which is something I missed incredibly over the past two years during previous projects.
I feel that I have now come up with the perfect formula for 2017 where once again I will not only be following in Wainwrights footsteps over sometimes new ground, but still be blazing my own.
Paul Sharkey - January 2017