Wainwrights View

Wainwrights Snowdonia

Alfred Wainwright (1907-1991), much loved by ramblers and fell walkers, will always be remembered for his famous Pictorial Guides, compiled between 1955 and 1984. Mainly known for his works on the Lake District, many people may not be aware of his visits to Snowdonia, in particular, his Welsh Mountain Drawings, first printed in 1981 towards the end of his publishing career. In black and white sketches, he recorded the spectacular mountain views, including aspects of Snowdonia’s rich industrial heritage. Now for the first time, an interactive eGuide has been compiled with full colour photographs of Wainwright’s stunning Snowdonia vistas. A team of landscape photographers have searched for the exact locations of the original viewpoints and recorded digitally the same views some 30 years later. Obviously, there will be some differences where trees have grown, boundaries have changed and structures built.
But, they have made notes about their findings and recorded their locations using a GPS device. You too can now stand where Wainwright once admired the timeless beauty of Snowdonia.

Taking advantage of modern technology, such as this Interactive e-Guide with links to e-Maps, GPS data and up-to-date weather forecasts it is now possible to accurately and safely access the Welsh mountains like never before. Enjoy the beauty, but don’t forget the countryside code. We have permission from Frances Lincoln publishers and the Wainwright family to use Alfred Wainwright’s drawings and sketches to illustrate the small changes between the original sketch and its present full colour photograph today. Here we reproduce in Alfred Wainwrights own words his introduction to his North Wales Sketchbook 1982.

In a sense, this is a book of atonement, an admission that I have been wrong and an act of restitution. I owe North Wales an apology.
Since early in life I have been a devout admirer of the English Lake District, enslaved by the loveliness of this romantic fairyland. The mountains have been the shrines where I have wandered in utter contentment: the dancing becks have been my symphonies, the lakes my glittering jewels. In the Lakeland beauty is all around, everything is in harmony. There is magic in the air and I have long been under its spell. Lakeland is my home, my heaven. From time to time friends have urged me to visit North Wales. I resisted, feeling that it would not bear comparison with my beloved Lakeland, and envisaging a fine mountain landscape scarred by huge quarries, a place where natural beauty had sacrificed. But when in 1979 I was offered the use of a cottage in Dolgellau I emerged from slipper’d retirement, put on my boots. And went my eyes were opened. I climbed Cader Idris, and chauffeured by my wife, toured the district.
What I saw I liked immensely. I became suddenly enthusiastic about North Wales. At the age of 72 I was a boy again. Then followed a series of visits based on Beddgelert, all favoured by good weather. I did everything the guidebooks recommended and more besides. I climbed the mountains, roamed the valleys, visited the castles and ancient monuments explored the ruins where men once worked,looked at the harbours and beaches, hunted for waterfalls in the forests, travelled in a little trains. Everything delighted me. Lacking was the romantic atmosphere of Lakeland, but the scenery here was more dramatic and of greater variety, and, unlike Lakeland, had a wealth of historic and prehistoric interest. Oh yes I enjoyed everything, even Tryfan, which is both a beauty and a beast.

So I retract my earlier opinions. My impressions were ill-founded. I have been unfair and with this book have tried tomake amends. It was intended as a penance again the many happy days spent in North Wales recently. Now I am under two spells and entranced by both. Alfred Wainwright.

Mike Mumford has set-up this new series of eBooks to bring these wonderful viewpoints back to life. Landscape Guides have spent 2 years recruiting a team of professional photographers to find each viewpoint, accurately record the composition in full colour. Each viewpoint has a GPS & OS Map reference and guide to start from, a free on web site route planner so you pre-plan everything first.

Showing all 5 results