How and why we started this challenge

Wainwrights are 214 English peaks known locally as fells are described Alfred Wainwright's seven-volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells (1955–66). They all lie within the boundary of the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, and all but one which is Castle Crag are over 1,000 feet (304.8 m) in height.

In 2016 my older daughter wanted to do a fundraiser for charity, at the time we had not even heard of the Wainwrights, but we decided to climb England's highest peak Scafell Pike.

The date was planned and my mum looked after Ariya who was just a baby.

The day came and it was so hot 30c with no cloud, It was myself , Jay and our 4 children who were 14,12,7 and 5 years.

We actually struggled with the walk due to the intense heat, but we pushed through and made a nice circular walk.


As Ariya got to 19 months old we started officially ticking them off, looking back now we have come so far considering we have never climbed, walked before 2016 other than a local park.

We purchased the Wainwright books and began getting decent hiking gear, the saying is 'take up walking its free' , but when you get really into hiking the cost to get your gear can become quite expensive, especially for a family.

We always researched the routes beforehand and chose the easier hills first with Ariya being so small, but she surprised us and thoroughly loved the outdoors. We had to encourage her a lot at the beginning -' check out our tips' BUT every month she would walk further and further and by 2.5years she climbed her first big one Old Man Coniston.

check the website for the walk details


Some of the Wainwrights we have done a few times, as we often have days with just the older ones, or the younger ones.



  • Never under estimate the changes in the weather, it may be sunny one minute and snowing when you reach the summit

  • Take spare socks just in case of the bog

  • Snacks/drinks you can never have too many with kids

  • A 4 mile walk may take a regular walker 1-2 hours but with little ones it can be double the time

  • Do not expect kids to walk at your speed, they will begin to hate walking, slow down and allow them to explore as they walk.

  • Waterproofs, always carry them in the bag, even if its sunny.

  • Always have a backup plan, sometimes the path is not what it seems, sometimes its longer than expected, or sometimes the kids are just not in the mood for a big walk, if you need to turn around then do it, the hill will always be there another day.

  • Make it fun along the way

  • When Ariya was younger we took a spare pair of boots, sometimes she would say her feet were hurting, so we would change socks, have a snack and put new boots on her and she was great for another few miles.

As of March 2021 we are at 103 Wainwrights, many of them we have walked 4-5 times as we love it, 2020 we only managed a couple of new ones due to the restrictions so hopefully this year we can catch up.

The benefits of doing a family challenge

  1. Outdoor exercise boost physical and mental health

  2. Teaches resilience

  3. encourages commitment

  4. Gives a great sense of achievement

  5. Make family memories

  6. Spend quality time together

  7. Educational learning about the area you walk

  8. Building self-confidence and self-esteem is fundamental to any young person’s development.

  9. Challenging experience outdoors impacts powerfully upon a young person’s intellectual, physical, spiritual, social and moral development.

  10. Gives you time away from electronics and gadgets


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