Ecotourist tours all Wainwrights by public transport
An intrepid traveler completes a unique 5-year mission to highlight the environmental issues that tourism brings to life in the Lake District.
Lewis Jevons, 29, from Aberystwyth, visited 213 of Wainwright’s 214 hills, using public transport exclusively from his home base in West Wales.
Lewis explained why he took up the challenge:
“I’ve seen and spoken to farmers who can’t go about their daily lives and emergency services who can’t get their vehicles moving because they’re too crowded – I didn’t want to add to the problem so I decided to see how many I could visit without a car.
“I found that 70-80% of the hills are really well serviced with the 4 or 5 different routes that Stagecoach run there, but the ones like Wasdale, Shap and Kentmere are a bit more of a headache, and require some work. trekking and camping.
“I fully understand that the buses there are mainly for tourists but living in these places must be quite difficult as the buses have slowly moved away from connecting small villages to operating efficiently 50 times a day between Ambleside and Grasmere!”
“A lot of people who live in the lakes see it as ‘not another car obstructing the road’ – I was talking to some road maintainers, and they were explaining that because of the impurity in the air, the dry stone walls begin to lose their lichen variety during the summer due to the volume of cars.”
Lewis said he understands that this method of lake travel isn’t possible for everyone:
“My partner was very tolerant of me taking all of my annual leave in installments and venturing out solo.
“It’s something that works for me, but if you have a family with kids or a day trip, it probably wouldn’t fit.
“I wouldn’t visit these places any other way now because there are so many little streams, valleys, becks and gills that I’ve seen, looked through maps, seen funny names and googled what they could mean – it became a real adventure.
“If I was in a car, I probably would have driven to the bottom of the falls, parked, then driven home!”
“I tactically saved Rannardale Knotts, so I did 213, and because I did them on my own, I saved the last one for my partner, friends and parents to come join me on May 8.
“I’m going on a week-long tour of some of my favorite places, then we’ll go to this one and have a bottle of Wainwrights!”
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