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A Night with Wainwright

Last year, me and Pete camped out on Haystacks with Wainwright. Not right by the side of Innominate Tarn, at a respectful distance. We could see Pillar and, with a little walk, all the way down the valley to Buttermere and Crummock. The weather was amazing. We met at 7.00pm […]

Lake District Survival Guide Quiz

Hello Everyone. Thought I’d have a quiz and give you a chance to win a FREE copy of The Lake District Survival Guide. All you need to do is fill in the blank boxes below with the correct answers and press submit. After that, if you’ve got them all right, […]

I think I’m missing The Fells

It’s been two months now since I set boot on a fell and I’m starting to get a bit edgy about it. I know it’s getting bad because I’ve started noticing a few odd things happening. I happened to notice a disgusting snotty smear on our back bedroom window. After […]

Is Strava just for big fat show-offs?

I know my place in the Strava world – mid table. I don’t like being last on the leaderboards and I’ve no chance of being first, so mid table is where I belong. If I get into a top ten I’m pretty chuffed with myself, but since no one else […]

Finally- scientific proof that you need a lighter load

Finally- scientific proof that you need a lighter load I want to be hiking in the fells when I’m a codger (not long to go), so over the last few years I’ve been lightening the load in my rucksack, mainly because Sir Isaac Newton and my knees told me to. […]

A few of my fav videos

Dan Osman’s Speed Climb This is a classic rock climbing video that you’ve probably all seen, but I’ve included it just because it’s great. You will not be surprise to learn the Dan Osman died in 1998 at the age of 35. He didn’t fall off a rock face – […]

Grasmere – The Brutal Truth

You all know that William lived in Dove Cottage with his sister Dorothy. Here he chatted about very clever things with his Romantic buddies Scott, Lamb, Coleridge, Ruskin, Matthew Arnold, Southey, deQuincey – man, it was crowded in there. But Grasmere isn’t all about William and his opium-eating friends, it’s […]

Lake District Tees and Hoodies

Thought I’d add a few more products to the website rather than just the book. So here’s some tees and hoodies that I designed with Lake District themes. I haven’t got them all on the website yet, because I was a bit snowed under with sitting in the garden doing […]


Loweswater is a secret, and there’s plenty of other good stuff to read on this site so I’ll see you on those pages. Bye. Like I said, this alternative post’s great – family hike Still here? What about this one on Derwent Water Okay, you seem keen, so I’ll let […]

Hiking is fun

Had another go at impressing Walt and his Disney friends with this classic hiking tale. In my mind it takes place on Skiddaw, only because every time I go up there it seems to be a bit like that. Spoiler Alert: It doesn’t end well for the hiker.

How to beat Coronavirus

I was watching Monster Inc for the seven thousandth time and then it struck me, we need the CDA, The Child Detection Agency. One phone call and this impressive military-style operation drops through the roof on zip wires or pile out of armoured vehicles to deal with the situation. Near […]

Lockdown 25 – The Beard

In lockdown I decided to do what every other man is doing and see what type of beard I could grow. I’ve let it grow for about a week before, then my wife called in her lawyers and I was forced to shave it off. Now, I’ve got nowhere to […]

Lockdown 24 – Jollop

Trump thinks we might be able to inject ourselves with Dettol to kill coronavirus, I didn’t fancy that so I thought I’d look to the past to see how they coped with bad stuff. Because let’s face it, anything’s better than that. A few hundred years ago there were some […]

Lockdown 23 – Puns

Next time you have your feet up with a cup of tea, pouring over the newspapers, firstly be more careful with your drink, and secondly take notice of the pun, the most downgraded of literary features.  I’ve always loved puns, but a couple of days ago I got really jealous […]

Lockdown 22 – Introduction

Had another go at animation, you’ll be glad to know. Here I am doing a summary of the first page of The Lake District Survival Guide. Hope you like it. This took me all day.

Lockdown 21 – TikTok

WARNING: Before you watch this video, it wasn’t my fault. My daughter said let’s do a TikTok, I didn’t know what that was or what I was getting myself into and then this happened. I know it really doesn’t look like it, but we actually practiced this for half an […]

Lockdown 20 – Beer

I don’t know about you but beer is playing a much greater part of my lockdown than I would’ve hoped. So I thought I’d look into some beer history (how bored am I?) Beer has been around from the start. Shortly after we descended from the branches and could stand […]

Lockdown 19 – Cycling the Cumbria Way

Last summer I decided to combine my two favourite occupations, cycling and whinging, so I tackled The Cumbria Way Cycle Route. The route starts at Ulverston and follows The Cumbria Way Walk Route, as the guidebook says, ‘loosely’. It takes in Coniston, Elterwater, Grasmere, Thirlmere, Derwent Water before heading off […]

Lockdown 18 – Making a video

Okay, I’m not Walt Disney and this took me a lot longer than the 2 hours I talk about in the video and it doesn’t make any sense, but it was fun and isn’t that the main thing…

Lockdown 17 – Staying happy

In these terrible times it’s important to stay happy, when I’m on a downer I always use this device to stretch my miserable chops into a cheerful smile. It’s fully adjustable to any head size and comes in useful when my daughter comes downstairs in her dressing gown at about […]

Lockdown 15 – Family Hike

About this time last year, we did our annual family hike. This time it was starting and finishing at Elterwater. . It took three days.Day 1: Elterwater to HawkesheadDay 2: Hawkeshead to ConistonDay 3: Coniston to Elterwater I love a family hike. With the kids there’s always a bit of […]

Lockdown 14 – Bucket List

I was looking online at what other people were doing with their time during lockdown. One suggestion was to make a bucket list, so I got right on it and this is what I came up with.

Lockdown 13 – Paintings

I’m missing the Fells (imagine a sad emoji right here) I had an essential journey yesterday to help my wife out at work in Cockermouth and as I was driving along the A595 when I saw them in the distance for the first time in weeks, they looked amazing. Grasmoor […]

Lockdown 12 – A Cultural Visit

Today the whole family went to the US of A. I decided a bit of culture might be good for our well being so we took a trip to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. There was no one there on the virtual tour, so we felt safe. First things first, […]

Lockdown 11 – Board Games

We’ve been getting through a few board games in the last few days. I don’t want to boast too much, but I’m absolutely brilliant at Monopoly and unbeaten in our kitchen (the living room doesn’t count, I was tired). For all those parents out there who want to claw back […]

Lockdown 10 – Moot Hall, Keswick

I sketched this today, from a photo I took last November. In the photo, there are a load of people milling around in the rain but I left them out because that was the old world we used to live in.

Lockdown 9 – Exercise

So we need to keep fit and my daughter forced me to do Joe Wicks PE workout. He was in a Spiderman outfit and we had a full Spiderman workout and, guess what, I enjoyed it. Spiderman is still my favourite Superhero, despite Toby Maguire crying all the time, so […]

Lockdown 8 – Boredom Explained

Because you’re reading this page, you will have no idea about the concept of boredom. But the moment you’ve finished and you again feel a bit lost and wistful in a big bad coronavirus world, then I think it might be helpful if you knew what causes this strange sensation […]

Lockdown 7 – The Fells

I decided to draw Grisedale Pike today. And after I’d finished I realised I had another 16 hours and 58 minutes before bedtime, so I continued with a few more, in some of them I actually added some detail. Then I tried a bit of this with pencil: And then […]

Lockdown 6 – The Dog

The dog is fed up. Amazingly, everyone in the house wants to walk her, because if you’re walking the dog you don’t feel as if you’ll be beaten with truncheons. It’s a legitimate outdoor activity.  But our dog hates walking locally. This is her when she realizes we have walked […]

Lockdown 5 – Shopping

Over the past 5 days I’ve cut the grass, tidied the garage, hoovered, cleaned mould off the bathroom ceiling, discovered our cupboard under the cooker was full of plastic bags and walked the dog in various disguises 4 times a day. To be clear, I was in disguise, not the […]

Quick Pen Sketches

For, wait let’s count, the last 44 days I’ve been doing a quick celeb sketch using my bog standard biro pen. I thought, if I couldn’t make a mistake then that would focus my mind, inspiring me to greater levels of artistic innovation and transcendental… Ok, I can’t keep that […]

Born Lucky

Hands up, are you lucky or unlucky? Well let me put you out of your misery, you’re lucky – you found this amazing website didn’t you? And after you’ve read this post you’ll be even luckier. Let’s be scientific before you become skeptical, because skeptical is not going to help. […]

Hiking Thoughts 1: Why does time speed up when you get older?

I’m writing this using my feet, sitting on the roof of my house, wearing a Viking hat. It’s a bit windy and my laptop is difficult to balance on the roof apex, but I don’t care, I can get more done up here. And I will prove this using science. […]

Back in the Day

I’ve known quite a few of my friends from school and every time we go out drinking we always have a  portion (most) of the night talking about the good old days, so I thought if we’ve talked about it for 40 years then maybe other people might be doing […]

Comfy Lightweight Sleeping Mats

I have trouble sleeping in my own king-sized bed at home so imagine what I’m like hiking. If possible I would carry my Coleman Comfort airbed and rechargeable pump with me always, but since it weighs 2.3 kg and won’t fit in my tent or my bag and my mates […]

Versatile, wind resistant, durable, no not me, Pertex

It’s worth buying a Pertex jacket/windshirt just so you can show how clever you are to your thick friends.Thick Friend: ‘You haven’t been sweating at all, you look as dry as a bone.’Clever You: ‘That’s Capillary Action Technology for you…’ glancing with affection at your Montane Litespeed.Thick Friend: ‘eh…?’Clever You: […]

Reproofing and Waterproofing your Jacket

When it comes to waterproofing and cleaning waterproof jackets I’ve never known men discuss ironing so much down the local on a Friday night, here’s what I heard last week: ‘After I’ve reproofed, I always iron my waterproofs, it’s basic physics isn’t it?’‘Two pints of Cumberland Ale, please?’ ‘Adding heat […]

Which Baselayers are the Smelliest?

When we owned the shop in Keswick we got a lot of people through the door who had spent a week on the fells without scraping out their arm pits or changing their under garments. I did a little survey and asked the whiffiest people what baselayers they were wearing […]

Lake District Blogs

I have a few favourite Lake District blogs that I look in on frequently and I’ve listed them below. But I was having a look around for more blogs that concentrate on The Lake District just to see what was out there. One thing I’ve noticed is that people get […]

Treatment for blistered feet

While browsing the outdoor forums I noticed a few threads about treatment for blistered feet. These threads should have a ‘Are you 18 or over?’ pop up box to protect us sensitive types or at the very least ‘Have you finished your dinner?’ People are slicing open their feet with […]

Three Peaks Walk

Me and Doug did The Three Peaks Walk a couple of years ago (2011) on the Bank Holiday in August. We did it with 10 minutes to spare, so no problem at all… Here’s a list of don’ts to help your day go smoothly: Don’t do it on the Bank […]

I’ve been in the newspaper

Here’s the online article: Brave the Cumbrian countryside with The Lake District Survival Guide By Emma Walker Reporter A full-time funny man and part-time author has published his first book, and it might just save your life – or at least make you giggle. Ian Young has always enjoyed writing and doodling, […]

5 Ways to Combat Downhill Knee Pain

I inherited my great grandfather’s knees, they’re 143 years old and they felt it coming down Place Fell last week. I can walk forever on the flat (slight exaggeration) and for days uphill (massive exaggeration) but coming down, some days it feels like someone’s shoved a load of broken glass […]

Food on The Fred

I did the Fred Whitton Challenge in 2012. For those of you who are not familiar with it check out It’s a cycling challenge that includes Kirkstone, Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter, Hardknott and Wrynose passes and a 112 miles of amazing Lake District county side. I’m happy to use the word […]

Derwent Water – Some fact about the lake to impress your friends

I know you’ll be coming up to the lakes during the holidays and obviously you’ll be coming to Keswick, and then you’ll nip down to the lakes to feed the ducks and maybe have a stroll or roll up the bottom of your Craghoppers for a paddle. When you get […]

How to choose a tent

If 4 people are camping, what sized tent would you buy? I just read something like this in my daughter’s reception numeracy book. She answered 4, so I sent her to her room without any supper. If we’re going to run a family business, you’ve got to stop this sort […]

Vicious Pregnant Blood-Suckers

This isn’t the headline of an article I wrote for Mother and Baby magazine, I’m talking about midges. If you’ve ever been bitten by a midge, it was a pregnant female one. It wasn’t just being nasty and hormonal; your blood is essential to feed her developing eggs, in that […]

Action photos in The Lake District

Here’s a couple of photos of me, with family and friends, in action in various places in The Lakes. I’m terrible in front of the lens and behind the lens, so sorry about that.

Sneak Peek

Here’s a couple of pages from the book I thought I’d give you some walking advice, because, obviously, without my help how would anyone ever walk. These techniques have served me well on the fells. I have a section called Wainwright in Therapy. Here Alfred is traumatized when he is […]

Some Pubs I like in The Lakes

Old Dungeon Ghyll – Langdale Bit of an obvious choice, but it’s the best cow barn in the world, so it’s worth a mention. Every climber that ever lived as been to this bar, this is obviously not true but it sounds the right thing to say. It’s old, it’s […]

Coleridge and Wordsworth: The Muse

Coleridge and Wordsworth are in the book quite a bit, Coleridge wasn’t the easiest house guest, by all accounts. So I thought I’d be literary and have a go at a play. This is a contemplation on the muse and how easily an idea can be lost. So over to […]

Mountain Rescue called for drug-taking tourists

I read about those, I’m trying to think of a nice word but idiots is the only one I keep typing, who called Mountain Rescue because they were ‘incapacitated’ with cannabis on Scafell Pike. I couldn’t comprehend what they must have been thinking about, so I wrote this stupid post […]

Beware of horses

I was walking down a narrow country lane and four massive horses came round the corner, filling the lane.    ‘Keep very still and you’ll be fine,’ the first rider said to me as she approached. ‘It’s not you it’s the rucksack, they hate them.’   Since the lane was bordered by dry stone walls and the […]

Watch out for Artists

I was cycling up to the Blencathra Centre the other week. Just before a cattle grid, I had a run in with some sticky sheep droppings which adhered to my tires for a couple of hundred yards before flying off in directions beyond my control.   The artists, painting Lonscale Fell over the valley to the left, who had […]

Our clouds are better than yours

If you’re from the south of England, your sky probably looks like this for most of the year. Those fluffy bits of cotton wool floating in the sky are not the only cloud options available. When you come to the Lake District you get a much better selection, as illustrated […]

About me

I am the author of The Lake District Survival Guide, and, unfortunately, that drawing is what I look like. On this page, I think I’m supposed to try and impress you to make you like me better, so here’s my attempt. I have a wife and kids. Quite impressive for […]