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Mark Richards Walking Blog

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The Ullswater Way

december 03, 2017 11:39pm

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Currently I am working on a guide for Inspire by Lakeland to the gorgeous 22-mile waymarked walk around this fabulous curvaceous lake. The guide will include a 6-mile round ramble from Pooley Bridge, via Dalemain and Dacre. It will be brimming with my linescape drawings and colourful mapping all aimed at clarity to give path pilgrims every excuse to come again and again to wander and cruise in this heavenly corner of Lakeland.


Wainwright Revealed - Kendal Mountain Festival 19th November

november 08, 2017 09:42pm

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Richard Else in conversation with Mark Richards

Sunday November 19th in Kendal Town Hall 15:00-16:30

This is the first EXCLUSIVE event for Richard, after the publication of Wainwright Revealed. Join him in Kendal Town Hall, where Alfred Wainwright worked, as he shares new insights into the man and reveals little-known aspects of his character. He will also be joined by another friend of Wainwright and Lakeland Fellranger guidebook author Mark Richards.

It was the most improbable of relationships - a struggling, unknown documentary producer with a film he was determined to make and an excessively reclusive man more than double his age. Yet Richard Else succeeded where many more famous names had failed and brought Wainwright out of the shadows and into the nation’s living rooms. It was to transform a cult guidebook writer into the most unlikely television star - one who attracted millions of new admirers with films that effortlessly made BBC2’s ‘top twenty’. Many people have claimed that AW was a reluctant television star, but Richard tells a different and more complex story - that of a man often at odds with himself and the ultimate outsider.

For the last 10 years of his life no-one, except members of his immediate family, knew Wainwright better than Richard. In a relationship that went far beyond the requirements of documentary making, he became AW's confidant and the only person allowed to work with him in a collaborative way. A genuine friend to a man who had virtually no close friends. A person whose social skills took second place to his work and the need for an obsessive order in all aspects of his life.

Throughout his time with Wainwright, Richard kept detailed notes and took many previously unseen photographs. These include AW’s last visit to Haystacks; a swan song tour of his beloved Scottish Highlands and Islands; the Coast to Coast walk he invented and a final emotional journey to Wainwrights’s Lancashire roots around industrial Blackburn. 

Drawing on this material featured in his new book, Richard gives a genuine insider’s view into their years together. At its heart is the first full assessment of the literary merit of AW’s work and his place in the guidebook tradition. Most importantly he gives a new insight into Wainwright the man, revealing little known aspects of his character. But Richard also recalls the lighter side of AW that was kept hidden from his public.

Richard will be accompanied by author and artist Mark Richards. Mark is widely considered to be one of the main experts on fellwalking in the Lake District. Mark is the author of the Fellranger series of guidebooks. Released in 2013 these are the most comprehensive guides to England’s most beautiful mountain landscape produced since Alfred Wainwright's own Pictorial Guides to the Lake District.

Mark was also a friend of Wainwright and has walked in his footsteps – literally and figuratively. Mark is one of the very few people to have accompanied Alfred Wainwright on a fell walk, evidenced by a grainy photograph taken by him that day, which depicts Alfred and his wife Betty on the summit of Hugh Laithe’s Pike above Haweswater.



Latest news bulletin graphic

september 25, 2017 10:01am

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The Outdoor Writers' and Photographers' Guild create a bulletin sent to a range of press and media outlets, this is my piece for the current release - my name seems to have gone arry on my version of the graphic sadly!

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Mark Richards

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