Trail and Fell Running in the Lake District – By Kingsley Jones - Published by Cicerone Press - £14.95

By John Burland

Back in the 70s I participated in a number of fell races although my preference was always for long distance walking competitions as I often struggled with ascents on the fell races. However, if not actually participating, I attended many fell races and watched the famous fellrunners of the day – Joss Naylor, Harry Walker, Geoff Norman, Ron Hill, Mike Short and locally Dave Hodgson, from Leeds City AC who was one of my assistant leaders at the 9th Airedale Scout Group in Horsforth, taking part.

Fell running has been a part of Lake District life for many years, but commercial trail running is a much more recent phenomenon in the area. In this new book by Kingsley Jones (a present day fellrunner) there are forty routes in the Lake District, spanning easy trails, scrambles and a number of popular fell runs. All the runs start and finish at the same point, usually from a pub which is useful for parking, and vary in distance from 5 miles to 21 miles.

For anyone who enjoys running or jogging, there is something for everyone ranging from well-defined routes on good tracks to more direct routes across the fell sides depending upon the experience of the individual.

The routes include classic rounds such as the Fairfield Horseshoe but also low level runs in the Patterdale valley, plus a number of classic fell race routes including Wasdale and Borrowdale.

The book is very much for the runner or outdoor enthusiast who wants to have a go at some of these excellent routes and Kingsley Jones has included a detailed description of each run accompanied by a full colour map at a scale of 1:40000 which is ideal. He also includes approximate timings for each of the routes and details of the terrain and difficulty so that the runner or outdoor enthusiast can choose whatever suits his or her ability.

As well as the routes themselves, at the beginning of the book is a useful introduction explaining the history of trail and fell running in the Lake District, along with advice about the best bases for a trail running holiday, equipment and adapting to running off road.

For any runners in our local clubs of Ilkley, Baildon, Skyrac, Horsforth etc. who have not tried trail running in the Lake District this is an ideal book to inspire them to enjoy this thrilling sport in one of its greatest playgrounds.