Filming on a follow-up to the Wainwright’s Walks television series is due to start this week.
Julia Bradbury during the filming of Wainwright's Walks
This time, presenter Julia Bradbury will have a tougher challenge as she tackles the 192-mile Coast-to-Coast Walk, devised by the Grumpy Old Fellwalker in 1971, following the completion of his series of pictorial guides to the Lakeland Fells.
Ms Bradbury, who climbed 11 Lakeland peaks described in Wainwright’s books during two series broadcast on BBC, will start filming for the Coast-to-Coast programmes on Friday.
Skyworks, the company which produced the original two series, is making the follow-up films, to be broadcast again on BBC. The Coast-to-Coast route starts at St Bees on the west Cumbrian coast and passes through the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors before reaching the North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay.
The Wainwright’s Walks series launched the Dublin-born presenter’s outdoor career. She went on to take part in Ultimate Rock Climbs, which reduced her to tears as she ascended the intimidating Old Man of Stoer sea stack. She has also traversed the tricky Striding Edge and Sharp Edge, both of which have been the scenes of tragic deaths recently.
Despite Wainwright’s emphatic disclaimer that the Coast-to-Coast Walk was not an ‘official’ route, thousands of walkers each year follow his trail, and the Wainwright Society is campaigning for the walk to be upgraded to National Trail status.
Wainwright’s intention was to inspire walkers to travel their own route. He thought the Coast to Coast was a better prospect than the Pennine Way, the first National Trail. It is, he modestly said: ‘immeasurably superior in scenic qualities’.
The Pennine Way is, he said, masculine, while the Coast-to-Coast Walk has feminine characteristics. So perhaps Julia Bradbury is the ideal presenter for the Fellwalker’s finest creation.
Ms Bradbury has just returned from India, shooting for the Rough Guide To… series to be broadcast on Five.