This book is a photographic journey through the Lake District. It illustrates what a group of young men would have seen on their Whitsuntide holiday in 1931 had the weather been in their favour. In 1991, shortly after the death of Alfred Wainwright, W. E. Maudsley, the sole surviving member of that group, made available the details of their holiday; unknown to anyone, he had kept them for sixty years. On six foolscap sheets, it outlined a route over the high fells of Lakeland. The Whitsuntide Tour was the brainchild of Alfred Wainwright, who, after his first visit to the Lakes the year before, had to see more. Its aim was to see every valley, mountain, and lake, even though they may not all be visited. With his three companions, Jim Sharples, Harry Driver, and Eric Maudsley, they set out on 23 May 1931. The walk, a test of man's endurance against nature, ended six days later. Unfortunately, A. W. did not keep notes and does not mention the walk in either of his biographies, so we can only assume how it must have been for the young adventurers. Although it failed to achieve its objective, the Whitsuntide Tour was to sow the seeds that culminated in the guide books we know so well. It was the beginning of a Love Story.
Ed Geldard is a professional landscape photographer, who, after a short spell in the Lake District, has now returned to live in his native northeast. A former freelance for the Northern Echo Group, he is a keen walker and contributes to many countryside publications. In 1991 he teamed up with the legendary Alfred Wainwright who said that his beautiful pictures 'speak louder than words'. He was commissioned in 1992 for Wainwright's Tour in the Lake District, winner of the Tullie House prize in the Lakeland Book of the Year Award, and has written his own book Travels Through the Lakes as well as several books on Northumberland.