The Eastern Fells was the first of AW’s pictorial guides to be published in 1955 and it set the standard for the rest of the series. At the end of the book he tells readers how great his pleasure was in writing and drawing about the mountains he loved; a pleasure that is echoed today by the many appreciative walkers who still peruse his books both on the hill and in the armchair.
The area of the Eastern Fells is a clearly defined one, bounded in the west by Thirlmere and the road over Dunmail Raise and in the east by Kirkstone Pass and Brothers Water, the two boundaries meeting in the south at Ambleside. The northern limit is the Threlkeld to Troutbeck section of the Keswick-Penrith gap. Between these two boundaries lies a massive area of high ground forming a long north-south ridge, the highest point of which is Helvellyn at 950m.
Fifty years on, many observations made by AW remain true: Helvellyn is still the most popular summit; the Dodds north of Sticks Pass are far less frequented and the whole territory continues to give enjoyable walking to many people.