Jump to content

Review: Neil's Tours - Wainwright's Week For MSFS 2020

Wainwright's Week

Publisher: Neil's Tours

Review Author:
John O'Rourke

Suggested Price:



At first sight 'Wainwight's Week'seemed an unusual choice for a flight simulator add-on, but the more Iread it, the more I wanted to visit the places in the book.

The English Lake District, the jewel in the English Crown is byAmerican standards tiny, covering a mere 930 square miles. However,the beauty of the place really is what sets it apart.

There is so much to see and do in the Lake District, and this iswhat first attracted Alfred Wainwright to this part of England wayback in the 1930s.

This book covers as much as possible the route he and his friendstook when they spent their first ever week here in May 1931.

Note: All images in this review are taken from the book inquestion.


Alfred Wainwright 1907 - 1991


Alfred Wainwright loved the Lake District like no one else andspent over 50 years walking over the hills in all weather conditions(once he went down Borrowdale in the middle of winter with 6 foot snowdrifts).

The walks he undertook were written down in a series of books forpeople who wished to follow in his footsteps.


If memory saves me correctly, Neil Birch first wrote about the LakeDistrict way back when FS98 was the current simulator of choice, inwhich he introduced us to his "flying bike".

Neil's father apparently used to enjoy cycling around the LakeDistrict at around the same time as Afred Wainwright (I wonder if theyever bumped into each other). He used to cycle up from Lancashire,throw his bike over a wall and go camping. A few days later he wouldcome back to the same wall and his bike was always there, just as heleft it (try and do that today)!

FS98 (perhaps a tad later), was about the time when photographicscenery was becoming available for flight simulators. As such, Neilupdated it for FSX, then X-Plane, and then to its latest version,Flight Simulator 2020.

Neil's book goes into great detail following Wainwright's journeyfrom the first day over the fells to the tiny hamlet of Patterdalewhen it rained all day (plenty of guide arrows to help you). In fact,according to the book, this was the worst weather since 1925, so not agood start to the week.

On the second day, following in Wainwright's footsteps, Neil tookus over the famous or infamous Striding Edge, and then further on tothe summit of Helvellyn. Finally, before landing at a fictional fieldnear the town of Keswick, we performed a quick tour aroundBlencathra.

Striding Edge



On the third day of our journey, we travelled over many of thebeautiful mountains situated in the Lake District. Some of theseincluded Cat Bells, Dale Head, Hindscarth and Robinson, beforelanding in a field right next to Lake Buttermere, which just happensto overlook the impressive bulk of Fleetwith Pike.

Cat Bells


Something which became quite apparent as I progressed through thebook, is that you start to see the Lake District in a completely newlight when viewing it from above, as opposed to by foot or car. I havea feeling Alfred Wainwright would really have loved it from up here!

Fleetwith Pike


The fourth day began with us flying to the tiny hamlet ofButtermere, then up the steep 3000ft+ climb over Dodd. From here, itwas up to Red Pike, then along the ridges and over Haystack's whereWainwright's ashes were scattered in a small tarn. After climbing oversome impressive looking mountains, we landed at a picturesque fieldright next to the lake in the Wasdale Valley.




On the fifth day we tackled the impressive 3000ft+ Scafell Pike,passing over a few more mountains before spending the night in thebeautiful Langdale Valley.


The view below shows the fantastic clarity of the Bing Maps inFlight Simulator 2020.


There are various ways to climb Scafell Pike; I've done it fromboth sides with my much fitter and younger son, and personally Iprefer approaching it from the side shown in the image above as it'svisually more impressive...if a little more tiring on the legs.

The National Trust who maintain and look after the Lake District,had to build a new path up the mountain as the original one was beingworn away from use. As you can see from Neil's screen shot, thefootpath is quite clearly shown zigzagging its way up to thesummit. If you look closely you can see the other steeper footpath onthe right.

Again, viewing the hills/mountains from the air, you can't fail tobe impressed by the scenery as shown below:


At the end of this day's flight we landed in the beautiful LangdaleValley, with the Langdale Pikes in full view. Compared to the hustleand bustle of much of the Lake District (too many people onoccasions), the Langdale Valley has always seemed to be a lot morepeaceful, at least it was when I visited.

Langdale Pikes

Our final day took us up and over the Langdale Pikes following theclearly marked footpaths towards the village of Grasmere, passing overthe rock formation known as The Lion and the Lamb (shown below):


The Lion and the Lamb


Grasmere Water, as seen in the image above, is quite different tothe village Grasmere, which is an incredibly busy place, especially inthe summer. This is due mainly to its connections with the poetWilliam Wordsworth.

Alfred Wainwright and his friends passed through here beforepicking up the bus at Ambleside and then catching the train back tothe smokey mill town of Blackburn.


Having made my way through Neil's book, I must say it's certainly aunique and enjoyable way of introducing people to the LakeDistrict. In fact, even if you are familiar with certain areas (as Iam), there is still plenty of new sights to take in.

What's also clear from reading through Neil's book, is the love andattention to detail he has put into it. Having purchased quite anumber of add-ons this year (the joys of lockdown), I must say thatthis is perhaps the most fascinating addition to my library yet.

Having not been to the Lake District for quite some time now(mainly due to the reason above), Neil's book provides a good excusein which to go exploring, and one that I wholeheartedly recommendothers to try.



Purchase Wainwright's Week for MSFS 2020

Also available for X-Plane 11

Also available for Prepar3D v4

See other Neil's Tours packages for MSFS 2020

User Feedback

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...