Over nine days in January this year, Iain Fairnington walked and climbed a total of 30 Wainwright Peaks in the Lake District to raise funds for Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. Once he was back at ground level and recovered, we caught up with Iain to ask him about his adventure and why he wanted to support the Trust. 

Walking and wild camping have always been my way of fully relaxing and leaving behind the stresses of everyday life. Sometimes I prefer a solo trip in solitude, which really helps to build confidence and learn to enjoy your own company. Other times I'll be with family or friends and chat to loads of other hikers, who are all friendly as the hiking community is fantastic.

The initial plan for my walk wasn't to climb 30, but rather just go to the Lakes for a set amount of time and see how many I could do. I picked the Wainwright's as I have been hiking in the Lake District all my life, with my Dad and Grandad both being keen hikers. This made it the prime location to spend 2 weeks, and with the popular Wainwright's list, a great way to set myself the challenge of seeing how many I could do whilst there, the number 30 was just a happy coincidence. I just planned routes that bagged me several Wainwright's, then on the final day realised I'd be finishing on the satisfying number of 30. The nice thing about Wainwright's is that it's not just the physical challenge of climbing them. The artist Wainwright selected the peaks based on their beauty and enjoyment to climb, which adds a nice perspective to the peaks. It's not just about getting to the top, but enjoying the surroundings like he did when writing his books.


Finishing the 30th Wainwright and enjoying the view at Haystacks.

I wanted to pick a charity that helped others live a healthier lifestyle. I think to do this it's key that people grow up with these kind of opportunities, hence why I chose a charity aimed at supporting children and young people. I was also in the Army, like Dame Kelly was, so it felt like a nice personal connection in that respect. It's nice to pass on some of the motivation and proactive attitude that the military creates in you, and show others it's possible to better their mental and physical health, skills and abilities, and social life whilst also having fun and being active!

My favourite peak of the trip was Haystacks, for it's amazing view, exciting scramble up at the end, and interesting terrain at the top and the most memorable day ended with Great Bourne, as my Grandad climbed up to meet us at the end.

Iain and Grandad in the Lake District

Everyone at the Trust would like to say a huge thank you to Iain for raising over £1,000 for the Trust, money that will support the young people we work with to become the best version of themselves. To view more photos of Iain's hike and to donate, please go to:


If you'd like to support the Trust, why not sign up to the Starting Blocks Challenge?

A Starting Block is the person, place or moment that inspired you to become who you are today. Get sponsored to run, walk, swim or ride the distance back to where your story started.

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