1799 - ‘adventurers… follow my steps’

‘I write because I think my Guide will be really useful to adventurers, who may follow my steps…[and] I relate, in my own fashion, what my eyes have seen’.

One of the earliest female guide writers, Sarah Murray, challenged expectations of her class and gender to create a new experience of the Lake District tour. Murray encouraged tourists to view the scenery on horseback rather than from the luxury of a carriage - or even to follow her path on foot: ‘From Buttermere I one day walked to the Wad Mines, or blacklead mines, and returned over the top of Honister Crag. Another day, I walked over the mountains by Gatesgarth into Innerdale, and through it to Inner Bridge, on the whole, sixteen miles’.

Murray’s engaging and distinctive voice has the immediacy of a fellow traveller or ‘companion’ on the road while also serving as a ‘useful guide’.






Sarah Murray, A Companion and Useful Guide to the Beauties of…the Lakes of Westmoreland, Cumberland and Lancashire, 1799.