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Long dresses, cloaks and bonnets. Cumbria.

Why climb a snowy Cumbrian hill in a long dress, cloak and bonnet? Clare Balding finds out.

Why climb a snowy Cumbrian hill in a long dress, cloak and bonnet? Clare Balding finds out.

It's all down to Dorothy Wordsworth, the sister of poet, William. In her own right Dorothy was a writer and a pioneering walker. Just over 200 years ago she and her friend, Mary Barker, became the first women to both climb and write about Scafell Pike in the Lake District. This wouldn’t have been easy in their long dresses, cloaks and bonnets. To mark this achievement the artist Alex Jakob-Whitworth and some friends decided to follow in Dorothy’s footsteps. They dressed in period costume and tried to get to the top of England’s highest mountain. It wasn't easy, as they tell Clare on today's walk, which starts in Seathewaite in Borrowdale and progresses up to Stockley Bridge, through the snowline, and beyond.

Alex took on this challenge as part of a bigger project. If you are reading this on the Radio 4 webpage, you can scroll down the page to the 'related links' section to discover more about Alex, Harriet and The Wordsworth Trust.

Producer: Karen Gregor

Available now

25 minutes

Jo, Alex, and Harriet (aka Agnes, Dorothy and Mary)

Jo, Alex, and Harriet (aka Agnes, Dorothy and Mary)

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