The Trevelyan Hunt

Following a suggestion from a  reader, I looked into the annual 'hare' and 'hounds' manhunt that takes place in the Lake District each year. It sounds like a terrific wheeze for those who enjoy the manhunt novels of John Buchan's 39 Steps, Geoffrey Household's Rogue Male and Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped.

Trail went dead. Cloak and dagger, word-of-mouth stuff. I have the bare bones of the event, but if a reader has actually competed, I'd be grateful if they can fill in the gaps.

What I understand:

Known as the Trevelyan Hunt, the sport that combines the skills of tracking and fell running began in 1898 by three Cambridge undergraduates: George Trevelyan, Geoffrey Winthrop Young and Sidney McDougall. The Trevelyans have been connected with the hunt ever since, I think. Certainly, Sir George Trevelyan, 4th Baronet, the nephew of the original George Trevelyan, had a 42-year association with the chase.

How it Works

A handful of chosen hares are given time to disappear, and after some time the pack of hounds set off in pursuit over ground that covers ten square miles. The adrenaline-fuelled chase ends inevitably when all the hares are caught.

The manhunt takes place over the bank holiday weekend at the end of May, many of the competitors staying at the Seatoller Hotel in Borrowdale, Cumbria, which has historic connections with the hunt.

The hunt is by invitation only from the hunt master or someone competing, I believe. This is where my own cyber manhunt went cold.

Good luck to hares and hounds.

If you've ever taken part and wish to share a little of the adventure, the readers will be glad to hear of it. You can add a comment below. Or if you feel inspired to start your own manhunt — And why not? — so you can pretend you are Robert Donat in Hitchcock's 39 steps, do tell . I will be more than happy to promote it, though taking part is another matter.


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