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A typical section of the Pennine Way in the northern Peak District

The Pennine Way is a designated UK National Trail in the United Kingdom running for 429 km (268 miles) from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders. On its way, the route passes through parts of the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park.

Understand[edit]

The path was the idea of the journalist and rambler Tom Stephenson, inspired by similar trails in the United States of America, particularly the Appalachian Trail. Stephenson proposed the concept in an article for the Daily Herald in 1935, and later lobbied Parliament for the creation of an official trail. The walk was originally planned to end at Wooler, but eventually it was decided that Kirk Yetholm would be the finishing point. The final section of the path was declared open in a ceremony held on Malham Moor on 24 April 1965.

Although not the longest of the UK's long-distance paths, it is probably the best known and one of the more demanding routes. It generally follows the higher parts of the Pennines, a chain of moors and hills running north–south along the watershed of northern England. The Pennine Way can be walked in either direction, but is more commonly followed from south to north. This way you tend to have the wind at your back, and most travel guides (including this one) are written in this direction.

Prepare[edit]

Although it is waymarked and requires no specialist mountaineering skills, walking the Pennine Way requires a good level of fitness, appropriate equipment and adequate navigation skills. Accommodation is limited along some sections so if you are not camping, you might consider booking accommodation in advance. In particular, the last day normally involves a high-level 25-mile walk across the Cheviots from Byrness to Kirk Yetholm, though off-route accommodation can be used to split the long walk in two.

Get in[edit]

The trail officially starts at The Nags Head pub in Edale. Edale is best access by train. Sheffield and Manchester are both around a 45-minute train journey away. Bus services to Edale are very limited.

Walk[edit]

Map of Pennine Way

The route passes through or near the following (landmarks in italic):

Bleaklow

1 Edale (mile 0). Edale (Q796625) on Wikidata Edale on Wikipedia

  • Kinder Scout
  • Bleaklow

2 Crowden (mile 16). Crowden (Q5189178) on Wikidata Crowden, Derbyshire on Wikipedia

  • Black Hill
  • Standedge (near Marsden)
Stoodley Pike monument
  • Blackstone Edge
  • Mankinholes

3 Ponden Reservoir (mile 59). Ponden Reservoir (Q98959115) on Wikidata Ponden Reservoir on Wikipedia near Hebden Bridge

  • Top Withens
  • Cowling and Lothersdale

4 Thornton-in-Craven (mile 73). Thornton-in-Craven (Q2474141) on Wikidata Thornton in Craven on Wikipedia

Malham Cove
  • East Marton
  • Gargrave

5 Malham village (mile 83). Malham (Q1247558) on Wikidata Malham on Wikipedia, Malham Cove and Malham Tarn

  • Fountains Fell
  • Pen-y-Ghent
Tan Hill Inn

6 Horton-in-Ribblesdale (mile 97). Horton in Ribblesdale (Q748761) on Wikidata Horton in Ribblesdale on Wikipedia

7 Gayle and Hawes (mile 111). Hawes (Q2225538) on Wikidata Hawes on Wikipedia

  • Hardraw
  • Great Shunner Fell
  • Thwaite

8 Keld (mile 124). Keld (Q3695942) on Wikidata Keld, North Yorkshire on Wikipedia

1 Tan Hill Inn. Britain’s highest public house 1,732 ft (528 m) feet Tan Hill Inn (Q12342923) on Wikidata

  • God's Bridge or Bowes
  • Baldersdale
High Cup Nick

9 Middleton-in-Teesdale (mile 143). Middleton-in-Teesdale (Q4305523) on Wikidata Middleton-in-Teesdale on Wikipedia

  • Low Force and High Force (waterfalls)
  • Forest-in-Teesdale
  • Cauldron Snout (waterfall)
  • High Cup Nick
Hadrian's Wall

10 Dufton (mile 164). Dufton (Q950424) on Wikidata Dufton on Wikipedia

  • Knock Fell
  • Great Dun Fell
  • Little Dun Fell
Boardwalk
  • Cross Fell (highest point in the Pennines)

11 Garrigill Alston (mile 180). Garrigill (Q5524002) on Wikidata Garrigill on Wikipedia

  • Slaggyford

12 Greenhead Thirlwall Castle and Hadrian's Wall (mile 199). Thirlwall Castle (Q7785119) on Wikidata Thirlwall Castle on Wikipedia

  • Wark Forest

13 Byrness (mile 241). Byrness (Q5004269) on Wikidata Byrness on Wikipedia

14 Kirk Yetholm (mile 268). Kirk Yetholm (Q6415554) on Wikidata Kirk Yetholm on Wikipedia

Stay safe[edit]

Many parts of the Pennine Way are remote, exposed and prone to sudden changes in the weather. You should be familiar with moorland navigation and be suitably experienced and equipped for mountain walking.

Go next[edit]

The trail officially ends at The Border Inn in Kirk Yetholm. From here, a bus service links to Jedburgh via Kelso where further connections can be taken to Newcastle upon Tyne (total travel time approx. 2 hours) and Edinburgh (total travel time approx. 1 hour 45 minutes).

Routes through Pennine Way
Edale  S PennineWayRouteImage.svg N  Kirk Yetholm



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