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Pennine Way
Pennine scenery.jpg
View from the Pennine Way, near Marsden
Length 429 km (267 mi)[1]
Location Northern England, United Kingdom
Designation UK National Trail
Trailheads Edale, Derbyshire
Kirk Yetholm, Scottish Borders
Use Hiking
Highest Point Cross Fell, 893 m (2,930 ft)
Trail Difficulty Moderate to Strenuous
Season All year
Hazards Severe Weather

Coordinates: 53°22′14″N 1°49′00″W / 53.3706°N 1.8168°W / 53.3706; -1.8168 The Pennine Way is a National Trail in England. The trail runs 429 km (267 mi) [1] from Edale, in the northern Derbyshire Peak District, north through the Yorkshire Dales and the Northumberland National Park, to end at Kirk Yetholm, just inside the Scottish border.



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 final section of the path was declared open in a ceremony held on Malham Moor on 24 April 1965. The path runs along the Pennine hills, sometimes described as the "backbone of England". Although not the United Kingdom's longest trail,[2] it is according to the Ramblers' Association "one of Britain's best known and toughest".[3]


The Pennine Way has long been popular with walkers, and in 1990 the Countryside Commission reported that 12,000 long-distance walkers and 250,000 day-walkers were using all or part of the trail per year.[4] They furthermore estimated that walkers contributed £2 million (1990) to the local economy along the route, directly maintaining 156 jobs. The popularity of the walk has resulted in substantial erosion to the terrain in places,[5] and steps have been taken to recover its condition, including diverting sections of the route onto firmer ground, and laying flagstones or duckboards in softer areas. These actions have been generally effective in reducing the extent of broken ground,[5] though the intrusion into the natural landscape has at times been the subject of criticism.

A number of Youth Hostels are provided along the route to break up the trek, in addition to many private establishments offering accommodation. It is easy for the walker to undertake just a short section of the trail, with 535 access points (on average, one every half-mile or approximately one kilometre) at which the Pennine Way intersects with other public rights of way.

As the majority of the Pennine Way is routed via public footpaths, access to those sections is denied to travellers on horseback or bicycle. In order to grant them a similar route, a Pennine Bridleway is also now under development (as of autumn 2005, two principal sections are open); the route is generally parallel to the Pennine Way, but starts slightly further south in Derbyshire.


The Old Nags Head, Edale. The traditional start point of the Pennine Way, as stated on the black sign (bottom left)
The paved surface of the Pennine Way on Black Hill
An example of one of the many waymarks used to guide the walker on the Pennine Way. This particular example is near Airton.

A survey by the National Trails agency reported that a walker covering the entire length of the trail is obliged to navigate 287 gates, 249 timber stiles, 183 stone stiles and 204 bridges. 319 kilometres (198 mi) of the route is on public footpaths, 112 kilometres (70 mi) on public bridleways and 32 kilometres (20 mi) on other public highways. The walker is aided by the provision of 458 waymarks.[6]

The route of the Pennine Way passes close to or through the following places (mountains and moors are marked in italics, towns and villages in normal type):

180° View from the beginning of the Pennine Way, of the Vale of Edale, approximately 1km from the Old Nag's Head.

Further reading

The Pennine Way has attracted a number of writers over the years, including Stephenson himself, who wrote the first official guidebook. A popular guide was authored and illustrated by the writer Alfred Wainwright, whose offer to buy a half-pint of beer for anyone who finished the Pennine Way is estimated to have cost him up to £15,000 until his death in 1991.[7] The National Trails Guides series covers the Pennine Way in two volumes, each containing route description and 1:25000 maps of the entire walk. Barry Pilton's book gives a more light-hearted and personal account of completing the Pennine Way, with a foreword by Mike Harding. Mark Wallington's book is another humorous personal story of the walk, accompanied by his dog. Movement artists, Tamara Ashley and Simone Kenyon, performed the entire length of the trail in August 2006.[8] Their book documents the performance and invites readers to create their own interpretations of the landscapes along the way.

  • Ashley, Tamara; Simone Kenyon (2007). The Pennine Way: The Legs that Make Us. Brief Magnetics. ISBN 0-9549073-1-0.  
  • Collins, Martin (2003). The Pennine Way. Cicerone. ISBN 978-1-85284-386-1.  
  • Hopkins, Tony (2007). Pennine Way (South). National Trail Guides. Aurum Press. ISBN 1-84513-268-8.  
  • Hopkins, Tony (2007). Pennine Way (North). National Trail Guides. Aurum Press. ISBN 1-84513-267-X.  
  • Pilton, Barry (1988). One Man and His Bog. Corgi Books. ISBN 0-552-12796-5.  
  • Pulk, Richard (2007). Rambles of a Pennine Way-ster. Touchline. ISBN 978-0-9536646-2-7.  
  • Stephenson, Tom (1980). The Pennine Way. HM Stationery Office. ISBN 0-11-700903-2.  
  • Wainwright, Alfred (2004). Pennine Way Companion. Frances Lincoln Publishers. ISBN 0-7112-2235-5.  
  • Wallington, Mark (1997). Pennine Walkies: Boogie Up the Pennine Way. Arrow Books. ISBN 0-09-966141-1.  

See also


  1. ^ a b "Trail stats, Pennine Way". National Trails Homepage. The Countryside Agency. Retrieved 2007-08-03.  
  2. ^ This distinction belongs to the 1,014-kilometre (630 mi) long South West Coast Path
  3. ^ Ramblers' Association. "Pennine Way National Trail". Retrieved 2006-03-26.  
  4. ^ Countryside Commission (1992). Pennine Way survey 1990: use and economic impact. Cheltenham, Gloucestershire: Countryside Commission. ISBN 0-86170-323-5.  
  5. ^ a b Smith, Roly (2001-07-07), "Paving the Way", The Guardian,  
  6. ^ National Trails. "Pennine Way interesting facts" (PDF). Retrieved 2006-03-27.  
  7. ^ Askwith, Richard (2 July 2005). "Alfred Wainwright: Grumpy, reclusive and eccentric". The Independent.  
  8. ^ "Performing the Pennine Way". National Trails. Retrieved 2008-02-11.  

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


This article is an itinerary.

Pennine Way is a designated UK National Trail in the United Kingdom running for 429km (268 miles) from Edale in Derbyshire up 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.

Although the Pennine way can be walked in either direction, general advice is to head 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.

Get in

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.

Get out

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).

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