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Pennine Way National Trail

Pennine WayThe Pennine Way was the first National Trail, opened back in 1965, and remains the most challenging, following the backbone of England along some of the highest and remotest areas of the country. The Trail follows the Pennine range all the way from the rugged Peak District, through the glorious Yorkshire Dales, along the stirring Hadrian's Wall to the underrated Cheviots and Scotland. The 268 miles are arguably the most demanding challenge Britain offers the long distance walker.

This is not a route for the feint hearted; you must be fit and well equipped and should not attempt the route in the winter months unless exceptionally experienced. OS Explorer maps, either as folded sheet maps or as included in the official guide book, together with a compass, are essential for safety. Plan thoroughly and book accommodation in advance. There is no accommodation crossing the Cheviots from Byrness to Kirk Yetholm a distance of 25 miles. The official guide suggests descending from Windy Gyle to the road where service providers in Byrness will collect you and return you the next day (see itinerary below).

The route is dramatic with magnificent views in good weather. You pass through Bronte country including the atmospheric supposed ruin of Wuthering Heights. There are spectacular waterfalls and the Roman history of Hadrian's Wall and Housesteads. The route includes landscapes that inspire great writers; a tour of cosy pubs, welcoming cafes and numerous charming villages you've probably never heard of but may never want to leave; insights into the Bronze Age, Romans, Vikings and Normans; a fascinating geological field trip. Most of all, it's a walk through life-affirming natural beauty; simply some of the wildest, remotest and best upland walking in England. You should approach this National Trail as you would an expedition. It is a challenge, but once completed will live in your memory forever.

Of course, you do not have to walk the entire route in one expedition. There are many opportunities to enjoy day or weekend walks along parts of the route, perhaps completing the whole Trail over many trips. The Trail guides available from our online bookshop have information to allow you to plan day trips and circular walks as well as hiking the entire journey.

The official guidebook describes the route in sixteen day stages. Most of these are very long walks across demanding terrain with no intermediate accommodation options. To reduce the daily distances, it is sometimes necessary to backpack and use campsites or wild camp.
Edale to Crowden – 16 miles
Crowden to Standedge – 11 miles
Standedge to Calder Valley – 11 miles
Calder Valley to Ickornshaw – 16 miles
Ickornshaw to Malham – 17 miles
Malham to Horton in Ribblesdale – 14.5 miles
Horton in Ribblesdale to Hawes – 14 miles
Hawes to Tan Hill – 16.5 miles
Tan Hill to Middleton-in-Teesdale – 17 miles
Middleton-in-Teesdale to Dufton – 21 miles
Dufton to Alston – 20 miles
Alston to Greenhead – 16.5 miles
Greenhead to Bellingham – 22 miles
Bellingham to Byrness – 15 miles
Byrness to Windy Gyle – 14 miles
Windy Gyle to Kirk Yetholm – 13 miles

 

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Start: Edale

Grid Ref: SK 124857

End: Kirk Yetholm

Grid Ref: NT 827283

Distance: 412 km

Walking Time: 21 days

Counties Traversed
Derbyshire
Yorkshire
Cumbria
Northumberland

Explorer™ Maps
OL1; OL2; OL21; OL30; OL31; OL43; OL42

Pennine Way Official Guidebook

Pennine Way - Cicerone

Pennine Way Trailblazer

Pennine Way Map South

Pennine way Map North

Buy a Guidebook