Pennine Way: Walk Information

Pennine Way 1The Pennine Way is Britain’s first and best known National Trail, and stretches for roughly 270 miles from the Derbyshire Peak District to the Scottish Borders, maintaining a high and often wild course along the backbone of England. The route traverses a wide variety of terrain, from the gritstone moorlands of Derbyshire through the limestone country of the Yorkshire Dales, to the wild, remote final stretch through the Cheviot Hills to the finishing point at Kirk Yetholm. It offers a superb and ever changing landscape of hills, moors, valleys and villages. The route is traditionally walked from south to north, from Edale to Kirk Yetholm, and most guidebooks describe it this way.

The Pennine Way is a serious challenge, and you must be fully equipped to meet it, and unless you are fit and an experienced long-distance walker, you should not tackle the Pennine Way, certainly not alone. It is important that your boots are broken-in, and that you are able to carry a rucksack with your requisites for one or two days. Most people undertaking the walk in one go take 2 – 3 weeks to complete it, but many people choose to do a section at a time. The usual time required for a non-stop walk is 17 days. The route attracts thousands of walkers each year, and yet some do not get beyond the second day, usually because fitness and stamina have been over-estimated, and the weight of personal belongings required has also been over-estimated!

Pennine Way 2

The assistance of the Brigantes Pennine Way Baggage Courier has helped hundreds of walkers to achieve the completion of the walk, and also to enjoy it without having to carry a heavy backpack, knowing that warm and dry clothing awaits them at the end of each day. Our courier service is the only service which will provide you with door to door baggage transfers, from Edale at the start, all the way to the end of the walk in Kirk Yetholm, by using our own vehicles and personnel, thereby ensuring reliability.

The Way is only intermittently waymarked with signs and cairns, so you will need a guidebook and maps and a compass. Be prepared for the rigours of hill walking, carrying warm and wet-weather clothing as a necessity, as well as sufficient food and drink, since this is not available over many stretches of the walk, once you have started-out for the day.

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The trek commences with the peat groughs of Kinder and Bleaklow followed by the wild moorland of the Bronte country around Haworth, before reaching the superb limestone scenery of the Yorkshire Dales. Streams disappear underground, and potholes abound as the walk passes Malham Tarn and Cove, and makes the ascent of Pen-y-Ghent before descending to Horton-in-Ribblesdale. From here good tracks lead over the moors to the old market town of Hawes in Wensleydale. Great Shunner Fell is climbed on the way to the old lead-mining area of Swaledale, and via Keld village, upwards again towards the highest inn in England, at Tan Hill. At 1732 feet above sea-level, this was once an important meeting place of trade routes, and the haunt of local coal miners. The Way continues via Baldersdale and the Balderhead dam to Middleton –in-Teesdale, thence via Langdon Beck and Englands highest waterfall at High Force, to Cauldron Snout and High Cup Nick, before descending into the pretty red sandstone village of Dufton, nestling on the western side of the Pennine chain.

From Dufton the route continues eastwards over Cross Fell, the highest point of the walk, then on through the Northumberland National Park towards the northernmost section of the Roman Empire defined by Hadrians Wall, its milecastles and forts being of great historical interest. The long trek through the Keilder Forest area and thence along the ridge of the Cheviot Hills and over the Scottish border to Kirk Yetholm completes the 270 mile walk of the Pennine Way. Congratulations will be in order, but there will be no official reception, and no bands playing!