The Pennine Way was the first of England’s National Trails , and is often nicknamed “the backbone of England”. On April 24th, it celebrates a very big birthday indeed. Happy 50th Pennine Way!
Opened in 1965, the trail was a culmination of many years of effort on the part of campaigners. Before then, land usage & access laws meant that there wasn’t such a thing as a long distance trail in England, and there was scepticism that such a thing could (or should) exist. The Pennine Way was the first of what we have come to perhaps take for granted, offering those keen to explore and hike the countryside the right and the means to do so.
Distance: 256 Miles (or 268 Miles if you include circular loops)
Grading: Moderate – Strenuous
The original, and many say the best, the route will take around 20 days to complete for a fairly fit, regular walker.
The Pennine Way starts in Edale, in the Peak District, finishing in Kirk Yetholm, in the Scottish Borders region.
Most walk the route in this manner (South to North). The trail leads through three national parks, the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales, and the Northumberland National Park, and follows a sort of “spine” of Britain.
Ok, so it is a bit of a tough one, and you should expect 4 seasons of weather as you cross some of the more remote sections! However, this is a challenge to relish with a sense of achievement to rival many of the world’s classic trails, and wonderfully rugged, changing scenery.
Want to push yourself further? You can even choose to do the Pennine Way as “Britain’s most brutal race” (sounds tempting doesn’t it!), the Spine Race, which takes place in January.
Help the Pennine Way celebrate its big day by joining in with an event, watching some of the coverage, or following some of the social media activity. Read all about the events and more on the National Trails Blog.
To walk it in one go, Macs Adventure have a 21 night self guided walking itinerary which includes accommodation, baggage transfer each day, and all the route notes and info you’ll need. You can also walk the route in sections (South, Central and North). Visit macsadventure.com to see the itineraries, or contact [email protected] if you’d like more information.
We hope our Walk of the Week series gives you some new ideas for hiking around the world.