long distance footpath in England

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.

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

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

Rover travel card

The trail officially starts at The Nags Head pub in Edale. Edale is best accessed 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):


1 Edale (mile 0).    

  • Kinder Scout
  • Bleaklow

2 Crowden (mile 16).    

  • Black Hill
  • Standedge (near Marsden)
Stoodley Pike monument

3 Blackstone Edge (mile 35).     near Rochdale

  • Mankinholes

4 Ponden Reservoir (mile 59).     near Hebden Bridge

  • Top Withens
  • Cowling and Lothersdale

5 Thornton-in-Craven (mile 73).    

Malham Cove
  • East Marton
  • Gargrave

6 Malham village (mile 83).    , Malham Cove and Malham Tarn

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

7 Horton-in-Ribblesdale (mile 97).    

8 Gayle and Hawes (mile 111).    

  • Hardraw
  • Great Shunner Fell
  • Thwaite

9 Keld (mile 124).    

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

1 God's Bridge. near Bowes     * Baldersdale

High Cup Nick

10 Middleton-in-Teesdale (mile 143).    

  • Low Force and 2 High Force.     (waterfalls)
  • Forest-in-Teesdale
  • Cauldron Snout (waterfall)
  • High Cup Nick
Hadrian's Wall

11 Dufton (mile 164).    

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

12 Garrigill Alston (mile 180).    

  • Slaggyford

13 Greenhead Thirlwall Castle and Hadrian's Wall (mile 199).    

  • Wark Forest

14 Byrness (mile 241).    

15 Kirk Yetholm (mile 268).    

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   N  Kirk Yetholm

This itinerary to Pennine Way is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!