Trail specs

Distance (mi.) Stages Elevation Gain Best Time Difficulty
268
19
29,855 ft

May - Sept

 

Trail description

The Pennine Way is one of the fifteen National Trails of England and Wales. These so-called National Trails are long distance paths for hikers, cyclists or horseback riders. To belong to the elite group of the National Trails, the route must meet various conditions. In addition to a flawless signage and a dedicated trail manager who guarantees that the high quality standards are being met, a National Trail passes through the most beautiful landscapes. And that is certainly the case with the Pennine Way. The route will take you through three national parks and two national nature reserves. Especially bird spotters will get their money’s worth on this trail. The Pennine area is considered as one of the best places in Europe to observe birds. Grab your binoculars and try to catch a glimpse of breeding waders in the spring and early summer.

Photo by Tim Hill

The Pennine Way takes you across the eponymous mountains that are also called “the backbone of England”. And that name is well chosen, because the Pennine mountain range is a more or less contiguous mountain massif that extends like a spine from north to south over the middle of England.

Photo by Tim Hill

You will walk from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm on the Scottish border. You could also walk in the opposite direction, but it is recommended to travel from south to north. This way you have the wind in your back and you can blindly trust the topoguide which is described in this direction.

With public transport you can easily get to the start and end point of the route. On the trail you can spend the night in youth hostels. But there is also a multitude of hotels and B&B’s along the Pennine Way. With your tent you are most welcome at the numerous campsites on the route. Wild camping is basically not allowed in England, but in most cases a blind eye is being turned as long as you leave no waste behind and do not make a campfire.

Photo by Tim Hill

Although the official record stands at less than three days, most hikers take a total of sixteen to nineteen days to complete the entire route. The Pennine Way is not the toughest on the list, but should not be underestimated due to the long distance. In addition, the route often passes through vast and remote land, so good coordination and basic survival skills can come in handy. It would do no harm to put an extra pair of socks in your backpack, since the soil can be quite swampy. Or make that three extra pairs of socks, because wet feet are guaranteed on this trip. If you fear that your backpack will become too heavy due to all those socks, you can rely on the excellent baggage transport services that are bookable on the Pennine Way.

You’ve heard it, the Pennine Way has it all: clear trail marking, countless possibilities for overnight accommodation in every imaginable level of luxury and even the possibility to have your backpack transported. Both the die hard camper who wants to hike through the vast hills in a back to basics kind of way with tent and sleeping bag, as the sporty stage hiker who prefers to spend almost three weeks on the English backbone with less weight and more comfort will enjoy the Pennine Way to the fullest …!

Photo by Tim Hill

More information

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