The Pennine Way

The walk is a demanding 271 miles up the back bone of England over the roughest, hilliest and physically testing areas that England can throw at you especially in some places around the Cheviots and Peak district.

Most people are able to walk it take around 18 walking days to complete it. However, I was able to walk it in 17 days with one rest dey, to stock up on supplies, and also re-gain that vital energy.

Not only does rest day allow you to have fun in some of the beautiful destinations you will find your self in, and also it is almost physically impossible unless you have plenty of walking experience to do 17 solid walking days over this terrain especially if you are carrying a heavy rucksack.

If you want to be a Pennine way record breaker, this is what you have to break

If you are on your own you can try running the Pennine way faster than in 3 days 5 hours and 21 minutes or an average of 85 miles a day or if you are with your family or friends try breaking the relay record of 52 hours and 32 minutes or 125 miles a day.

A Profile of The Pennine Way

From Edale the Pennine Way makes an easy start, following     Grindsbrook clough as it climbs up to the southern edge of the Kinder Scout plateau. As the clough gets gradually steeper the going becomes harder, once the Kinder Plateau itself is reached, featureless and with numerous cloughs and peat bogs, it is best crossed on a compass bearing until one of the tributaries of the River Kinder is reached. From there the sandy bed of the river gives easy walking until you reach the Kinder Downfall.

After meeting Kinder Downfall you follow the Plateau edge until you reach a stile, be careful in bad weather not to miss this and carry on along the plateau, after crossing the stile a steep descent is made to the moor below, and up towards Mill Hill the rest of the way towards the snake pass road which you can hear for quite a while bet just never seems to get close, crossed at its highest point.

The way cross the snake and carrys further more north to  the isolated Hern Stones and Wain Stones, and across desolate peat bog to the summit off Bleaklow Head. From there the going becomes easier as the way, following Torside clough in a long descent into Longdendale Valley, and the reservoirs below.

Further more a steep start from corwden to the pennine way famous nurtures Black Hill trig point  which has a bad reputation among walkers for the bog ness, but this is only on a small section around the summit but has to be crossed.

The choice of two routes can now be taken for the more direct route heading towards White moss crossing the A635, the way continues through another very boggy section, and the need the gaiters is very much appreciated. following the path and cains through the peat cloughs Past Black Moss Reservoir, and following the way across to Standedge

Following the way across over the moors heading north crossing the A640 and the M62 over a footpath bridge specially built for the Pennine Way, before the rise to Blackstone Edge trig point, and a decent towards Blackstone edge reservoir where you will see the great site of the White House pub, and then along low moorland past the reservoirs and to the impressive Stoodley pike monument, the way descends towards Hebdon Bridge, a steep climb gradual climb out of Hebdon Bridge, and easy walking, to the Pack Horse Inn will refresh weary walkers.

Walshaw Dean reservoirs are passed giving further more easy walking and the Pennine Way enters Brontë country, passing buildings known to the Bronte sisters and used in their novels. 

lckornshaw Moor is the last stretch of rough country before the Aire Gap and marks the end of the Central Pennines. For the next 18 miles the Way passes through fields, along canal towpaths and streamside paths which give a welcome change from moorland walking.

The next main impressive in counter is Malhain which lies at the southern edge of the limestone area of the Yorkshire Dales, with Malham impressive cliff of Malham Cove which can be seen an the arrival to Malham way in the distance. After leaving Malham a very steep path around the side of Malham Cove leads to the top along the limestone pavements and along to Malham Tarn giving easy walking, but not for long as Fountains Fell is climbed by an old miners˘ track and a steep path down to the road below where the mountain of Pen-y-ghent can be seen in the distance and once at the summit of  is traversed and then a long descent from the summit to Horton in Ribblesdale passing many pot-holes hollowed out by streams many thousands of years ago. 

Walled lanes and green tracks used in centuries past by travelers, drove herds and packhorse trains take the walker over Cam Fell and across the slopes of Dodd Fell, high above the deep valley of Snaizeholme, to Hawes, a market town in Wensleydale. By the waterfall of Hardrow Force the Way starts a long climb to the summit of Great Shunner Fell, a magnificent view-point. The descent brings the walker to Swaledale, regarded by some as the finest of the Yorkshire dales.

From Keld the Way follows West Stones Dale to lonely Tan Hill Inn, the highest in England, and over Sleightholme Moor to God˘s Bridge and the busy A66. Baldersdale and then Lunedale are crossed before the Way reaches Middleton at the start of Teesdale. The walk along Teesdale is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable parts of the Way. 

High Force the largest waterfall in England and the rapids of Cauldron Snout are the main attractions, but on a fine day almost every step of the way will be appreciated. Beyond the lonely farm of Birkdale the Way heads over moorland to rise eventually onto the rim of High Cup, a valley carved out by a glacier during the Ice Age. In the next valley the village of Dufton offers excellent hospitality.

The day out of Dufton is the longest and hardest of the Way. 

Four mountain tops have to be crossed, of which the last is Cross Fell, the highest summit of the Pennines. From Cross Fell the descent is made down an old way, along which corpses were once taken to the nearest consecrated ground, which leads by the workings of disused lead mines. By Garrigill, Alston and Slaggyford the Way continues north, following the valley of the South Tyne and the Old Maiden Way.

At its end the Way meets the Wall near Greenhead. This is the end of the Pennines, but the Way continues eastwards along the central and best section of the Wall where it runs along the Whin Sill.

Near the Roman fort of Housesteads the Way leaves the Wall and heads north again. The country between here and Byrness is generally low-lying.

The long, ridge of the Cheviot Hills, along the border between England and Scotland, is a fitting finish to the Pennine Way. just before the Roman Camp at Chew Green the Way joins the Border Fence and accompanies it over a series of minor tops. Only the more determined will continue to the end in one day and most will descend for a final night into one of the  valleys. 

A short diversion should be made to the summit of the Cheviot, but after the Schil, which comes soon after this, there are few problems and the Pennine Way finishes, as it began, those many mile ago in Edale.

Please visit David Watts excellent web site covering all aspects of the Pennine Way for more information.