Enshrined in Ramblers history for 50 years, it was the brainchild of former Ramblers Secretary Tom Stephenson and offers the ultimate long distance walking challenge. It’s hard not to eulogise about this iconic path, said to be a “walk that everyone should do once in their lifetime”.
You don’t need to undertake the full stretch - day and weekend trippers can walk smaller sections near some unbeatable sights:
Tom’s original ambition was for a long green trail equal in stature to the John Muir Trail through the Rockies or the Appalachian Trail in the eastern mountains of the United States. He first spoke of it in 1935 and in 1965 it became Britain’s first long distance path.
The terrain of the route must in some way fulfil Tom’s ambitions. It is the variety of the landscapes that make the route so special and also demanding. These range from the peaty moorlands of the Peak District and the Cheviots to the striking limestone outcrops of Malham, not to mention the archaeological riches of Hadrian’s Wall and the dizzy heights of Cross Fell.
Completing the full Pennine Way is a demanding undertaking that requires preparation and some understanding of hill walking and navigation. But how can you turn down the chance to undertake the walk of a lifetime?
Help us preserve and protect footpaths along this national trail by joining the Big Pathwatch and walking a grid square along the route.
Find a walk near this trail.
Photo credits (from top): Pennine Way Tarn © Peer Lawther; High Cup Nick © Peer Lawther; High Force Walterfall © Glen Bowman; Pennine Way sign © Simon Wheatley
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