Pennine Way

This page describes our progress walking the Pennine Way.

Ask anyone to name a long distance path and they’ll probably suggest the Pennine Way. It is a popular route though at times it can be hard work. There are sections of the walk offering spectacular scenery with others more local in character.

Pen y Ghent: - one of the real treats of the Pennine Way - seen here from the Silverdale road to the south in August 1973 .

Description of the path

The Pennine Way was established in 1965 after several decades of gestation. It follows the spine of England, the dividing line east and west.

It crosses river valleys, peat bogs, the high landscapes above the Eden Valley and rolling farmland. It can be hard work - especially in winter when traction is limited and mud a constant companion.

As always geology makes much of the landscape, with limestone, sandstone and millstone grit providing the better stages of the path. These rocks often contain minerals and deposits - mines and quarries more often disused, hint at a different industrial age not so long ago.

We have walked stages for almost 40 years but we don’t expect to finish it. For many years it provided a perfect Christmas time walk when visiting parents in either Middleton [Lancs] or Birstall [Yorks]. In those days of limited daylight we eventually ended up spending as much time travelling to a stage as we were walking.

The page(s) here report on the stages completed to date.

Pennine Way -Walk Stats

1. Overall

Topic Info comment
Terminus Edale
Terminus Kirk Yetholm Village Green
Total Distance 429.0km (official)
Lowest point Gargrave tbc 110 m [amsl]
Highest point Cross Fell 893 m [amsl]

2. Stages Completed

The stages below are stages completed to date with south at the bottom and north at the top of the list.

The distances are taken from gps data from 2006 onwards. Prior to that it is either from digitised track data or other sources[!] ie maps or guide books - the latter can often be "short" by around 10%.

Stage Distance Terrain
Red Cribs - Kirk Yetholm 11.3 km hilly
Dufton - Great Dun Fell 10.4 km hilly
Pen y Ghent - Horton 5.6 km hilly
Silverdale - Pen y Ghent 3.0 km! moderate
Malham - Silverdale 16.4 km! hilly
Gargrave - Malham 10.8 km! hilly
Lothersdale - Gargrave 14.9 km! moderate
Ponden - Lothersdale 11.7 km! hilly
Widdop - Ponden 10.5 km! hilly
Calder Valley - Widdop 11.2 km! moderate
A672 - Calder Valley 18.1 km! flat
A635 - A672 12.5 km! flat

3. Percent and total distance walked to date

Completed % Who Distance Year Notes
32% completed KM + HM(part), RM (part) 136.4km 1973-ongoing various arrangements

In August 2012 Rob Murray and Laura Webb walked the section from Hawes to Thwaite

while at the Bainbridge week.

While it would be good to complete the Pennine Way it is lower down the list than the South West/East Coast Paths and the Anglesey Coast Path.

Points of Interest

The Border Hotel, Kirk Yetholm Kirk Yetholm: - The Border Hotel at the northern end of the walk. There is a panel in the pub dedicated to the walk and to Alfred Wainwright who at one time held credit there to buy a pint for those who had completed the walk as a complete walk.
Dufton Pike from Gt  Dun Fell Dufton Pike: - the pointed hill - seen from Great Dun Fell, Dufton (the staring point for this stage) is just to the right of the Pike. And yes - that is a tarmac road on the left - access road to the NATS radar base.
Malham Cove Malham Cove: - the entrance to sublime limestone country and the true Yorkshire Dales. Sometimes it is hard not to linger at these points on the walk.
Leeds & Liverpool Canal at East Marton Leeds and Liverpool Canal at East Marton: - the north south alignment along the spine of England and into Scotland leads to intersections with all the rivers and transport links that cross the Pennines. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal crosses the Pennines through the "Aire Gap" is one of the jewels of our national canal network.
Blackstone Edge Blackstone Edge: - overlooking Hollingworth Lake on the outskirts of Rochdale and home to a section of Roman Road.
Pennine Way Above Diggle - Looking west from the Pennine Way on a fine day above Dean Head and down towards Diggle where the Huddersfield-Manchester railway emerges from the Standedge Tunnel. August 1989

Getting there - access

All stages have been supported by car. For some ie the Christmas walks/in the southern section, we were dropped off and picked up.

More recently in the north we have walked the stages "out and back" from a car park.


Start: 24 August 1973
End: Ongoing

References & Links:

Date Reference or link
20141207 Pennine Way [wikipedia]
20141207 Pennine Way [National Trail]
20141207 National Trail Leaflet
20141207 National Trail Geology& Profile
20141207 Pennine Way Association

Updated KM 07 December 2014