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Pennine Way direction sign Image taken by John Morgan

The Pennine Way

The oldest and most iconic National Trail offers a rugged taste of Northern England – stretching from the Peak District to the Scottish Borders on a challenging but rewarding route of remarkable contrasts.

About the Trail

The Pennine Way stretches for 268 miles (435km) following Britain’s rocky spine from the hills of the Derbyshire Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales, through the stunning Swaledale Valley, across the North Pennines and over Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland to the Cheviot Hills, ending in the Scottish Borders in Kirk Yetholm.

There are route descriptions available here.

With a combined ascent that exceeds the height of Mount Everest, the Pennine Way is arguably the most challenging National Trail in England and the route is recommended for experienced walkers who want a unique experience – but you don’t have to walk it all at once.

The Pennine Way is hilly and often remote. The terrain is varied and in some places the paths are smooth and firm, but in others the path may be narrow and uneven or wet and boggy. It’s best to take waterproofs and plenty of dry socks.

Watch the video

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCLlQMWYszc&w=560&h=315]

To really make the most of your trip, schedule a rest day at places such as Hebden Bridge, Skipton, Hawes, Appleby or the Hadrian’s Wall area, and spend some time exploring.

The best months to walk the Pennine Way are from mid-May to September, when the weather is usually better, however the Trail can be walked all year round. Expect snow on the northern sections in winter months.

You can spend as little or as long as you like walking on the Pennine Way National Trail.

The Trail is 268 miles (435km) long, but chances are, that if you walk from one end to the other you will walk nearer to 253 miles. Some people like to walk the full length between Edale and Kirk Yetholm. Others like to spend a week, a few days or even a day at a time taking in spectacular lengths of the route. Most full-length walkers allow 16 to 19 days to walk the Way.

Malham Cove by Paul Harris

Popular Itineraries

Explore the Pennine Way for three days, a week or even longer. Find inspiration for your walking adventure using suggested itineraries, here –

1. Pennine Way: Edale to Kirk Yetholm

2. Pennine Way: Skipton to Appleby-in-Westmorland

3. Or create your own trip

Support the Pennine Way

National Trails are looked after by dedicated teams to the highest standards. Keeping them in top condition doesn’t come cheap and budgets are under pressure. If you have had a memorable walk along the Pennine Way and would like to give something back, please consider making a donation. 100% of your donation will go towards securing the future of the Pennine Way.

The view towards Pen-y-Ghent by Andy Kay