The Pennine Way was the first official long distance footpath to be created in Britain in 1965 after a long campaign started in 1935 by Tom Stephenson, secretary of The Ramblers Association. The roots of the campaign for the Pennine Way was the mass trespass movement of the 1930s. Some say, after they have been swimming through the bogs of Kinder Scout or Cheviot, they could see why such a concession for a footpath was given for the route: it was enough to put some off walking for life!
In reality the Pennine Way being a popular "tester" has attracted a great deal of attention from walkers, to the affect that there has been a great deal of erosion, but there has been a lot of negative publicity about this. More recently there have been huge efforts to reseed certain areas of the Pennine Way and to cover the eroded surfaces with "all weather" flagstones, which have indirectly aided navigation through some of the worst sections of the trail as well.
While the National Park authorities try to improve trail conditions, it should be made clear that the Pennine Way passes through some of the loneliest and loveliest high walking terrain in England, and over such length there is a tremendous variety from high peat bog, heathlands, beautiful karst (limestone scenery) including cliffs, caves and rock pavements.
The Pennine Way also features big peaks known as the High fells of which Cross Fell is the highest point at nearly 3000 feet; the smaller hills of the Yorkshire Dales; deep green valleys such as Swaledale, with beautiful rivers, often with industrial and archaeological remains such as the traces of old lead mining or Hadrian's wall; tremendous natural features such as High, Low Force waterfalls and High Cup Nick - a glacial valley.
The Pennine Way also visits the highest pub in England at Tan Hill, where the beer goes flatter quicker than at lower pubs due to less atmospheric pressure (!) and of course the chance to commune with nature over an extended period.
Most people do the Pennine Way from South to North which at least normally means that you are walking with your back to the worst of the weather and most walk it in 2- 3 weeks. Maps and compass are essential on the Pennine Way as there is limited waymarking enroute.
Sherpa Van support services for the Pennine Way
The Sherpa Van Project also offer an Accommodation Booking Service for the for the Pennine Way to take all the worry and hassle out of organising your trip. All you need to do is tell us where you would like to stay each night, and we will do the rest.
For more information about the Sherpa Van Project and our Pennine Way support services please click here. Alternatively, book our daily baggage transfer service for the Pennine Way or your Pennine Way accommodation here.
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