The Pennine Way National Trail is a long distance footpath along the spine of England from the Peak District National Park to the Scottish Borders. When it opened in 1965 the Pennine Way was England's first National Trail and it remains the most iconic. It starts in the pretty village of Edale at the foot of Kinder Scout and Edale Moor and passes north through the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines before crossing Hadrian's Wall and the wild Northumberland Cheviot Hills beyond, ending in the Scottish village of Kirk Yetholm. Completing the trail is a fantastic achievement and you will be rewarded with some of the finest upland walking that England has to offer.
- 254 miles / 408 kms
- 38606 feet / 11767 metres
- 15-19 days
- Edale - Kirk Yetholm
The undulating terrain of the Pennine Way does not present a difficult challenge to most hill fit walkers. However, the remoteness of the trail and hill top exposure combined with wet windy weather that is often experienced in the north of England does require a certain toughness and determination.
Some sections are more difficult than others. Before setting out to complete the whole trail in one trip it would be useful to do some preparation and training by walking parts of it over a few weekends.
The trail is well signposted but a map and compass should always be taken. Most walkers start in Edale and walk north but of course you could walk south from Kirk Yetholm.
The standard of the path is varied. In popular areas, the Edale area for example, the trail is well maintained. In many other places, the path is permanently boggy and wet.
Always be prepared for rain and cold conditions, take a waterproof jacket and trousers, hat, gloves and spare clothing.
The walking distances each day will vary depending on the accommodation you choose each night. Large groups may need to use hotels and inns in towns and villages nearby. The hotels and inns you stay with can provide a packed lunch, which you collect on departure. Accommodation in the more rural sections of the trail can be difficult to find especially during the summer. You may need to use local taxis to transport you between your accommodation and the path.
15 Days - Edale to Bowes (Pennine Way South)
Day 1 - Edale to Crowden - 16 miles / 26 kms
Day 2 - Crowden to Dingle - 11.5 miles / 18.5 kms (1 mile / 1.5 kms off-trail)
Day 3 - Dingle to Hebden Bridge - 16 miles / 26 kms (2 miles / 3 kms off-trail)
Day 4 - Hebden Bridge to Cowling - 18 miles / 29 kms (2 miles / 3 kms off-trail)
Day 5 - Cowling to Malham - 18 miles / 29 kms (1 mile / 1.5 kms off-trail)
Day 6 - Malham to Horton-in-Ribblesdale - 14 miles / 23 kms
Day 7 - Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Hawes - 13.5 miles / 22 kms
Day 8 - Hawes to Bowes - 24 miles / 39 kms
15 Days - Bowes to Kirk Yetholm (Pennine Way North)
Day 9 - Bowes to Middleton-in-Teesdale - 12 miles / 19 kms
Day 10 - Middleton-in-Teesdale to Dufton - 20 miles / 32 kms
Day 11 - Dufton to Alston - 19 miles / 30 kms
Day 12 - Alston to Greenhead - 17 miles / 28 kms
Day 13 - Greenhead to Bellingham - 20 miles / 32 kms
Day 14 - Bellingham to Byrness - 14 miles / 23 kms
Day 15 - Byrness to Kirk Yetholm - 25 miles / 40 kms
You can travel to the southern end of the Pennine Way at Edale by train. There are regular services from Sheffield and Manchester. At the northern end of the trail there are no train services to or from Kirk Yetholm. However, there is a bus service from Kirk Yetholm to Kelso where you can take either (1) a bus to Galashiels and then a train to Edinburgh or (2) a bus to Berwick-Upon-Tweed and a train south to Newcastle. If you would like to split the trail into two, the middle point is Bowes, which has a bus service to Durham, Newcastle and Blackpool.
Pennine Way South
Book of maps which shows the southern section of the trail from Edale to Bowes
Pennine Way North
Book of maps which shows the northern section of the trail from Bowes to Kirk Yetholm
Book of maps which shows the route on Ordnance Survey Explorer map tiles (1:25,000)
Hotels & Inns
We have listed some of the better hotels and inns with links to TripAdvisor where you can read customer reviews and check prices and availability. If you like an early start, when booking accommodation check the time breakfast is served in the morning. All should be able to provide packed lunches. For those finishing late, check when evening meals end.