Planning a Pennine Way walk

Last updated 1 June 2015

Outside the Border Hotel

So you’re thinking of walking the Pennine Way, eh? Well good for you. It’s certainly an experience and as long as you don’t end up up to your waist in bog (and is there anyone who has walked the whole thing, who doesn’t end up in bog at at least one point?), you’ll probably have a good time.

At 267 miles long it is, however, quite an undertaking to do, especially all in one go, and planning a trip can be hard work so here’s some help and advice.

In this Guide

  1. What is the walk like?
  2. The route
  3. Planning an itinerary
  4. Finding and booking accommodation
  5. Getting to/from the Pennine Way
  6. Guide books and maps
  7. Know how to use a map and compass
  8. And finally, and any questions

What is the walk like?

The state of my boots and new gaiters after all that mud

You may know this already as, after all, the Pennine Way has quite a reputation, but we’ll mention it anyway. The simple fact is that the Pennine Way can be a difficult walk.

It passes through a rather remote and quiet part of the country. There’s lots of hills, plenty of wild moorland, some long distances and the weather can sometimes be awful. And as for the mud and bog… True, a lot of the worse sections are now paved, however it’s one where it’s best to be well equipped, especially in the waterproof department.

That said, it is enjoyable and there’s no doubt that the sense of achievement when you do it is enormous, however it is probably the toughest and most difficult National Trail that England has to offer. If you’re an absolute walking novice, you may wish to try walking a different route first for practise. But then again, you might just want to leap in the deep-end. Just be warned – a walk in the park this is not.

You can read my own experiences on the Pennine Way. Not put off by that? Excellent. You’re half way there then!

The route

You can see the route of the Pennine Way using the map above. Using the controls you can scroll around, zoom in and explore the route. Note that this map is a guide only, and should not be used for navigation. The map includes the Bowes Loop, Cheviot option and other varioations.

Planning an itinerary

The last pub until Greenhead!

First, let’s look at when to walk. From my experience, the Pennine Way is best walked May to September. You can walk it earlier or later, however the weather conditions may not make it a fun experience – even in the summer conditions can be bad underfoot. Walking in late March or early April also runs the risk of snow, especially at the north of the route. Walking during the summer months will give you a more enjoyable walk.

You’ll need around three weeks to walk the whole thing. It’s not easy to offer set itineraries, as there are several sections which have lots of accommodation options. As such, I have listed a number of “sections” below – some long and some short. The longer ones are day walks, whilst the shorter sections can be either combined in various ways.

Each of the locations listed below has accommodation and a pub unless otherwise noted. Many stops are listed as having limited accommodation however there may be B&Bs/pubs in nearby villages which will be able to pick you up and return you to your walk if you ask them nicely.

Locations with a railway station are marked with a *.

Section Guide
Section From To Distance Notes
Miles Km
1 Edale * Crowdon 16 25¾ [1]
2 Crowdon Standedge 11 17¾
3 Standedge Hebden Bridge * 15 24
4 Hebden Bridge * Ponden 10¾ 17¼ [2]
5 Ponden Thornton in Craven 11½ 18½ [3]
6 Thornton in Craven Gargrave *
7 Gargrave * Malham 10½
8 Malham Horton in Ribblesdale * 14¼ 23
9 Horton in Ribblesdale * Hawes 13¾ 22½
10 Hawes Keld 12¼ 19¾ [4]
11 Keld Tan Hill Inn 4 [5]
12 Tan Hill Inn Middleton in Teesedale 16½ 26½ [6]
13 Middleton in Teesdale Dufton 19 30½ [7]
14 Dufton Garrigill 16 25¾
15 Garrigill Alston 4
16 Alston Burnstones/Knarsdale 7 11 [8]
17 Burnstones/Knarsdale Greenhead 9 14½
18 Greenhead Once Brewed 10½ [9]
19 Once Brewed Bellingham 14½ 23¼
20 Bellingham Byrness 14¾ 23¾ [10]
21 Byrness Kirk Yetholm (via the Cheviot) 27½ 44¼
21 Byrness Kirk Yetholm (avoiding the Cheviot) 25 40¼
  1. Very limited facilities at Crowden. For more details, see our Accommodation and Services at Crowden section
  2. Limited accommodation close to the trail at Ponden, available at Ponden House, Ponden Hall and The Old Silent Inn. Alternative accommodation can be found two miles away in the village of Haworth.
  3. No pub or shop at Thornton-in-Craven. Facilities can be found in nearby Earby.
  4. Keld is also a principle stopover on the Coast to Coast and because of this accommodation in the village can often be very short supply. However Thwaite also has some B&Bs and a hotel and is still on the Pennine Way. Alternatively you may wish to push on to the Tan Hill Inn.
  5. For a totally amazing and one off experience, stay in the most remote pub in Britain. It’s amazing. Just make sure you book in advance.
  6. This can be also be broken up by walking the Bowes Loop option.
  7. Penrith station is 16 miles from Dufton and accessible by taxi.
  8. Very limited accommodation at Knarsdale and no shop.
  9. Although a short section, this goes along Hadrian’s Wall and it is well worth spending a day on this section and taking in the museums and sights.
  10. Limited accommodation, no pub and no shop. YHA Byrness has a small shop.

Breaking the walk up for several trips

If you want to do it all in one go you’re going to need about three weeks (and don’t forget to include rest days in your planning!) however if you’re not able to dedicate that amount of time it is possible to split it up in to several sections.

Public transport connections are better in the southern section of the route meaning you can chunk things up more easily, and the following are some suggestions where good public transport is available – more information on public transport is detailed below.

Accommodation and services at Crowden

There are two places on the Pennine Way that pose difficulties for Pennine Way walkers. Unfortunately one is on the end of the first day, at Crowden.

The only sources of accommodation at Crowden are The Old House B&B and Crowden Campsite. The YHA hostel at Crowden unfortunately closed in March 2014.

Alternative accommodation can be found in nearby Glossop, and the towns and villages nearby. Glossop is a three and a half mile walk, which is not ideal at the end of your first day of walking.

Crowden is served by a National Express coach which stops at Crowden at 18:01 daily. This coach stops at the Gun Inn at Hollingworth, where you can connect with local bus services for Glossop or nearby towns and villages. The journey to Glossop takes approximately 50 minutes. In the morning the return coach is at 09:40 from the Gun Inn, arriving at Crowden at 09:50. More information can be found at Traveline North West.

To be honest, this is far from ideal and you may want to consider a local taxi. Some local accommodation providers will also pick up and drop off Pennine Way walkers, however not all will.

The Bowes Loop Option

After passing the Tan Hill Inn, there are two options for the Pennine Way. One is to keep on the main route, but the other is to follow the Bowes Loop. After several rural sections with few facilities, many will welcome the opportunity to village of Bowes which has accommodation, pub and a small shop.

The Bowes Loop
Section From To Distance
Miles Km
12a Tan Hill Inn Bowes
12b Bowes Middleton in Teesdale 12 19½

Options for breaking up Byrness to Kirk Yetholm

The final section of the Pennine Way is the most difficult to sort accommodation for. The final 25 mile (bit more if you go to the Cheviot) stretch goes past no B&Bs and certainly no pubs.

However the Pennine Way walker does have a number of options:

Note: on some older web pages you may see mention of Uswayford Farm which was a popular stop-over point and slightly closer to the Pennine Way than Barrowburn. However the B&B closed in 2010 when owner Nancy left. There is no longer any accommodation or services at Uswayford Farm.

The hostel based itinerary

There was a time when you could do the entire Pennine Way spending pretty much every night under the roof of the YHA, however hostel closures and sell-offs means that’s no longer possible. Stepping into the gap have been a number of independent bunk barns, many associated with local pubs which means most – but not all – of the trail is still covered.

It’s probably wise to try and book each hostel a few days in advance – or at least book it on the morning you intend to arrive there. Don’t forget that YHA hostels can book beds for you anywhere in the YHA network.

Most hostels and bunk barns are very often (but not always) well spaced for a days walking and an itinerary is listed below. Note some are self-catering only, however bedding is always provided.

All distances shown below are approximate and are the distance travelled along the Pennine Way. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of hostels on the Pennine Way – a more detailed list is in our hostel section below.

The Hostel Based Itinerary
Section From To Distance Notes
Miles Km
1 Edale
(YHA Edale 1 mile away)
Crowdon
No hostel. See our Crowden section
16 25¾
2 Crowdon Mankinholes, near Stoodley Pike
(YHA Mankinholes 1¼ mile away)
21 34 [1]
3 Mankinholes Pondon
(YHA Haworth 2½ miles away)
16 25¾
4 Ponden Thornton in Craven
(YHA Earby 1½ miles away)
11½ 18½  
5 Thornton in Craven Malham
(YHA Malham)
11 25¾  
6 Malham Horton in Ribblesdale
(Golden Lion Bunkroom)
14¼ 23  
7 Horton in Ribblesdale Hawes
(YHA Hawes)
13¾ 22½ [2]
8 Hawes Tan Hill Inn
(Tan Hill Inn)
16¼ 26 [3]
9 Tan Hill Inn Forest in Teesdale
(YHA Langdon Beck 1 mile away)
24½ 39½ [4]
10 Forest in Teesdale Dufton
(YHA Dufton)
8 13  
11 Dufton Alston
(YHA Alston)
20 32¼  
12 Alston Greenhead
(Greenhead Independent Hostel)
11 24¾  
13 Greenhead Once Brewed
(YHA Once Brewed)
10½  
14 Once Brewed Bellingham
(YHA Bellingham)
14½ 23¼ [5]
15 Bellingham Byrness
(YHA Byrness)
14¾ 23¾ [6]
16 Byrness Kirk Yetholm
(SYHA Kirk Yetholm)
25 40¼ [7]
  1. To break up in to two days, stop overnight in a B&B near Standedge.
  2. Alternatively, there is also a bunk house at the Green Dragon Inn, a mile or so away at Hardraw
  3. Alternatively Keld Bunkhouse is available four miles earlier, however it only has only ten beds and is liable to be full of people walking the Coast to Coast. The Tan Hill Inn does have more room and is a more reliable option for the Pennine Way walker. Advance booking of either is highly advisable.
  4. For more sensible walking distances, break at the town of Middleton in Teesdale and stay in a B&B.
  5. Small YHA affiliated bunkhouse. Booking highly recommended.
  6. A YHA affiliate, also known as Forest View Walkers Inn
  7. You may see references to the closure of Kirk Yetholm hostel. It did close in 2011 however re-opened in August 2012. It’s worth staying in the village at the end, especially as the Border Hotel does excellent food and is a great place to celebrate your achievement.

Rest Days

If you’re planning on doing the Pennine Way all in one go you’ll probably want to factor in a rest day or two. The main recommendations are:

Finding and booking accommodation

Arriving at the Tan Hill Inn

The Pennine Way is well served by accommodation providers of all kinds and you should have no trouble in finding somewhere if booking in advance.

There are two main accommodation guides, one published on the official Pennine Way website and the other published by the The Pennine Way Association. The latter only includes accommodation providers who are a member of the Association and so is smaller.

Due to the limited amount of accommodation in some areas it’s advisable to book, however if you don’t want to spend three weeks with a rigid itinerary many people report having few problems just turning up and finding a bed. The Pennine Way is also well served with campsites and camping barns if you prefer to do things that way.

Hostels and bunkbarns

The Pennine Way is amazingly well served by hostels and bunkhouses – far more so than most walking routes. Indeed, if you’re prepared for a couple of long days, you can do almost all the trail staying in hostels and bunkhouses using our Hostel Itinerary section above. This uses most of the hostels listed below:

You may see references to the closure of Kirk Yetholm hostel. It did close in 2011 however re-opened in August 2012. It’s worth staying in the village at the end, especially as the Border Hotel does excellent food and is a great place to celebrate your achievement.

You may still see references to YHA hostels in Crowden, Keld and Blackton. Crowden is now run by Rotherham Council and only available for group bookings. Keld is now a hotel and Blackton is only available for group hire. Maps may also show other bunkhouses however many have closed, or which are available for only group hire.

Camping

Just walking the Pennine Way not hardcore enough for you? Well why not do it in style and camp?! The Pennine Way is pretty served by campsites, and a number of farms and pubs also offer camping. A full, up to date list of facilities can be found on the Pennine Way website accommodation guide.

The remote countryside for much of the route may appeal to some as perfect for wild camping. However it should be said that conditions on the Pennine Way can often be less than hospitable with plenty of bog and mud to be found, especially in wet weather which means finding a suitable campsite may be difficult. Running water can also be hard to find (unless it’s raining!) Under English law you are not legally allowed to wild camp without permission of the landowner.

Getting to/from the Pennine Way

Sheep at Low Force

Given the fact that this is a walk between Derbyshire and the Scottish Borders chances are that you’re not going to arrive in Edale or Kirk Yetholm by car unless you have some very tolerant friends or family. You’ll want to get there by public transport instead.

Useful services are available at or near the following locations:

Many other locations on the Pennine Way have bus services although they may not be particularly useful to the walker, nor frequent.

Guide Books and Maps

Checking the map

Guidebooks and maps are a must on the Pennine Way. Whilst there are plenty of signs, there are plenty of opportunities to lose your way on the route.

A brand new official guidebook was published by Aurum Press in July 2012, replacing the previous two volume version.

Fully updated, it contains information about the trail and (more importantly) Ordnance Survey maps at the 1:25,000 scale. The maps usually show plenty of the area surrounding the route, meaning you don’t really need to take any other maps with you.

Whilst not the best ideal for navigation, Wainwright’s Pennine Way Companion offers AW’s own particular take on the walk as well as plenty of history and information. It is a fascinating read.

Wainwright’s original book has recently been updated by Chris Jesty, along with Wainwright’s other pictorial guides to ensure it’s up to date.

Updated in 2014 by Stuart Greig, Trailblazer’s Pennine Way guide is now in its fourth edition and is a fantastic resource. Containing detailed information of where to stay, eat and drink, this is a delight for anyone planning a walk. There’s also extensive information on public transport along the route, complete with bus numbers and operators. The maps are hand-drawn maps and are very detailed. Although it must be said that I’m less confident by the publisher’s assertion that you can navigate the whole thing using the book’s maps alone and would recommend that a proper map is used in conjunction with the book. The fact that there is a quote from myself in the book should in no way influence your view on this book either.

If you’d like to take maps with you, there are a couple of options. First is the A-Z Adventure Series maps. These excellent map books contain Ordnance Survey mapping at the 1:25,000 scale. They’re the same size as a folded map so will fit well in your map case, and are a lot easier to change the page for in high wind. The books also contain a full index of places and fells so finding where you want to go is easy.

The A-Z have split the Pennine Way over two books. There is one book coving the north of the Pennine Way, and another for the south of the Pennine Way.

Alternatively Harveys publish three strip maps which cover the whole route. These are Harvey’s own mapping, at the 1:40,000 scale. The three maps are:

Alternatively if you’d like Ordnance Survey maps, you will need the following (deep breath):

Finally, the Pennine Way’s fame means that there have been more than a few books written about it.

Most recent is Walking Home – poet Simon Armitage’s tale of his journey walking home down the Pennine Way (yes, he walks North to South!) Simon acts as a modern day troubadour, trying to arrange a gig every evening and passing round a hat at the end of his performance.

My favourite is Pennine Walkies, Mark Wallington’s account of walking the trail after deciding his dog, Boogie, needed the exercise.

Frequently hillarious, Wallington also has the amazing experience of walking the route with barely any rain, and doesn’t fall in any bog at all. Frankly, I suspect he made it all up.

Now out of print, but often available second hand is Barry Pilton’s One Man And His Bog must surely win the award for best name.

Quite why Barry decides to walk the Pennine Way, the reader is never quite sure, but if he hadn’t, the world would have one less funny book.

Finally don’t forget another out of print book. It’s the cartoon based Laughs Along the Pennine Way. It’s by Pete Bog so it must be good.

Know how to use a map and a compass

Hmm? Which way?

Whilst the route is sign posted, there are several parts of the Pennine Way that are difficult to navigate and you’ll need to know how to use a map and compass.

There are several online guides like How To Use A Compass, and you may also find training courses in your area – many YHA hostels host them for example.

Knowing how to use a map and compass together will really help you and will (hopefully!) stop you getting lost – guide books can only tell you so much in text form.

And finally, and any questions

You haven't done the Pennine Way properly if you haven't had to eat lunch huddled under a bridge

The Pennine Way is a great challenge to do and I hope the above have given you some useful information to help plan your trip.

So all that is left to do is to get your boots on and get walking! Have fun, and if you have any questions or comments, just leave a comment below.

Found this guide helpful? Why not say thanks by sending us £3 for a beer!

Your Comments

Mish Chips

9 July 2012 at 11:00 pm

Thanks so much for your website, we used it for the South Downs Way and are now referring to it while planning our Pennine Way trip.
I bought the Trailblazer Pennine Way book but am finding the maps a bit difficult to read and I don’t want to get 10 OS maps! Are the Harvey’s maps any use for planning? I saw some bad reviews on Amazon about a lack of detail which has put me off a bit and I’m now not sure what to do. Any advice?
Thanks!

Andrew Bowden

14 July 2012 at 5:47 pm

Afraid I’ve never used the Harveys maps for planning – I’ve always used OS maps or guide books with the OS maps in them. The official Pennine Way guidebooks published by Aurum have the full route in OS format so are easier than buying maps.

Alternatively Bing.com has Ordnance Survey maps available in its maps section – which is incredibly useful!

Jamie Simpson

22 July 2012 at 8:10 pm

Hi Im 16 and me and a few cadets was thinking of doing a charity hike on the Pennine way but we’re not too sure what to expect and as we are doing it non-stop we dont know how much food to take and we wont have the money to stop at B&B’s, any additional tips and advice would be great thanks.

Jamie Simpson

Andrew Bowden

23 July 2012 at 10:15 am

Hi Jamie – the good news is that the Pennine Way’s pretty well served for shops for most of its route. It depends on how long you’ll be doing each day, but you’ll be able to stock up on supplies at least every three days in a supermarket or local shops. But the further north you go, the more spread out they are. I’d say try and have four days worth of food with you for most of the trip.

From memory there’s shops and/or supermarkets in Hebden Bridge, Gargrave, Malham, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Hawes, Middleton in Teesedale, Alston, Haltwistle (which is a bit off route) and Bellingham. Most YHAs also have some convenience foods and milk available to buy as well. However there’s no shops beyond Bellingham so make sure you stock up there for the final push. There’s always somewhere to eat if you run out of food but it’ll be in pubs.

If you’re on a budget, you’ll want to either camp or stay in hostels or camping barns – there’s a lot on the route. Camping is dirt cheap but your rucksack will be heavier and it’s only cheap if you have (or can borrow) camping equipment already! If you don’t have any, hostels and bunkbarns will work out just as cheap. As you’re under 18 you’ll be advised to check with the YHA first – you may need your own room rather than staying in dorms, and if that’s the case it’s a good idea to book in advance. The National Trail website has a good list of places to stay,

Not sure what else I can add other than enjoy it and I hope you raise lots of cash! Oh and try not to get stuck in any bog. It’s not fun.

Mark Sickles

9 November 2013 at 12:36 am

Question: Can you purchase camping fuel (alcohol or butane stove canisters) at Edale and other villages along the way?

Andrew Bowden

10 November 2013 at 8:29 pm

Unfortunately this isn’t one I can answer based on my experience – hopefully some other soul can provide some information using theres. I’m sure you’d be able to find meths for fuel at several of the towns and larger villages places en-route. There are also a couple of proper campsites on the way which may have camp shops.

Dave Anderson

9 March 2014 at 11:18 am

A great site. I’m at that nervy, just-had-the-idea-stage of planning the walk. You have created a site that answers so many of my questions, many thanks

Aaron Malcolm

25 March 2014 at 4:33 pm

Hi, Just really wanting to post to say what an amazing site, I am currently organizing a charity event to walk the whole penine way to raise money for kidney cancer research. I have to say right now your site is like my bible!
Only difference with us is that we aim to live of the land only!!! Which makes us nervous but hey you gotta give it a go.
We are heavily into learning survival techniques and put ourselves into situations which we need to use them (NOT ADVISABLE FOR A NOVICE).
Would be great if you had any information on natural springs for drinking water etc…Saves all the boiling, tablets etc

Andrew Bowden

26 March 2014 at 9:31 am

Hi Aaron – I have to say I don’t remember much about the water situation on the Pennine Way, as we always stocked up for the day before leaving. Well apart from the many peaty puddles! However there is an alternative to the boiling and tablets, and that’s to use something like the Travel Tap which I did a video on. I’ve been told the newer models have a much better flow than the one I have, meaning you can just stock up on the go whenever you see water.

Good luck with your walk! Should be an amazing experience.

Dave Anderson

27 March 2014 at 5:33 pm

If I may add to your comment, Andrew, in reply to Aaron; I intend relying on a Katadyn pro hiker water filter which is claimed to be the most popular portable filter in the US. There are lots of examples of people filtering the most disgusting concoctions and then drinking the results on YouTube. I used mine for wild camps in the Lakes last year and now use it on day walks to save carrying full bottles of heavy liquid.

simon

27 May 2014 at 6:02 pm

hi ive done the edale to crowdon walk twice how i got there was sheer luck as i have not much compass and map exp, i would like to do standedge to ebdom bridge can you tell me where the starting point is at standedge please as i will be dropped off by car many thanks simon.

Andrew Bowden

28 May 2014 at 11:46 am

Standedge section starts on the A62, near Diggle – close to Brun Clough reservoir. There’s a car park close by – http://binged.it/1gA0I2i shows the location. Well worth learning how to use a map and compass – many organisations do courses on them.

Karl Shields

22 September 2014 at 2:08 pm

Great site – very informative, thanks. Justed wanted to add a warning to all about National Express buses to and from Crowden, born out of bitter experience. Its a fast road and a near invisible bus stop. If the drivers don’t know they are picking up (ie you haven’t booked a ticked in advance) its 50:50 whether they will stop no matter how much arm waving and general leaping about you do – the road is just too fast and they can’t slam the brakes on with a full coach and cars behind. Ring the booking line and speak to a human being so they can pre-warn the driver. Equally (and somewhat bizarrely) I’ve twice got the NatExp to Crowden and both times the drivers were unaware (until they checked) that there was a stop there to drop me off at! So again, don’t rely on the driver stopping without a prompt.

Tim Stewart

20 October 2014 at 5:43 am

i notice in all of my research that most people go south to north. Is it alright to go from the north to the south? Is there a reason not to do so?
I’d appreciate any advice.

Andrew Bowden

20 October 2014 at 9:28 am

Hi Tim – there’s no particularly good reason against going north to south. Indeed if I was to walk it again, I’d be very tempted to do it that way round myself.

Maria Di Domenico

8 November 2014 at 7:46 am

We’re at the planning stage of walking the Pennine Way in one go. Are there any guide books describing it from North to South? I’ve looked but failed to find any. It would be my preferred direction as, like Simon Armitage, I would be “walking home”. However I am not confident about doing it that way without a guide book that doesn’t require a reversal of their directions. Any suggestions very gratefully received.

Andrew Bowden

11 November 2014 at 12:47 pm

Hi Maria – I’ve never seen a north to south guide book myself. The only suggestion I can make is to navigate via maps.

pat moore

4 January 2015 at 5:15 pm

Hi thinking of doing the pw in june over 16 days will this be a tall order

Andrew Bowden

5 January 2015 at 1:14 pm

Hi Pat – to do the Pennine Way in 16 days would mean you’d need to walk an average of 17 miles a day. Unless you’re experienced in walking those kind of distances day after day, for over two weeks, it’s probably going to be a tall order. I’d generally recommend walking between 12 and 14 miles a day, unless you know for sure that you can do more. Generally I’d recommend three weeks to walk the Pennine Way.

natalie khoaz

22 January 2015 at 1:06 pm

Hi Andrew, just wanted to say a massive thank you for your website which was invaluable in planning my Pennine way walk. I started last year and walked Edale to Malham with my teenage son, part camped and part yha, doing the next third this year and hopefully the last third the year after. Your website was so informative and I found myself coming back to it in preference to the national trails website or other similar ones. Can’t wait to do the next section this summer, have started planning next section. Thanks again, Natalie

thomas

8 February 2015 at 4:07 pm

hi me and 2 other friends are planning to walk the pennine way from north to south in june we are going to camp and i would like to know if you are aloud to camp anywhere off trail rather then staying in staying a campsite

Andrew Bowden

8 February 2015 at 9:30 pm

Hi Thomas – in England you legally need the landowners permission to camp on their land. That said, I know some people do wild camp on the Pennine Way. If you do, just be prepared that the landowner may ask you to move on. On the Scotland side you can camp anywhere legally without asking permission as long as you do so away from buildings and not in fields, and behave responsibly.

Thomas Davies(Taff)

11 February 2015 at 2:19 pm

I am planning to do JOG to Lands End starting on 2 May 15 and a part of this is the Pennine Way. I must thank you for the time table that you have above, which has helped me to organize my time table accordingly. I start the Pennine Way at Kirk Yetholm on 27 May 15 and hoping to finish on 12/13 Jun 15. If anyone out there wants company on the route, please get in touch, WALK AID on Facebook or e-mail me on davies_t10@sky.com. I tend to take my time and enjoy the countryside approx daily mileage of between around 15 miles per day shortest is 11 and longest is 19 miles a day. Thanks Andrew Bowden .

Ewan

11 February 2015 at 4:43 pm

Hi Andrew!
Firstly, just wanted to say that your guide was a great help, many notes have been taken!
Ultimately I want to walk the whole thing, but aiming just for the 61 mile stretch from Hebden Bridge to Hawes as my first taste.
Hoping to camp rather than stay in hostels (weather permitting) but not got massive experience, just wondered if you could email me a good kit list that i’ll need or have any advice for a virgin walk/camp/walker!

Ian Shuter

19 February 2015 at 8:59 pm

Your website is excellent, I was just trying to plan my route for a two part “assault” on the Pennine Way in 2016 and 2017 and you basically did it for me. It is part of my plan to walk from Lands End to Kirk Yetholm over 5 ten or 12 day walks starting in 2016.

Myself and two friends completed the Coast2Coast over 14 days last year and although we were exhausted we are firmly hooked on doing more, however unlike the hardy souls on here we will be staying in Inns and Pubs (where we can) and using a Sherpa service..

Enjoy the beer…

Chris

11 March 2015 at 11:38 pm

Hi, thank you very much for all the info that you have taken the time to put out for one and all. My wife and our two dogs are doing the PW this June, could I ask what you would consider to be the hardest day.

regards Chris

Andrew Bowden

12 March 2015 at 8:09 pm

Chris – it depends on how you chunk it up. For me, Borrowdale to Patterdale was an extremely hard day but if you’re doing that over two days it’s a lot easier.

For many people, Richmond to Ingleby Arncliffe is a killer due to it being 21 miles (although it is pretty flat) but that’s solvable by going on to Brompton-on-Swale the day before, as per the instructions above!

Mandy

6 April 2015 at 8:20 pm

Thanks for all the useful info on this website. I’m thinking of walking the PW for my 40th in a couple of years time. Is there a reason why everyone always walks south to north? I’m planning to walk it the other way round because I live nearish to Edale and like the idea of ‘walking home’…but is there some practical reason why this isn’t a good idea?

Andrew Bowden

6 April 2015 at 8:51 pm

Hi Mandy – as far as I know there’s no problems walking the other way round, other than that you may end up with a very long first day thanks to the lack of accommodation between Kirk Yetholm and Byrness. That said, it’s probably not much worse than starting at Edale in that respect.

Dave Anderson

7 April 2015 at 11:33 am

Hj Mandy, having chatted to a number of people on the PW who were doing it North to South, a couple said that route finding appears to be easier when starting in Edale. Other than that there appear to be no problems.
There are two mountain huts in the Cheviots to spend the night in which can help break down the long first day when starting from Kirk Yetholm.

Mandy

7 April 2015 at 7:53 pm

Thank you both for your comments. I’ve also heard from someone else that you have the weather more at your back going South to North but so far all these reasons are things I think I can work with. Just got to work out now if I’m up for the challenge overall! I expect I’ll be visiting this excellent website quite a bit in the next two years…

Pat

11 April 2015 at 12:09 am

Very interesting and useful info. I want to do a five day walk at around 10/ 12 miles a day. Which stretch of the Penine Way would you recommend? Do hostels take dogs? Thanks.

Ken whiteside

27 April 2015 at 3:23 pm

Hi just read all above were two falling to pieces over 60year olds thinking of walking the pennine way we need help besides our heads lookin at what would be a good tester to see if we have the nowse we both walk our springer daily about 4 miles also would he be allowed to. Do the walk too we live in Lincoln sleaford area pretty flat area so how do we go about it ps the at in the email is not right should be @ cheers Ken w

Peter Hall

28 April 2015 at 9:03 am

Ken, when I completed the PW eleven years ago at the age of 44, I was followed into the Border Hotel by a young man of 75 who had just finished it. So I don’t think you’re too old. I think you’d be advised to try part of the first day say from Edale to the Snake Road or even to the top of Jacob’s Ladder and back. If you can manage that then there’s hope :) If you’re doing it in one go with the dog, just look for dog friendly B&B’s as long as he’s on a lead he’ll be fine.
Training for it is very important, build up your mileage gradually until you can walk consecutive long days. I’ve been doing that since January ready for my third time starting in a couple of weeks time. See my training blog at http://penninepete.tumblr.com/

Christian Allen

1 May 2015 at 1:27 pm

I am hoping to complete this with 3 friends next year, none of us will be old enough to drive and we will be walking on a tight budget.

What is the cheapest way to get from Hertfordshire where we live to the start and back again?

Peter Hall

5 May 2015 at 4:26 pm

Christian,
If you’re not old enough to drive, I’d say the cheapest way is to get a parent who has a big car to drive you to the start and meet you at the finish :)
Alternatively, the journey from Watford Junction to Edale is about 4 hours and will cost £20 single with a 16 to 25 Railcard.
Berwick to Watford single is about five hours and costs £36 but you’ll have to get buses from Kirk Yetholm to Berwick.
You could of course try hitchhiking but I suspect that wouldn’t gain popular approval.
Modern tents are incredibly light (even I have a two man tent that weighs under 2kg as opposed to 8.2kg for the Vango Force 10 Mk 4 that I carried first time)

Angela Raftery

31 May 2015 at 6:55 pm

Hi, just wanted to let you know, at Ponden, there is another accommodation right on the Pennine Way next to Ponden House it is called Ponden Hall stayed there this weekend to meet up with my partner walking the Pennine Way, it’s right on the trail. (only been open as B&B since Oct 14)

Andrew Bowden

1 June 2015 at 1:40 pm

Thanks Angela – I’ve updated accordingly.

Peter Hall

1 June 2015 at 2:22 pm

I’ve just completed the PW for my third time and I have to say that this was the most difficult one. For anyone walking north, I’d seriously advise you to take the wet weather route along the road rather than struggle through the ankle deep water on the official path north of Tan Hill over Sleightholme Moor.
Also, it may be useful to factor in the most amazing place between Hadrian’s Wall and Bellingham namely Horneystead! I wasn’t expecting anywhere to stop and rest on this stage so to find a barn with WC, kettle, tea, coffee, cup a soups, biscuits, crisps AND a fully stocked fridge full of drinks cans was awesome!
See penninepete.tumblr.com for details.

John Howard

1 June 2015 at 8:15 pm

I completed the Pennine Way North to South on May 28th. taking 21 days with a 3 day break at Keld Park House campsite. (very friendly) I camped every night in a Hilleberg Akto. The weather was pretty tough with very strong cold winds for nearly all the days. I met walkers who had tried Bowes and found everything closed, no shop, no pub, no campsite or B & B, as I also did in 2013. This may need carefully checking by any prospective walkers.

Wendy Pate

8 June 2015 at 11:00 pm

Great website . My sis in law and I are going to walk PW end of sept . Aiming to do it in 15 days and bed and breakfast all the way. I know it’s a tough ask as many of our days will be long .

barry Davies

14 June 2015 at 7:09 pm

40 years ago today set off on my bike to set the first Pennine Way Cycling Record !! Now illegal I know but thanks for the website and the great memories !!

Erik van Doorn

24 June 2015 at 12:19 am

Great site, Andrew. I did the PW in 2 halves: Edale – Tan Hill (8 stages) in July 2012 and Tan Hill – Kirk Yetholm (7 stages) in May 2013. Found out that the average stage in the 2nd half (about 20 m) was a bit to long for. Some days I ended up walking against the clock, also due to the bad conditions of the underground / soil. And that simply does not give the surroundings the credits they earn.
Take your time for this trail. It is great in sunshine and rain alike.

I did some parts again in 2014 as they coincided with my Pennine Journey. In reference to Peter and also other people asking for the hardest part on the PW: In my experience the Sleightholme Moor was definitely among the hardest. Walked it twice in wet weather conditions (not even of the worst kind) and had to, almost literally, watch every step I made. It is also one of the parts that is not easy to navigate because, whereas on most stretches the obvious path is clear, it is hard to find here. Futhermore the middle part of Bellingham – Byrness stage becomes very bad in bad weather conditions (Experienced it myself and have read this from other hikers aswell).

And a last advise: If you are in good condition, make the Byrness – Kirk Yetholm stage(25 m) in one day. You will have to leave Byrness around 05:00 AM though, to make it. But it sure makes a worthy end of the trail.

john parkinson

28 June 2015 at 3:27 pm

Hi everyone,
Just a line to say I finished a south north walk in 16 days last week. It is a bit of a slog but that is what makes it special. I do think you can take too long on the trail and go a bit stir crazy and taking too long sort of diminishes the challenge (a bit like doing it in bits and pieces). I reckon 16 days is about right (roughly the itinery in the national trail guide). With some pre walk practise and being moderately fit you should be ok without any rest days. Just keep the pack weight down to about 10/11 kgs and pace yourself. Don’t tear up the first few days and crock yourself for later on. Get started reasonably early and give yourself all day and you will be fine. I only finished after 6pm on one occasion ( Greenhead to Bellingham) and I am 60 and carried 14 kg.
At the moment the going is as kind as it is ever likely to be; very dry underfoot in most places and nothing really nasty anywhere. Not too many doing it too so there seemed to be plenty of places to stay.
Regards

John

Wendy

7 July 2015 at 9:50 pm

Thank you John that’s good to know although I doubt it will be as dry underfoot for us in October .

Kirsty

18 July 2015 at 12:17 pm

Hi Andrew….
I’m looking at information about the Pennine way on behalf of my mum who has wanted to walk all or part of it most of her life! I’m searching for a tour group or guide she could do the walk with (as we live in Australia and none of the rest of the family are in a position to join her at present). Are you able to direct me to how I might be able to find a group/people that she could join? Thanks so much in advance.
Kirsty

Andrew Bowden

21 July 2015 at 9:24 am

Hi Kirsty – I’d have a look at the National Trails website. They have a list of tour companies who do holidays on the Pennine Way.

Your Comments

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.