At the start of the Pennine Way

Published 7 September 2016

A pub sign for the Nag's Head offering a Beer Garden at rear, and noting it is the Official Start of the Pennine Way.
Now fixed so it doesn’t say ‘Pennine Wa’ any more.

The first time I arrived at Edale to walk the Pennine Way, I didn’t really notice anything special on which to set you off on your walk. No big obelisk, no information boards, nothing. Just a sign attached to the side of the Old Nags Head with a letter missing meaning that it proclaimed it was the official start of the “Pennine Wa”. None of that’s to say that there wasn’t anything there; just that I didn’t notice it.

That was many years ago, but on a recent return to Edale, I did notice that things had changed.

The first thing you notice is that there’s signs pointing you to the start of the trail all over the village.

A well worn Pennine Way sign at Edale.
A well worn Pennine Way sign at Edale

Some are clearly a little worn.

A new looking sign pointing straight on for the Pennine Way.
Which way? That way!

Whilst others look quite shiny.

A homemade Pennine Way directional arrow written in permanent marker on a white piece of plastic.
Quality signage

And then there are those that look more official than others.

Green metal plaque  saying 'The Official Start of the Pennine Way.  Kirk Yetholm 268 miles/429km.'
Plaque celebrating the start of the Pennine Way at Edale

They all point you to the same place though. And when you get there, there’s a nice plaque telling you how long you’ll be walking for.

A wooden gate with the route of the Pennine Way engraved on it.
Look carefully and you’ll see the Pennine Way route on this gate

And a nice gate to go through too. Step through that gate and your journey will have begun.

A wide picture of the Pennine Way gate, showing that there is a gateless path that runs next to the path that leads to the gate.
Just go to the right if you don’t want to go through the lovely Pennine Way gate

Not that you actually have to go through the gate that is. There’s a path that just goes round. It’s easy to go round, and whilst we were there, almost everyone else did. And that meant few seemed to notice the lovely representation of the Pennine Way that was on the gate. Which seemed rather a shame really.

But anyway, it’s nice to see – and indeed notice – that there’s a bit of a celebration of the start of the Pennine Way in Edale. After all, every epic journey needs a good beginning.


Adrian Wain

30 October 2016 at 11:38 am

I walked the Pennine Way in September 2016; South to North. I did not notice the design on the gate. Just checked my photographs to see that I didnt even get the gate in my picture of the sign. I will have to go back… I am enjoying your blog; I came to it after searching for info on the North Downs Way which is next on my list.

Many thanks.

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