Planning your Pennine Way walk

Published 29 November 2011. Last updated 8 April 2024

Grinning like loons 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?

Very muddy boots are what the Pennine Way does best.

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 variations.

Planning an itinerary

Last pub till 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 🚂 Crowden 1 16 25¾
2 Crowden 1 Standedge 11 17¾
3 Standedge Hebden Bridge 2 🚂 15 24
4 Hebden Bridge 2 🚂 Ponden 3 10¾ 17¼
5 Ponden 3 Thornton in Craven 4 11½ 18½
6 Thornton in Craven 4 Gargrave 🚂
7 Gargrave 🚂 Malham 10½
8 Malham Horton in Ribblesdale 🚂 14¼ 23
9 Horton in Ribblesdale 🚂 Hawes 13¾ 22½
10 Hawes Keld 5 12¼ 19¾
11 Keld 5 Tan Hill Inn 6 4
12 Tan Hill Inn 6 Middleton in Teesedale 7 16½ 26½
13 Middleton in Teesdale Dufton 8 19 30½
14 Dufton 8 Garrigill 9 16 25¾
15 Garrigill 9 Alston 4
16 Alston Knarsdale 10 6 10
17 Knarsdale 10 Greenhead 10 15½
18 Greenhead Twice Brewed 11 10½
19 Twice Brewed Bellingham 14½ 23¼
20 Bellingham Byrness 12 14¾ 23¾
21 Byrness 12 Kirk Yetholm (via the Cheviot) 27½ 44¼
21 Byrness 12 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. Hebden Bridge is off-trail, but can be accessed by following the canal, or alternatively by walking the Hebden Bridge Loop.
  3. Limited accommodation close to the trail at Ponden, available at Ponden Mill, and The Old Silent Inn. Alternative accommodation can be found two miles away in the village of Haworth. A small number of buses run between Ponden and Hawarth.
  4. No pub or shop at Thornton-in-Craven. Facilities can be found in nearby Earby.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. This can be also be broken up by walking the Bowes Loop option.
  8. Following the closure of the YHA hostel, there is now very limited accommodation in Dufton. Penrith station is 16 miles from Dufton and accessible by taxi. For more details, see our Accommodation and Services in Dufton section
  9. Garrigill’s pub – the George and Dragon – has been closed for some years, but will be re-opening after a major refurbishment hopefully some point in 2023.
  10. No shop. Accommodation at the recently re-opened Kirkstyle Inn, with some alternative accommodation in nearby Slaggyford.
  11. 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.
  12. Main facilities (bar, restaurant, and a small shop) are all found at Forest View Walkers Inn.

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.

  • Edale to Hebden Bridge – 42 miles
  • Hebden Bridge to Gargrave – 26½ miles
  • Gargrave to Horton-in-Ribblesdale – 20¼ miles
  • Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Dufton – 70¾ miles
  • Dufton to Kirk Yetholm – 97¼ miles

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. It’s a situation that was okay-ish until the YHA Hostel at Crowden closed in 2014. And has got far harder now that the only local B&B – the Old House at Torside – appears to have closed at some point in 2022.

Currently, the only source of accommodation at Crowden is Crowden Campsite. If you don’t have a tent, then accommodation can be found in nearby Glossop and Hadfield, and the villages nearby. However they’re not walkable (unless you want a really long day.)

Some local B&Bs may pick you up if you ask very nicely. However your best bet is to use a local taxi service to get there. Best book in advance as mobile signals can be patchy around Crowden.

There are also some extremely limited public transport services, namely South Pennine Community Transport‘s 351 service which runs to Glossop. However it only runs one day a week, and not at times liable to be useful to most walkers. So like I say, consider a taxi.

Accommodation and services at Dufton

In 2024 Dufton Hostel was closed and sold by the YHA. Currently the building’s future is unknown to us, and whilst we’re hopeful it may re-open, we don’t know. With it gone, Dufton is now a very awkward place for accommodation. The only option we’re aware of in Dufton is a single room B&B, The Pennine Potting Shed.

Alternative accommodation can be found in neighbouring villages, but will likely require taxis, or an extended walk as there is no public transport at Dufton. This is a shame as Dufton’s pub, The Stag Inn, is well worth a visit in the evening.

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 13½
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. Hey, it doesn’t even go near any roads.

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

  • stay at Mounthooley bunkhouse – the turn off for this bunkhouse is a short way after the Cheviot and a couple of miles off route. If you’re prepared for a long first day and a shorter second day, Mounthooley is a possible option. Note that Mounthooley is remote and there are no nearby pubs or shops.
  • stay two nights at Byrness – stay two nights at Forest View Walkers Inn. Their licensed minibus will pick you up at Trows Farm, a mile and a half south of Windy Gyle, and drop you off again in the morning.
  • stay two nights at Kirk Yetholm – similar to the Byrness option, but staying in Kirk Yetholm, using a local taxi based in Kelso or Kirk Yetholm to get picked up and dropped off at an arranged location midway between Byrness and Kirk Yetholm. Some B&B owners may offer you a lift as well.
  • stop at a bothy – the National Park operates two shelters. The first is at Yearning Saddle, about eight miles from Byrness. The second is Auchope, about seven miles from Kirk Yetholm. Both are basic shelters so if you plan to stay overnight you’ll need food and a sleeping bag. Both are also marked on the Ordnance Survey maps and are on the trail.
  • do it all in one day – if you’re a glutton for punishment, this is an option. However you’ll need to be very fit to manage it. Still, if you’ve walked the whole trail in one go, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to do it!

Over the years there have been a number of accommodation providers between Byrness and Kirk Yetholm who have come and gone after various lengths of time in business. Elsewhere on the internet you may see references to B&Bs at Uswayford Farm (closed 2010), Clocklawfoot Farm (closed by 2018) and Barrowburn Farm (closed in 2021).

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 a plethora 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 a good chunk of the trail is still covered. But sadly the days when you could do the whole of the Pennine Way staying in hostels, is long gone.

It’s wise to try and book each hostel in advance as spaces can be limited. 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
      Miles Km
1 Edale
(YHA Edale 1 mile away)
No hostel. See our Crowden section
16 25¾
2 Crowden Standedge
No hostel.
11 17¾
3 Standedge Hebden Bridge
No hostel
15 24
4 Hebden Bridge Ponden
(YHA Haworth 2½ miles away)
10¾ 17¼
5 Ponden Thornton in Craven
(Earby Hostel 1½ miles away)
11½ 18½
6 Thornton in Craven Malham
(YHA Malham)
11 25¾
7 Malham Horton in Ribblesdale
(Golden Lion Bunkroom or 3 Peaks Bunkroom)
14¼ 23
8 Horton in Ribblesdale Hawes 1
(YHA Hawes)
13¾ 22½
9 Hawes Tan Hill Inn 2
(Tan Hill Inn)
16¼ 26
10 Tan Hill Inn Forest in Teesdale 3
(YHA Langdon Beck 1 mile away)
24½ 39½
11 Forest in Teesdale Dufton
No hostel
8 13
12 Dufton Alston
(YHA Alston)
20 32¼
13 Alston Greenhead
(Greenhead Independent Hostel)
11 24¾
14 Greenhead Twice Brewed
(YHA The Sill at Hadrian’s Wall)
15 Twice Brewed Bellingham
No hostel 4
14½ 23¼
16 Bellingham Byrness
No hostel – see Forest View
14¾ 23¾
17 Byrness Kirk Yetholm
(Hostelling Scotland Kirk Yetholm)
25 40¼
  1. Alternatively, there is a bunkhouse a mile further up the Pennine Way at the Hadraw, at the Green Dragon Inn
  2. 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.
  3. For more sensible walking distances, break at the town of Middleton in Teesdale and stay in a B&B.
  4. The small YHA affiliated bunkhouse at Bellingham appears to have closed.

If you plan to stay at multiple YHA hostels, it’s well worth considering becoming a member as this will save you some money.

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:

  • Hebden Bridge – a bit early on but this Yorkshire market town has a seriously quirky reputation due to an influx of writers, painters and new age activists in the 1970s and 1980s. There’s plenty to explore and enjoy, as well as having regular rail services to Manchester and Leeds
  • Malham – a popular place for walkers Malham is a lovely place and has a range of walking routes to enjoy.
  • Horton-in-Ribblesdale – with the three peaks of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-ghent Horton is a mecca for walkers. The Pennine Way goes over Pen-y-ghent however a rest day can easily be spent exploring the other two peaks or spending some time on the stunning Settle to Carlisle railway line which passes through the village.
  • Hawes – this small market town has the Dales Countryside Museum, waterfalls, walking routes and the Wensleydale Creamery.
  • Bowes – on the Bowes Loop you can spend the day visiting Bowes Castle and other nearby attractions.
  • Greenhead/Twice Brewed – the Pennine Way runs along part of Hadrian’s Wall and highly recommended is to do the short distance between Greenhead and the Twice Brewed Inn in one day and spend the rest exploring the Roman ruins, museums and visitor centres.

Finding and booking accommodation

The mighty 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.

An accommodation guide is available on the official Pennine Way website.

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.

Accommodation Booking Services and Baggage Transfer

A number of companies will arrange your walk for you. Generally this includes baggage transfer as well. You can find a list of companies who will book accommodation on the official Pennine Way website.

The official website also has a list of companies who provide baggage transfer if you just want that service.

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 also still see references to YHA hostels in Crowden, Keld, Bellingham, Byrness, Blackton and Dufton. Crowden is now run by Rotherham Council and only available for group bookings. Keld is now a hotel, and Blackton and Bellingham both closed. Dufton was sold in May 2024, and its future is unknown. YHA Byrness became Forest View Walkers Inn. Older maps may also show other bunkhouses however many have closed, or that are available for only group hire. YHA Mankinholes was also a handy spot for the Pennine Way walker. However it is currently only available for exclusive hire of the whole hostel.

If you plan to stay at multiple YHA hostels, it’s well worth considering becoming a member as this will save you some money.


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

The sheep go baa.

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 for walkers from the following locations are listed below:

  • Edale – on the lovely Hope Valley line roughly half way between Sheffield and and Manchester. Trains usually run hourly service.
  • Hebden Bridge – several services an hour mostly running between Leeds and Manchester, plus hourly services to Blackpool and York.
  • Gargrave – a short journey from Leeds, trains also run to Carlisle and Morcombe. Services are sporadic.
  • Horton-in-Ribblesdale – on the Settle to Carlisle line, trains run through to Carlisle or Leeds roughly every two hours or so.
  • Dufton – there’s no station at Dufton however Appleby on the Settle to Carlisle line is a few miles away. More useful however is 13 miles away at Penrith which sits on the West Coast mainline and has regular services to London, Crewe, Carlisle, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Dufton has no regular bus service, so you will need a taxi.
  • Byrness – the tiny village is connected to Newcastle by the X74 bus, operated by Peter Hogg. Three buses run each day, six days a week.
  • Kirk Yetholm – buses to Kelso run at various intervals from just outside the Border Inn. From Kelso there is a two hourly bus service to Berwick-upon-Tweed where railway services regularly run to London, Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh amongst other destinations.

There are bus services that serve the Pennine Way, however they may not be particularly useful to the walker, nor run on a frequent basis.

Guide Books and Maps

Anyone seen the path? It’s around here somewhere…

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.

Pennine Way National Trail Guideby Damian Hall

Aurum Press publish the official Pennine Way National Trail Guide, last updated in the 2016. For many years the guide book was split over two volumes, although now is a single book.

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.

Pennine Way Companionby A Wainwright

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.

Pennine Wayby Stuart Grieg and Bradley Mayhew

Trailblazer’s Pennine Way guide 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. The latest edition is from 2023.

Pennine Way (South) Adventure Atlasby A-Z

If you’d like to take maps with you, there are a couple of options. First are the A-Z Pennine Way Adventure Atlas 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. This first book is the South of the route.

Pennine Way (North) Adventure Atlasby A-Z

This Pennine Way Adventure Atlas covers the north of the Pennine Way.

Pennine Way Map Booklet

Cicerone also have a map book using the Ordnace Survey Explorer mapping at the 1:25,000 scale.

Pennine Way South XT40by Harvey's

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

This map covers the south of the route.

Pennine Way North XT40by Harvey's

This is the Harveys map that covers the north of the Pennine Way.

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

  • Landranger (1:50,000): 74, 80, 86, 87, 90, 92, 98, 103, 109, 110
  • Explorer (1:25,000): OL1, OL2, OL16, OL19, OL21, OL30, OL31, OL42, OL43

Barry Pilton

Laughs along the Pennine Wayby Pete Bog

Another out of print book is the cartoon based Laughs Along the Pennine Way. It’s by Pete Bog so it must be good.

Finally, if you do make it to the end, you can get your own personalised completion certificate from the National Trails website.

Know how to use a map and a compass

A very small Pennine Way signpost, with the author next to it for scale
Blink and you’ll miss this sign

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

If you want shelter in which to eat lunch, simply find a handy, convenient 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.

We update our planning guides on a regular basis, and welcome reports of errors, clarifications and additions. If you have any, please email us using our contact form.


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?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

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 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 (Rambling Man editor)

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 (Rambling Man editor)

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 (Rambling Man editor)

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.


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 (Rambling Man editor)

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 – 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 (Rambling Man editor)

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 (Rambling Man editor)

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 (Rambling Man editor)

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


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 (Rambling Man editor)

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 [email protected]. 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 .


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…


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 (Rambling Man editor)

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!


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 (Rambling Man editor)

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.


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…


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

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

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 (Rambling Man editor)

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 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.



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 .


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.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

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.


28 July 2015 at 11:32 am

Hi All
We are a couple of 70 year olds who have done many long distance trails (just finished the coast 2 coast) and are now thinking of doing the PW. However, we can’t walk more than 10 to 13 miles a day (arthritic knees etc. etc.) Does anyone think this is possible or would we be stuck in too many places without anywhere to stay?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

31 July 2015 at 2:45 pm

Linda – accommodation may be difficult but if you’re prepared to take taxis here and there, you should be able to find a way to split it up. However there’s a couple of sections that would be difficult – not least the final stretch between Byrness and Kirk Yetholm which is 26 miles long. It can be split into two days thanks to pick up points, however I understand most ways to split it up result in one day being longer than the other.


1 August 2015 at 2:13 pm

Thanks Andrew, I think we may just pick and choose which parts we do rather than think we can do it all.

jennifer allingham

3 August 2015 at 12:35 am

Hi Andrew,
First of all, thanks for your fantastic website. I used it on several occasions during the planning stages of my recently completed (July 30, 2015) C2C. I am now back in Canada having major withdrawal and am therefore planning my next LDW for next summer.
I loved every minute of the C2C which I did over 16 days including one rest day in Richmond. I loved the magnificent scenery and the camaraderie with fellow walkers. I did have a few troublesome moments when my vertigo almost made me quit on the spot but with the support of other walkers I nerved my way through these moments.
I am hoping to do the Pennine Way next July but given that it is more remote and less busy with fewer walkers I am concerned about the vertigo issue being more of a problem. How does it compare to some of the more spine-tingling spots on the C2C? (I’m fine with ridge walking but really struggled with having to walk in the proximity of sheer drops and along steep traverses.)
I am also considering the West Highland Way coupled with the Great Glen Way.
Thanks for your input!

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

3 August 2015 at 9:58 am

Hi Jennifer – the Pennine Way is a different beast to the Coast to Coast. There’s nothing like the dramatic climbs of the Lake District for example. Most of the Pennine Fells are wide and spacious, with plenty of room around paths and no particularly awful descents, climbs or drops. It’s very similar to the Coast to Coast sections in the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, and there’s a lot of ridge style walking.


3 August 2015 at 4:13 pm

Thanks, Andrew. Sounds perfect.
Any comments as to the busyness of the trail in July? Would I be totally on my own or would I meet other walkers?
Thanks again.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

3 August 2015 at 8:25 pm

There will be plenty around in the south, but the further north you go, the quieter it gets. But you should meet some people out there.


7 August 2015 at 6:34 pm

Hi, First thank you for this website (helped me a lot), I had a question for you. So i’m relatively new to long distance walking, and I was thinking of doing the pennine way with my girlfriend.

We were thinking of going a bit hardcore and just wild-camp instead of staying in b&b’s etc…(to save us money mainly), but you said it’s illegal to do that without permission, but how do you get the landowner’s permission ?

Thanks a lot again

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

7 August 2015 at 7:55 pm

Chris – the million dollar question! I think the answer most people will give is this: if you can see a farm nearby, ask them if they have somewhere you can put your tent up on. If not, just pitch up, preferably out of the way and on non-farm land. If someone spots you and doesn’t want you on their land they can legally ask you to move on. There’s a good guide to it all on this website.

billy mcilwraith

25 August 2015 at 12:33 pm

Andrew, your comment on the 12th may, is that not wainwrights coast to coast you are referring to? You menton Patterdale and never saw that when I just did the P. Way! Did the PW in 16 days, 3×4 and 2 x 2. May to August.The last day Byrness to kirk yethom was horrible, Rained and mist for all of the 10 hrs and 35 mins it took me to do the 24.Cross fell was the same. I have done all the big walks including C2C, Southern upland, Cumbria and West highland ways.This was by far the hardest both mentally and physically.The one issue people planning to do the PW on their own is a lot of days you will walking on your own and see nobody for hours. Also splitting the last day it requres you to go down 2 miles off t
e way and 2 miles back up the next day, very steep both ways I was told.Would I do it again? No! Bits of it? Maybe, as I never saw Cross fell,High cup or any of the last leg due to mist.I am continuing my LEJOG next year but didnt take the guide advice given telling me to leave the PW at Blackhall hill a number of miles from the end of the PW, not after doing all the previous distance! Had to complete it all! Keep up the good work.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

25 August 2015 at 12:40 pm

Yes, I appear to have got a little confused! Must have had the Coast to Coast on my mind that day.

Sue Winter

5 September 2015 at 3:57 pm

Do you know if there is anywhere that will receive mail for Pennine Way walkers who are camping? Thanks

Richard Hamblin

3 January 2016 at 1:06 pm

We would like to do the walk in sections and would probably aim to do aprox 6 days of walking each time, starting from the South.

Are there any travel agents who arrange accomodation bookings and also transport the baggage each day ?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

4 January 2016 at 9:39 am

Richard – the official Pennine Way website has a list of operators who arrange accommodation and baggage transfer.

Alan Lyon

17 January 2016 at 8:08 pm

Hi Andrew, enjoyed reading the comments in your web page. Lots of good information. I completed the Cape Wrath to Fort William trail last year (Oct 2015)230 miles. I found that due to the difficulty in the terrain I used a pair of Yeti gaiter’s which kept my feet dry for the complete journey although a bit sweaty at times and being the west coast of Scotland there isn’t a lot of dry ground and lots of river crossing.
As I will be doing the PW later this year. Would I require the Yeti gaiter’s or just normal Gortex gaiter’s do?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

18 January 2016 at 9:54 am

Alan – the Pennine Way is boggy but the worst sections (and many others) have paving slabs. Unless there’s a lot of rain due, you should be fine with normal gaiters.

Peter Hall

18 January 2016 at 4:17 pm

There are about several sections where gaiters would come in useful, though to be perfectly honest some of them are best bypassed!
1) Sleightholme Moor between Tan Hill In and the Sleightholme Moor Road. Wainwright says that in good weather it is like walking in porridge, in bad weather oxtail soup. He goes on to say that there is a perfectly good road between the two points and that no one need ever know. I wish I had taken his advice.
2) Alston to Lambley over Whitley Common and Hartleyburn Common (South Side). My advice take the South Tyne Trail.
3) Hartleyburn Common (North Side) sorry no alternative!
4) From the Wall northwards (sorry!!!) There is an alternative to Padon Hill by continuing along the road to Gibshiel, then follow the track through the forest til it meets the PW again. I was glad of this advice from a B&B owner. But for the most parts it’s just gloop.


5 February 2016 at 8:10 am

Hi there my nam is Sam first time useing this site . I to am in the middle of planning a small hike along the penning way , say about 40 miles as a tasters , I was just wondering how long would that take with a full back pack. And when is the best time of year to go .it’s not my first solo hike but it is my first time in eadale. . And I only have 3 days to do it in .

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

5 February 2016 at 9:27 am

To be honest, you’ll be restricted by accommodation availability and that’s the most difficult part of scheduling, especially around Edale. However three days will get you to Hebden Bridge from Edale, which is about 42 miles.

Pennine Way Transport Advice

30 March 2016 at 10:44 pm

Hello, just to add to public transport options for the West Yorkshire sections, excellent bus connections from Stanbury to Keighley (25 mins away by bus) near the Top Within section of the PW run on buses 664, 916/7/8 at least hourly Mon to Sat daytime, much reduced services run after 6pm however but Haworth is only a 20 min walk from Stanbury where more frequent buses to Keighley also run. Keighley is served by various bus and train services including services from Leeds, Bradford, Skipton, Burnley and places on the Settle to Carlisle line. For the section around Marsden, bus 184 from Huddersfield to Oldham and Manchester stops right next to the Pennine Way at Standedge Cutting every hour Mon to Sat roughly between 7am and 6pm with a 2 hourly Sunday service. Not far from Standedge is Marsden village (roughly 30 mins using a track leading off the Pennine Way via Hard End or 40 mins walking straight down the A62 using the grass verge until a tarmac path starts) and from Marsden, hourly trains run to Manchester and Huddersfield, and very frequent buses run to Huddersfield on the 183/4/5/6.

Bas van Aalst

12 April 2016 at 7:35 pm

Hello there,

I am going to walk the PW from Edale to Horton-in-Ribblesdale beginning of july. I’m from the Netherlands and I was wondering if there will be (much) rain in the Pennines during summer. Will I be needing gaiters on the first third of the PW beginning of july? With compliments on your website,

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

13 April 2016 at 9:40 pm

Bas – I’d suggest taking gaiters no matter what the date. It can get wet on the Pennines at any time of the year!


14 April 2016 at 7:27 am

It is sure to rain at some time in July, but I find gaiters are only useful in long wet grass. Much of the way has been paved and is well walked and long grass is not a problem.
I’ve done the whole walk once and some bits many times. Two of us will be doing it again in less than 6 weeks time (excitement building!) and have never used gaiters.


14 April 2016 at 7:46 am

If I can reply to Richard Hamblin.
If you feel the need to have your luggage carried Richard you are carrying too much! My brother and I are doing it in May with 30 litre packs of less than 6kg.
Much of the stuff in it may be needed during the day, pack lunch, waterproofs, warm fleece. The rest, washing gear, spare underclothes etc even in our case a small sleeping bag (for bunkhouses) do not weigh much and is not worth the bother of arranging transport. Unless of course you ‘dress for dinner’ which is not expected on a hike!


21 April 2016 at 7:56 pm

Hi Andrew, thanks for this great website. Me and my girlfriend are going to walk the pennine way in July and August. We were wondering if it is easy to walk the trail without pre-booked accomodation. We want to be flexible and be able to spontaneously decide to have a resting day. We will bring a tent, so camping is an option. Is there any difference between hostels and campings with regards to the need for pre-booking?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

22 April 2016 at 9:25 am

Levi – July and August are the busiest times of the year and there’s not always loads of accommodation, however if you try booking a few days in advance (where possible) I’m sure you’ll find something. It will just take a little longer. Camping generally you won’t need to book for – if you have a small tent most places will try and squeeze you in. Some of the hostels you’ll be fine to turn up at (or perhaps book in the morning) although others may be busier.

Ian Berry

25 April 2016 at 7:21 pm

Thanks for this site Andrew, I’m going to use it to plan my walk later this year. We are planning to walk North to South. Do you know any guide books that focus on this route.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

26 April 2016 at 9:48 pm

Hi Ian – don’t know any guidebooks that focus on North to South I’m afraid.

Erica HInman

1 May 2016 at 6:52 am

Hi Andrew. Thank you for this site it’s been invaluable. I set off in 4 weeks with a friend and we are walking the whole way in 16 days. I’m currently walking 15 to 20 mile days in training 2 to 3 times a week so fitness isn’t an issue. Even managed a 26 on London marathon day! I can use a compass, have all my accomodation booked, have all the OS map, great boots, waterproofs, gaiters, insect repellent, sticks etc. the only worry I have is what food to carry. I know where I can stock up but what should I actually be eating? Also bit nervous about Cross Fell any advise? Thank you again for the website.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

2 May 2016 at 9:26 am

To be honest Erica, my usual walking rations consist of little more than whatever is in the packed lunch I get – sandwiches, crisps etc. But nuts are always great sources of energy, and I like to have a treat in the form of chocolate or a flapjack.

Peter Hall

2 May 2016 at 10:35 am

If you’ve got accommodation booked eat as much breakfast as they’ll let you! As extras during the day I took small cereal bars check the calorie content vs weight.
You say all the OS maps have you looked at the AZ Adventure Atlas for the Pennine Way just two books for the whole of the route AND a decent space around each one. Dash4It have them available for about £6 each and the two weigh the same as a single map!
As for Cross Fell: my advice would be to get a GPS. It was the only reason I attempted it in fog. A fellow traveller took 4 hours longer than me getting across to Alston from Dufton.

Daniel Gibson

20 June 2016 at 10:39 am


great site. Thanks. me and my girlfriend are going to break it up into lots of trips. Both pretty fit.

Day one edale to Torside. 16 miles?
Day two Torside to Mankinholes YHA. about 22 miles?
Day three Mankinholes to Cowling again 21 miles?
Day 4 Cowling to Gargrave for a train.

Have we bitten off a bit much with those 2 days? Were coving 9 miles in 3 to 3.5 hours out on the hills normally i think. Wed not be camping. so just normal stuff in the packs.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

20 June 2016 at 2:15 pm

Hello Daniel

One of the things I say to people about long distance walking is that it’s a whole different ball game to day hikes in the hills, because it’s a different level of fitness and stamina you need. It’s not impossible to do 22 miles in a day, but to do long distances four days in a row, you do need a certain level of fitness and endurance because it’s quite a lot to put your body through.

For my money too, the second day is always the hardest – I always try to do less on the second day if I can as it is just always more of a struggle as your body is rarely fully recovered from the first day.

It may be that you are all fine, but I would personally go with a more cautious approach unless you have done something broadly similar in the past, and know you can achieve it.

Daniel Gibson

21 June 2016 at 9:14 am

HI, thanks for the advice.

We decided to break it down a little more. if its too short we can add to it next time!

i think a 16 mile, 13 mile and 16 mile day are a good, more manageable, start.

Ron Giles

21 June 2016 at 2:03 pm

Having just completed the PW in 15 days we found that the 20 / 22 milers were not possible as the B&Bs would not do breakfast before 8.00. Where we had planned this we enlisted help from public transport, but now our secret is out on the world wide web!
We did do Dufton to Alston (20m over x fell) as we had to cook our own breakfast early.
All the best for your trip.
Ron & Ian

Erica Hinman

22 June 2016 at 9:13 pm

Just completed in 16 days. One of the toughest but most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Good luck everyone embarking this year. Do not forget sunscreen! Expect the uninspeted. I was chased by a horse, lost my bearing on a moor and had to rescue a lamb. Those were just a few of my adventures!

Jane Thomas

27 June 2016 at 9:28 pm

Could anyone tell me if there are any baggage transfer services available? Walking from Edale to Horton in Ribblesdale in September with a friend and do not want to carry my stuff around with me everyday as want to do a lot of exploring en route. Sherpa Van do not cover the whole route. Cheers.

Katja Techritz

8 July 2016 at 11:04 am

Jane – We used Brigantes for the entire route in June.


7 August 2016 at 2:56 pm

Hi Andrew, thanks this is an amazing website!

I just wanted to ask you a quick question, we are planning to do a day walk starting from Edale and then heading back to Manchester. Is there a particular route that could accommodate this? Ideally we would like to take a different route back. Are there any landmarks that we should walk to if we are only out for a day?

Many thanks for the help :)

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

8 August 2016 at 10:29 am

Hello Misha – Edale to Glossop is a lovely walk for a day hike. You simply follow the Pennine Way from Edale, over Kinder Scout. Shortly after crossing the A57 you go down an old Roman Road called Doctors Gate. You basically follow this all the way to Old Glossop where there’s a railway service and frequent services to Manchester. It’s a lovely route as takes you across lots of classic Peak District scenery, including Kinder and Kinder Downfall. You can also do a short detour to the Edale Cross for some extra history.


4 September 2016 at 9:07 pm

Hi Andrew,

for a few weeks now I’ve been playing with the idea of hiking in the UK. Right now I’m at the stage where I’ve decided that I’m going to do it. Now there’s only the question of when and which of the Trails. I’ve thought about starting at the beginning of October, do you think that will still work? Concerning the trails, I’m most drawn to the Pennine Way, because of its scenery and the challenge it poses. But as I’m not sure whether it’s the right choice I wanted to ask you for advice.
I am a Scout, have just finished high school and have hiked before, but only for a few days and not too far. Also I plan to do the hike on my own. The reason for my wanting to do it is on the one hand the challenge, I’d like to see if I can make it all the way, and on the other hand the adventure and the personal experience.
Would you say that the Pennine Way is a good idea as a first longdistance hike? I’m not expecting it to be easy! My second choice would be the Coast to Coast.
Best wishes from Germany,

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

5 September 2016 at 10:56 am

Hello Miriam

The Pennine Way can be a difficult walk, but it’s a great challenge and well worth doing. It’s possible to do it early October although the weather may not always be great. You’ll see some fantastic sunsets though.

There’s two things to consider with it, besides the possibilities of rain and mud. One is that it’s a quiet walk, and the other is that it can involve some long days and that can tricky when the nights are drawing in. The Coast to Coast (also excellent) is shorter, and is a bit easier to do shorter days. It has a lot of similarities to the Pennine Way in terms of terrain and scenery, but it’s a bit busier.

When I did the Coast to Coast I met lots of people who’d never done a two week hike – it certainly is possible, just as the Pennine Way is! If you’re up for the challenge, I’d say go for it.

Tony Salt

15 September 2016 at 7:52 pm

Hi Andrew
Thanks so much for your website. I started the Way three years ago and it helped me tremendously. I finished the last section on 10.09.16 and I am 70 years old.
I wanted to split the last stage because my daughter wanted to walk the last bit with me. I found an ideal solution. My intention was to walk from Byrness to Cocklawfoot Farm, stay at their B&B and then take advantage of their complimentary lift back up to the Pennine Way next morning. As it happened the B&B was full but I payed a good price for two packed lunches and got a lift thrown in. Stuart and Christina Run the farm and are very hospitable.
Tony Salt

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

15 September 2016 at 10:22 pm

Thanks Tony.
I wasn’t aware of Cocklawfoot Farm. It seems like they’re quite new, but as Barrowburn Farm are sadly closing up at the end of this month, it’s great timing for them to appear. For me spending the night at Barrowburn was fantastic, and I’m so glad I did it rather than two nights in Byrness or two nights at Kirk Yetholmn.

Alex B

19 September 2016 at 6:10 am

Thanks for the website and information. Great help. I think I’ll give it a shot camping all the way next summer. For those of you thinking camping is heavy check out ultralight equipment which is made of cuben fibre (or dyneema I think). These 2 man tents can weigh less than a kg.

AB from North Carolina.


19 September 2016 at 9:54 am

Great website, was very useful in planning my Pennine way walk with my son, which we completed in 3 parts due to time restrictions. I mainly used hostels and B&B’s but decided to wild camp the last night just near Windy Gyle, down at Davidson’s Linn (<1m off route), was a beautiful evening, level area right next to a stream and waterfall (highly recommended for those who like campling), preferred this to going back to Byrness or off the hill to Cocklawfoot. Fantastic walk, considering continuing walk next year onto Scotish National Trail from Kirk Yetholm. Natalie (Sheffield).

Miriam Kuhnke

25 September 2016 at 11:04 pm

Hey Andrew, it’s me again.
I’m setting out to London on Friday and plan to start the Pennine Way on the following Monday. There’s still some details I gotta sort out, though.
Can you guess how crowded it will be at this time of the year? Just because of the hostels and B&Bs etc… I haven’t prebooked any accommodation yet, except for the first night in Edale. Do you think it’s possible to get a place to sleep without booking beforehand?
But I’ll probably take my tent with me anyway, to be more flexible and because I enjoy camping a lot (I’ve done wild camping lots of times).

Best regards,

Tim Johnston

10 October 2016 at 12:11 pm


Planning to do the Pennine Way starting around 20th May 2017. I have just been looking at webs sites of several YHA’s Howarth, Mankinholes, Malham, Hawes etc… and they all seemed to be fully booked already through the week ? This cannot be right surely? I only managed to get a reply form Malham and they said that Mon to Thursday they are usually booked up with Schools but there should be spaces Fri to Sunday. If this is the case what is the alternative when hostel are full? I find this worrying as I was confident that in may before school hols there would be plenty of room in the hostels especially If I booked up now?

best wishes


Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

10 October 2016 at 1:28 pm

Hi Tim – a lot of YHAs are often busy with children during the week, although they do sometimes have room. It may be worth phoning them up as I’ve found the online guide isn’t always totally reliable. One hostel that may be more of an issue is Earby which is apparently closing at the end of January as the YHA aren’t renewing the lease. There’s potential it may be saved, but nothing’s guaranteed.

Afraid in all these cases, the alternatives are more expensive – pubs, B&Bs and hotels. Although there are some independent hostels around as well in some areas like Hawes.

Ron Giles

10 October 2016 at 2:02 pm

We found this when we did the PW last year. Malham was full so we booked in at the Buck Inn, at £75 a night, only to find out later that the YH had some space. We are doing it again next year about the same time as you but ultralight camping this time ! Sorry to hear that the Ebay hostel is closing.

tim johnston

16 October 2016 at 1:40 pm

So got most of the nights booked up, EXCEPT I cannot seem to get a bed at Crowden or nearby, is my only option to look for somewhere in Glossop, even though this would take me way of route and climb to start the next day back up to the snake pass? Any ideas please?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

16 October 2016 at 8:17 pm

Tim – Glossop – and the surrounding areas – are your only option if you can’t get in at Crowden. There is at least one B&B that will pick people up from the Pennine Way from Crowdon. You can walk to Glossop from the Snake, down Doctor’s Gate which is an old Roman road.

Ron Giles

16 October 2016 at 9:33 pm

Avoid the Old House B&B in Crowden at all costs. They are the only accommodation in the valley and take full advantage of it! £9.00 for a pack lunch for example. Despite supposedly catering for walkers needs, they refused to serve a cooked breakfast before 8.00 and served a ‘Continental’ breakfast which consisted of a full English without the cooked bit !

Peter Hall

16 October 2016 at 9:56 pm

I’ve had a couple of excellent stays at Old House. Admittedly, I’ve not bothered about a packed lunch and I didn’t start walking til about 9am. But the accommodation and food were excellent and they will drive you into Glossop for an evening meal and collect you, which for £5 is a lot cheaper than a taxi.

Ron Giles

17 October 2016 at 7:06 am

Compare this with the Walker’s Hotel at the other end of the PW. They are in a similar situation to Old House being the only accommodation in the area. All meals are provided, there is a bar selling alcohol, a bunk house is available for budget guests, a free bus service is provided to split the last leg of the walk, there is a ‘cupboard’ shop selling food camping is available on the lawn and they even take your boots overnight and clean and dry them ! This is really catering for walker’s needs.
If you stayed for 2 nights at OH and didn’t leave till 9.00 I don’t think you were doing the PW

Tony Salt

17 October 2016 at 12:01 pm

I completed the Way on 10.09.16 and agree that finding accomodation can be difficult.
I live near Crowden and am looking to form a network of walker friendly accomodation in the area for early next year. If anyone is interested drop me an email at [email protected]

Peter Hall

17 October 2016 at 2:23 pm

You will find that the Walker’s Hotel in Byrness also will not serve a cooked breakfast to people (like myself) who leave early. To be honest, I wasn’t that bothered as they did leave out cereals, fruit etc and I could get a coffee. However, as a seasoned Pennine Way walker I wanted to finish the whole of the last day in one go so I left Byrness at 6am and got to Kirk Yetholm before 5pm.
The much shorter walk from Crowden to somewhere like Diggle can easily be accomplished starting after 9am. In fact I missed the 184 bus from Standedge at 3pm by just a few minutes.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

17 October 2016 at 2:28 pm

I did the walk from Crowden to Diggle, and seem to recall setting off about 10am, or around then. Late arrival was due to staying some way away. Still arrived in Diggle in plenty of time. Indeed it’s a rare day I ever do a walk setting off before 9am despite my best intentions. There are rare exceptions, but I have found few B&Bs will do you breakfast before eight, and by the time you’ve had breakfast, brushed your teeth and paid up, it’s hard to get out before nine.

Tim Johnston

17 October 2016 at 2:34 pm

What is the recommendation for the best guide book/maps to purchase for PW?

Peter Hall

18 October 2016 at 12:14 pm

Although I used the 1:25,000 explorer maps for a previous trek, for my last trip I found that Dash4It have the whole of the Way in a couple of handy A to Z style booklets. This really does save on weight and there is enough latitude on either side of the path that you can use them as a normal map. I did once try Harveys, but found that the odd scale and the limited latitude were offputting. As for guide books, Wainwright is the definitive guide but I wouldnt want to rely on it in fog! “Pennine Walkies” by Mark Wallington and “One man and his bog” by Barry Pilton are well worth reading in advance, just to get you laughing.

Andrew Cannon

3 December 2016 at 10:31 am

Judging by all these questions it seems we can never have too much info about this wonderful walk! ramblingman is one of the best resources I found when I was planning my trips. Having done them, now I too have a new PW blog at
which might be interesting and perhaps helpful to some ;)
best wishes, Andrew

Simon Blackburn

11 December 2016 at 9:04 am

Andrew This is a most comprehensive source of information without which I would probably not embark on the walk, so thank you in advance. Due circumstance my only opportunity to attempt the walk in the near future is starting Dec 16. From reading this site I am not expecting accommodation to be available in all the right places. I now have a tent and sleeping system. I would like to make my first camp 12 to 16 miles from Edale depending on how reliable Brit Rails is in delivering me! Is the ground suitable? I recall a nav ex on Kinder Scout showing the ground to be mostly Pete Bog. Not expecting a grid ref for likely spot, just a rough idea

Michael Dynes

26 December 2016 at 1:13 pm

I’ll be doing the Pennine Way in 2017, sometime between June and August. (I am just in the planning stage now.) I intend to do it all in three weeks. All I wish to say here is thank you so much for this great source of information. You have done a great job and I’m sure it is very much appreciated.

Mark Lester Sickles

3 January 2017 at 4:20 pm

Does anyone know if there is a store in Edale that sells backpacking stove canisters? Will be flying into England so bringing them on the plane is not an option.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

4 January 2017 at 9:19 am

Hello Mark – there is a small shop in Edale, but it’s more of a village shop. They may do gas canisters but I wouldn’t count on it. I’d recommend a visit to a larger town on your way, just in case.

Nicola Carr

14 January 2017 at 6:36 pm

I have now planned my 3 week Edale to Kirk Yetholm PW walk for May this year and couldn’t have done it so easily without the help of your web site. it is an amazing resource.Sherpa Van was also useful for accommodation suggestions when I couldn’t get into youth hostels. Thank you.

Tim Johnston

16 January 2017 at 2:59 pm


Can I ask where you found to stay for your first night after Edale, or perhaps you are camping. I am starting 19th May form Edale and had to book a B&B in Glossop for the fist night. I am still looking to change this if I can find a better alterative at Crowden, second night I am at Diggle. Lets hope for some lovely weather may/June:)

Alex Thomson

16 January 2017 at 8:55 pm

Terrific. Great site bursting with info. Clearly the time to do it is May onwards. We thus start March 4th. Thankyou.

Nicola Carr

19 January 2017 at 9:42 am

Try The Old House near Crowden. Phone number 01457 857527. It’s less than half a mile off the PW and saves a detour into Glossop

Gary Kirkham

20 January 2017 at 10:13 pm

Hello. First of all.. fantastic website!! Im planning on walking a few sections of the pennine way in june (6 days) my question is.. could i walk about 60 miles without the aid of a compass? I have a good guide book but no compass skills. Is there enough way marked signs to guide me? Any advise would be very much appreciated. Thank you

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

20 January 2017 at 11:23 pm

Hi Gary – on the Pennine Way there are never enough signs where you really need them. Could you walk it without a compass? You can do a lot of it, yes. But I would be not massively optimistic given both I, and my other half, both have compass skills and yet we got lost on the first section from Edale.

There are some walks you can get away with not having a compass. Personally I wouldn’t recommend it for the Pennine Way. Compass skills don’t need to be complex – but anything you do have will hold you in good stead.

gary kirkham

22 January 2017 at 7:03 pm

Hello Andrew. Thank you for your quick response and advise. It’s sort of put me off a little.. l’ve gone the west highland way and thought the sign posting from start to finish was brilliant. Is there any reason as to why such a great walk as a lack of sign posts? All you need is a stake in the ground with a directional arrow.. im sure it would encourage more beginners.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

22 January 2017 at 8:48 pm

Hi Gary – truthfully, I’m really not sure why the signposting on the Pennine Way isn’t comprehensive. The coverage of directional signing is certainly far less than (say) the Ridgeway or the South Downs Way. I’m presuming it’s a deliberate decision, however why is another matter.

However even if the signposting was amazing, I think the remoteness of the trail, and it’s moorland nature, would mean I’d still recommend being able to use a compass in a basic way, would be useful as signs can easily be missed, and if you get lost you might not have many landmarks to help you. Don’t be afraid of getting lost – I’ve got lost at least once on almost every walk I’ve ever done. Some are just easier to recover from than others.

Compass skills aren’t particularly hard – often it’s just a case of a little practise. There’s a couple of good guides such as the one on, or at on the Ordnance Survey’s website’s section on map reading. Both are well worth looking at.

And don’t let it put you off, for the rewards are worth it – and the Pennine Way is regularly easy to follow too.

John Parkinson

22 January 2017 at 10:51 pm

One of the reasons it is a great walk is that it is a challenge. Signs every few hundred yards would diminish the walk. Most of it is pretty easy to follow anyway. As with any other walk in remote countryside it would be foolish to go without map and compass. Lesser walks like the WHW and Ridgeway may be heavily signed but they are just that; lesser walks, I think the PW would lose a lot of its mystique if you could follow it without any navigational effort.
Don’t be put off. Learn how to read a map and enjoy the challenge.

Malcolm D

9 February 2017 at 7:58 pm

Hi Andrew, fantastic site! Thank you so much for offering this inspiring resource. I’m a solo Canadian eyeing a start around August 27th of this year. Is accommodation still scarce over the first half of September? I would love the freedom to book same day arrangements, but will certainly arrange a full itinerary ahead of time if you think it necessary.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

12 February 2017 at 8:36 pm

Hello Malcolm – early September can still be quite busy I’ve found. But the highest demand will be passed, and there’s a better chance you’ll get in somewhere at the last minute.

Ruth Foreman

13 February 2017 at 9:25 pm

I started walking the Pennine Way some 8 years ago, finishing in Hawes. I wanted to finish it before I’m 50 this year in early April. I do a lot of walking and 2 years ago I completed the ‘Race to the Stones’ (100km (63 miles) in 18hrs, but I have the following concern the time of year, end of March. Would I be foolish to try to do it then?


15 February 2017 at 9:18 pm

Hi Andrew,

Thank you very much for a fantastic website

I am in the process of planning my family’s summer vacation in July. The current plan is to do the entire Pennine Way over three weeks. I will be travelling with my wife and two girls (8 and 11 years old). Given the girls age are there anything which you believe I should pay special attention to before finally making up my mind?

The girls are pretty experienced trekkers. They have over the last 4 years done Alta Via 1 and Tour de Mont Blanc in Europe and been to Nepal twice doing two weeks’ camping treks. However, this walk will, of course, be different in the sense that the daily distances will be longer but the terrain more flat. My own thinking is that the longer distances will be offset by less climbing.

Do you see other children on the Pennine Way?

Ron Giles

16 February 2017 at 8:23 am

Hello Ruth, don’t think that 50 is a barrier to walking the PW. I was 68 when I did it with my brother last year. We’re planning a PW camping trip as opposed to a B&B this year, so it may be possible to do it at 69! Talk about an addiction! Best to do it in the better weather I think.

Steve K

17 January 2019 at 4:03 pm

Hi Andrew
Have been doing the PW in stages over several years. Coming up to the end stage of Byrness to Kirk Yeholm. Is there any accommodation apart from camping available roughly halfway between these two places?

Tiny Salt

18 January 2019 at 8:03 am

Hi Steve
Please scroll back this site to 15.09.16 and you will find an answer to your question.
Good luck and safe journey.
Tony Salt

Cliff Howard

15 March 2019 at 11:28 pm

What a great resource you have put together.
I am coming to the UK from Australia in May to do a bit of walking. My current rough plan is to do:
Pennine Way in 20 days from 28th May to 16th June, then
West Highland Way in 10 days from 20th June to 29th June, then
walk the Road to the Isles and bus to Blair Athol then about 8 to 10 days walking in the Cairngorms then
Coast to Coast in 15 days from 16th July to 30th July.
I do have quite a few questions, so is it possible to email you direct?
My first questions is around accommodation. How far in advance do you need to book accommodation on these walks? I know the West Highland way gets very busy. My preference would be to book just a couple of days in advance. Would this work? I was going to try to stay in hostels/backpackers wherever possible to keep costs down.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

17 March 2019 at 9:27 am

Hello Cliff

The West Highland Way and Coast to Coast are the two busiest walking trails in the UK. There’s lots of accommodation to support walkers but if you don’t book in advance you may have to travel to and from the trail to get to a bed. You should have more joy with hostels and bunkbarns, as most people book B&Bs and hotels, but there’s quite a few places without them. Personally I would be looking to book around now, just to be safe and sure.

Sounds like a good itinerary you have. Hope you enjoy your time here.


8 April 2019 at 4:59 pm


Has anyone here done the PW by camping most of it? I am interested in trying it but traveling from the states and just getting into backpacking.


29 April 2019 at 8:34 am

Hi, just came back across this fantastic resource. Thanks for making so much useful information readily accessible. I am currently en route hiking from London to Inverness, including the Pennine Way, so having to plan as I go and remain flexible.
I think I came across this page over a year ago when I started planning but had forgotten what a good source of information it is. Thanks again, happy walking!


5 May 2019 at 11:59 am

Hi, I’m planning on doing this hike in the summer and using your route breakdowns to form an itinerary. I was just wondering why the totals for each section add up to 251 3/4 miles, when the total route is 267 miles? Does your route take shortcuts that go off the official pennine way? Therefore would there be some occasions where not to follow Pennine Way signs on the route? Thanks and I appreciate your help.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

6 May 2019 at 8:39 pm

Hello Georgie.

Now that’s a very interesting question.

When I tot up the measurements for a walk, I use a piece of software called Memory Map. This is software that displays Ordnance Survey maps, and which allows you to plot routes. And from the routes you plot, you can get a distance the route takes.

When I look at the route I plotted for the Pennine Way from Edale to Kirk Yetholm, using the main route, Memory Map shows it as 250 miles. That’s 18 miles less than the official route (as given on the National Trail website.) The reasons the itinerary total is slightly higher is because I round the distances up and down as appropriate, and that creates the extra 1.75 miles.

Where’s the other 18 miles? That’s a very interesting question.

I think at least some of it is due to the fact there are a couple of different spurs and options on the trail. For example, right near the end there’s two different routes into Kirk Yetholm. I’ve only measured one in the distances, but if you do both, it adds on another 3 miles.

The spur to the Cheviot is another 3 miles. The Bowes Loop adds on another 9 miles. There’s also an alternative route over High Cup Plain that’s about 2 miles long.

Add that together and that’s 17 miles, which puts us on 267 miles in total – just one mile out from the 268 given on the National Trail website.

Interestingly for many years, it was generally accepted that the Pennine Way was 250 miles long!


14 July 2019 at 1:49 pm

I am starting to plan and book my Pennine Way Walk now ready for May 2020 with the help of a Baggage Courier and Accommodation booking service.
I have the latest Trailblaizer guide book ( 2019 edition) to be going on with but re maps would you say the A-Z North and South maps are better and more detailed than the 2 Harvey
Maps ?
I think the Harvey maps are waterproof whereas the A-Z are not ?
Any comments on maps ?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

15 July 2019 at 9:07 am

Hello Dave – the A-Z maps are more detailed than the Harvey’s ones. A-Z use a higher scale Ordnance Survey mapping for their maps, whereas Harveys use their own. Having more detail is always my preference, but given the terrain the Pennine Way goes through, you should be fine with the Harvey’s. The A-Z maps are basically a book of maps and aren’t waterproof. The Harvey’s claim to be waterproof, although I never got chance to test that with the Harvey’s map I own!


15 July 2019 at 9:18 am

Hi Dave
I have just finished the Pennine Way and used the Trailblazer guide and the A-Z Adventure series maps.
Work perfectly well for me. Usually the Trailblazer guide is all you need but a couple of places it was a bit unclear and then the maps help. Maps were also good to give an overview and they cover enough either side of the track to do this.
I believe the A-Z maps are 1 in 25,000 and the Harvey maps are 1 in 40,000 so A-Z give more detail.
I also think the A-Z shows the Way as a Yellow line that is easy to follow and doesn’t hide detail as the Harvey’s red line does.
I kept the guide book and maps in a waterproof map case. It rained nearly every day of my walk and I had no problem with the maps and book staying dry, just had to be quick changing pages a few times.

Duncan whyte

11 November 2019 at 5:54 am

I completed it this year, in a series of stages. Spread apart by improper kit, poor preparation, injuries and such. But feel confident I could do it again all the way through. I’m 63. I carried about 35lbs weight throughout. All together three weeks.

I camped, hostelled and hotelled as it was especially rainy. Used Greg’s hut and the mountain rescue hut in the end walk. Camping is easy enough and there are many sites. I heard that some of the villages have a make shift hostel, usually attached to the church or village hall.

Food is available throughout by pub, restaurant or shopping, except Byrness. Bellingham is the stop before and the last place to get stuff. I only used trail food in the huts and camping. I have a basic water filter but didn’t need to use it. I carried 1.5 litres to drink, but didn’t always need it all. Its not a walk in the wilderness.

I had a basic sat nav, which is good to pinpoint your location. Useful when the cloud comes down. And the atoz maps, which are fine, and a compass. The signposts are reasonably accurate, but you can get lost.

But the walk itself can take you into some irksome terrain which no beast or man would instinctively choose to do. Walking the slabs in moorland makes it easy enough, but you will always get wet feet and sink into mud somewhere. I followed the trail mostly, but where I could opted for better ground to avoid a silly, tedious trudge through boggy ground. The worst walking was on unfinished man made tracks, with loose rubble and such like. Painfull and risky.

If you are not used to a long hike with backpack its challenging at the start, but within a week you’ll be fine. There are a few places where rock climbing/scrambling is needed. If uncertain climb it without your pack first. Generally you are walking farmland and moorland on a pathway, farm track or b road, so its not that difficult. I did it in July/august. But it would be a tough walk in foul weather, or if you set time and distance constraints.

The transport system in the region is a hodge podge of separate bus companies and trains. Just ask the drivers how to get the right buses to your next place. It took 3 buses from kirk yetholm to Newcastle.

Its an enjoyable walk where you are following a historical route built on natural human and animal movement, but awkward in places that link the well trodden footpaths.


12 January 2020 at 11:33 pm

This is a wonderful resource. Thank you so much.

I am planning my first PW for later this year. Last year I walked the Santiago de Compostela (Portuguese from Lisbon). This was my first ever big walk, and I would be very interested to hear from anyone as to the differences in terms of fitness and endurance that I might need to consider?

Also there were several off line map apps available for Compostela ruote that were available to enable me to use the GPS on my phone, which was an absolute boon. Is there anything similiar for the PW that anyone might recommend?


17 June 2020 at 6:37 pm

i am currently planning my walk from Manchester back home to Irvine (scotland). Thank you for this very helpful resource.

Simon Rodan

20 July 2020 at 6:44 am

Walked the Pennine Way with David Gould in 1988. High Cup Nick, near Dufton, is spectacular. The last day was really hard and we decided not to go to the top of the Cheviot, which I regret. But after nearly 3 weeks of walking and 20 odd miles since starting out at 5:30am, we were bushed. Really memorable once in a lifetime experience.

Jim Hill

24 August 2020 at 7:00 am

Have done the West Highland Way, Coast to Coast and the Great Glen. Have also done some long walks in Australia and New Zealand. I Loved them all but as a kid from Scotland, I enjoy the UK most. I moved to Australia when I was seven. I was born in Irvine! Now waiting to see when we can do the Pennine Way.

Peter Stone

13 January 2021 at 1:25 pm

Hi Andrew, Great website! I’m hoping to walk the PW this year (when we’re allowed). On previous LDPs I’ve found Cicerone guides to be excellent; is there a reason you don’t mention Paddy Dillon’s guidebook, or do you just prefer the ones you list?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

13 January 2021 at 1:31 pm

Hi Peter – I have a couple of Cicerone guides, but generally I prefer the size and format of the Aurum Press books. I now have quite a collection of them. Historically that’s because the maps were better in the Aurum books, but Cicerone have recently improved in that area.

Grommit 10a

10 February 2021 at 2:12 pm

What GPS tracker would you recommend for the walk? Is the GPS on my phone good enough? I assume not but don’t know whether other gadgets are really any better? If the gps signal isn’t enough for a phone presumably it isn’t for other devices either?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

14 February 2021 at 8:48 pm

Hello Grommit 10a. Personally I’ve found the GPS on my phone to be more than acceptable. I have no idea if anything else would be better though.


20 February 2021 at 7:51 pm

Ok thanks – and which app do you tend to use?


25 February 2021 at 10:02 am

Another question- I am thinking of using a tour company to book my accommodation and transfers etc. for my Pennine way hike. There seem to be many. Can anyone recommend a particular company (or warn me off any)

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

25 February 2021 at 3:52 pm

To be honest, I usually use paper maps and use an app called OS Locate to work out a grid reference. But there is an OS Maps app that is very well recommended. Needs a subscription to get the good maps though.

A friend of mine used Brigantes Walking Holidays and was very happy with them. I haven’t booked with anyone myself – I tend to organise everything myself.


27 December 2021 at 2:32 pm

Hi. I’m planning the walk next summer. Does it cold up there? What about at night.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

28 December 2021 at 10:30 am

Hello Joseph – I wouldn’t say it’s that the weather is particularly different on the Pennine Way. You can get good weather and you can get bad weather just as you can anywhere.

Clive Mitchell

9 June 2022 at 6:00 pm

Hi Andrew,
Great website! Why not give a mention to the Garrigill Village Hall bunkroom and campsite? It’s smack bang on the Pennine Way and we get rave reviews.
GVH Bookings Secretary

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

15 June 2022 at 12:57 pm

Thanks for the tip Clive – Garrgill Village Hall’s now added to the list.

Sam Thomas

4 August 2022 at 8:32 pm


Just done the first few days of The Pennine Way last week, looks like the YHA in Mankinholes is now only available if you book the whole place out.
Mankinholes still has plenty of B&B’s so it’s not a big issue (big shout out to Pat at The Two Hoots Cottage)

Great guide, found it very helpful when planning!

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

5 August 2022 at 9:11 am

Thanks for the update on Mankinholes Sam – I’ll update the guide accordingly.

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