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Take on England’s ultimate long distance hike — Pennine Way

Ian Cylkowski (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Take on England’s ultimate long distance hike — Pennine Way

Hiking Collection by komoot

18-41

days

3-6 h

/ day

280 mi

31,175 ft

31,825 ft

The Pennine Way is an epic long-distance trail that explores the wildest and most spectacular scenery that England has to offer.

Starting from Edale, in the Peak District National Park, the route takes you 268 miles (431 kilometers) along the Pennine ridge through the Yorkshire Dales, into Northumberland, along Hadrian’s Wall, across the Cheviots, and finishes in the Scottish border village of Kirk Yetholm.

With a reputation for long days, extreme weather conditions, bogs, more bogs, and landscapes that leave you speechless, the Pennine Way is a challenging hike to undertake. However, the rewards are endless.

Taking you over the loneliest hills in England, you will experience spellbinding solitude on this route. Some of the highlights you encounter include: High Cup Nick, one of the best examples of a glacial valley in England; Brontë Country, the picturesque landscape that inspired the three literary sisters; High Force, a dramatic waterfall that plunges 69 feet (21 meters) with great ferocity; Malham Cove, a spectacular geological formation with wonderful views; The Cheviot, the highest point in the Northumberland with views that stretch as far as Edinburgh.

The Pennine Way is widely regarded as the ultimate long-distance hike in the UK. Officially opened in April 1965, it is hailed as a once-in-a-lifetime challenge that every serious rambler should attempt.

This Collection follows the standard 15/16 day itinerary that most people undertake. You will need to be an experienced hiker with a good level of fitness, stamina and navigation skills to attempt this route. That said, if you have good fitness and hiking ability, you will find this itinerary challenging, but manageable. It is advisable to schedule a few rest days.

It is possible to shorten many of the stages shown here. However, the Pennine Way is a serious trail for experienced hikers and there is no escaping some super-long days—unless you are prepared to sleep under the stars or in a bothy.

The final section crosses some very remote countryside and, whilst it is possible to complete it in one day—especially if you do not climb The Cheviot—it is worth splitting it into two. There are some mountain refuge huts en route that you can sleep in and there are some bunkhouses that require a detour to reach.

Due to the remoteness of this hike and the potential for adverse weather conditions, preparation is absolutely essential. Make sure you have adequate clothing, decent boots, map and compass, food and water, and know the stops to resupply at (mentioned in the route descriptions).

If you are planning to travel by public transport undertake the Pennine Way, you can catch a train to Manchester Piccadilly or Sheffield Railway station, which are both served by trains from throughout the UK and offer direct services to Edale, where the route starts.

When you have completed the route, catch the 81 bus from Kirk Yetholm to Kelso. From Kelso catch the 67 bus service to Berwick-upon-Tweed where railway services regularly run to London, Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh amongst other destinations.

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Pennine Way

255 mi

29,725 ft

30,175 ft

Last updated: November 30, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    07:38
    16.3 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,075 ft
    2,175 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The Pennine Way starts exactly as it means to go on: challenging but always rewarding.

    

    From Edale, you begin with a steep ascent up Jacob’s Ladder. This iconic stone staircase is a wonderful climb and your efforts are rewarded with breathtaking views once you reach the summit of Kinder Low.

    

    Following

    by komoot

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  • Difficult
    05:36
    11.9 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,925 ft
    1,350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After a challenging start, stage two is a shorter route with a little less climbing.

    

    However, the second day does include the bête noire of legendary fellwalker Alfed Wainwright, Black Hill.

    

    From Crowden, you make a sharp ascent to Laddow Rocks, an exposed rocky outcrop that affords splendid views over

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  • Difficult
    06:22
    14.6 mi
    2.3 mph
    750 ft
    1,700 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Day three follows high moorland paths and gritstone edges, resulting in flat, easy-going walking with wonderful views every step of the way.

    

    According to Alfred Wainwright the worst part of the Pennine Way is over by this point. However, this stage is not particularly awe-inspiring due to the ever-present

    by komoot

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  • Difficult
    08:26
    18.1 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,575 ft
    2,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    If you enjoy classic literature and poetry as much as moorland hiking, you are in for a treat as this stage ventures into Brontë country.

    

    Whilst the route shown here makes a few detours from the official Pennine Way, they are worth doing and won’t add much more than an hour.

    

    To start, you take a slight

    by komoot

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  • Difficult
    05:44
    21.0 mi
    3.7 mph
    2,275 ft
    2,325 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Wainwright described this stage as “mostly muck and manure...undulating farmlands…and contented cows on low green hills”.

    

    Whilst this description still holds true, you will find this hike to be a pleasant one. Taking you through a surprising amount of villages, there is ample opportunity for refreshment

    by komoot

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  • Difficult
    07:14
    15.1 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,475 ft
    2,325 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Day six is a real highlight and showcases limestone country at its finest. So good, in fact, Wainwright described this as “the best walking territory so far encountered along the Pennine way”.

    

    Whilst the joys are abundant, this stage is rather challenging—it is solid uphill for the first eight miles

    by komoot

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  • Difficult
    08:37
    19.4 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,750 ft
    1,750 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    If you are in search of solitude then today will be a real treat. Whilst there are not many obvious highlights, the landscape today is wild, beautiful and utterly endless.

    

    This route begins with a detour to see the iconic Ribblehead Viaduct. Whilst the extension will add around 90 minutes to the route

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  • Difficult
    08:33
    18.3 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,925 ft
    1,975 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This stage of the Pennine Way is hiking heaven. Starting at the highest single-drop waterfall in England and finishing at the country’s highest pub, and packed with beauty every step of the way, this route is a classic.

    

    From Hardraw Force, you begin with a delightful climb across the moors and over Great

    by komoot

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  • Difficult
    08:53
    20.3 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,150 ft
    2,150 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today marks the halfway point along the Pennine Way and the milestone is honored with the kind of hiking this trail does best—vast empty moorland, rolling hills and utter solitude.

    

    Whether reaching the 134 mile (216 kilometer) halfway point fills you with relief, or despair, is likely to split opinion

    by komoot

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  • Difficult
    08:50
    20.0 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,675 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This stage of the Pennine Way is one of the most memorable along the entire trail. So good is this hike that Wainwright described it as “a walk of near perfection”.

    

    Along the way, you see the most iconic landmark on the way, High Cup Nick, an enormous u-shaped valley that is hailed as one of the best

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  • Difficult
    09:11
    19.4 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,875 ft
    2,575 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage is one of the most challenging on the entire trail. Taking you to the highest point in the Pennines, Cross Fell, get ready for wind, weather and paths that disappear in the heather.

    

    Before you attempt this stage, check the weather forecast and make sure you have adequate clothing, compass

    by komoot

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  • Difficult
    08:09
    18.5 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,850 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today is a slog, unfortunately. Navigation is tricky, the bogs are relentless, and the scenery is a little dull in comparison to previous days. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel: Hadrian’s Wall.

    

    Wainwright described this stage as dull and complicated. “If the remainder of the Pennine Way

    by komoot

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  • Difficult
    10:03
    22.6 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,950 ft
    2,200 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Today is a real gem on the Pennine Way; the highlights are abundant and the landscape is picturesque.

    

    The day begins with a brief descent to the ruins of Thirlwall Castle before a short but sharp ascent to the tall crags of Walltown Quarry, which was excavated by the Romans for stone to build Hadrian

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  • Difficult
    07:15
    16.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,700 ft
    1,400 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This stage is a walk of two halves; moorland with great views but demanding bogs, and woodland paths that are easy-to-hike but are a tad monotonous.

    

    That said, there are a couple of spectacular waterfalls to see along the way, as well as a stone circle, and the distance is quite manageable, compared

    by komoot

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  • Difficult
    14:27
    28.1 mi
    1.9 mph
    3,825 ft
    4,150 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This final stage of the Pennine Way crosses some of the most remote hills in England—and it is a marathon push to finish the hike in one day.

    

    There is no obvious way to split this final stage as it crosses through some of the least-populated parts of the country. That said, there are some bunkhouses along

    by komoot

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    15
  • Distance
    280 mi
  • Duration
    124:57 h
  • Elevation
    31,175 ft31,825 ft

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Take on England’s ultimate long distance hike — Pennine Way

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