If you’re looking for excellent hiking trails in the north of England, especially Derbyshire’s Peak District and up to Scotland, there’s probably none better than the Pennine Way national trail. This scenic route is a total of 268 miles in length and if you’d like to tackle the entire path it generally takes most people about 15 days to complete. About 30% of the trail is suitable for horseback riders and cyclists.
If climbing is on your agenda, Cross Fell is the highest peak on the Pennine Way and it reaches close to 3,000 feet in height. The starting and/or ending points of the path are the communities of Edale and Kirk Yetholm. About a fifth of the route lies inside of the famous Peak District National Park with another fifth traveling through the Yorkshire Dales National Park and about a quarter of it in Northumberland National Park.
Some of the most popular attractions along the way include Kinder Scout, Cross Fell, The Cheviots, Stoodley Pike, Pen-y-ghent, Malham Cove, Tan Hill, Cauldron Snout, and the historic Hadrian’s Wall. Many people feel the most beautiful section of the walk is between Teesdale and Dufton due to the beautiful colored flowers and breathtaking scenery.
Some of the nearest cities, towns, and villages along the hike include Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, Huddersfield, Bradford, Keighley, Skipton, Penrith, Carlisle, and Newcastle Upon Tyne. Most of these major cities can be reached within three hours from London by train and can also be accessed by bus service.
If you’re planning on spending a few days on the trail there are plenty of options when it comes to accommodations. You’ll find an assortment of youth hostels, hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and campgrounds in the local communities. Wild camping isn’t recommended along the Pennine Way since there are numerous suitable campgrounds to choose from.
When deciding to stay overnight, it’s a good idea to try and reserve accommodations in advance of your hike, especially near the starting and ending points of the trail. It’s a good idea to start the hike in the middle of the week since rooms and campgrounds are generally easier to book. Also, keep in mind that if you intend on hiking the entire length or a good portion of the path, you may experience a wide range of British weather patterns, especially in the more isolated areas. Most people hike the Pennine Way between May and September.
Walking the path anytime from October to April means that you could experience snow or frost. In addition, the days are shorter during these months, especially in December. Remember that the route will be taking you though countryside, remote and sparsely populated areas, villages, and hamlets. It’s recommended that you take a camera with you to capture some of Britain’s most scenic areas.
It’s also a good idea to hike the path with at least one other person just in case you find it more physically demanding than you expected. If you decide to walk alone, make sure you keep in touch with somebody and let them know how you are doing and which part of the trail you’ll be navigating. Taking a mobile phone is highly recommended in case you’ve booked accommodation and are running late. You may even want to take a GPS (global positioning system) with you.
The Pennine Way offers you with an unforgettable experience due to the natural beauty, history, and wildlife you’ll encounter on the route.