The oldest and most iconic National Trail offers a rugged taste of Northern England – stretching from the Peak District to the Scottish Borders on a challenging but rewarding route of remarkable contrasts. Explore the Pennine Way for three days, a week or even longer. Find inspiration for your walking adventure using our suggested itineraries, or select one of our bookable itineraries which are highlighted with a star.
Find useful facts and learn more about the Pennine Way below. Select the blue tabs below for more details.
Steeped in history and traversing spectacular landscapes, the iconic Pennine Way stretches for 268 miles (435km) across England’s wild northern uplands.
The route follows Britain’s rocky spine from the hills of the Derbyshire Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales, through the stunning Swaledale Valley, across the North Pennines and over Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland to the Cheviot Hills, ending in the Scottish Borders in Kirk Yetholm.
The Pennine Way was the first National Trail in England and is one of the UK’s most famous long-distance walks. Opened on 24th April 1965, it paved the way for public access to some of England’s wildest landscapes.
With a combined ascent that exceeds the height of Mount Everest, the Pennine Way is arguably the most challenging National Trail in England and the route is recommended for experienced walkers who want a unique experience – but you don’t have to walk it all at once.
The Pennine Way is hilly and often remote. The terrain is varied and in some places the paths are smooth and firm, but in others the path may be narrow and uneven or wet and boggy. It’s best to take waterproofs and plenty of dry socks.
To really make the most of your trip, schedule a rest day at places such as Hebden Bridge, Skipton, Hawes, Appleby or the Hadrian’s Wall area, and spend some time exploring.
The best months to walk the Pennine Way are from mid-May to September, when the weather is usually better, however the Trail can be walked all year round. Expect snow on the northern sections in winter months.
To many people, the Pennine Way is much more than a walk; it is part of the history of access to the hills in England and walking the Trail makes you part of that story.
The Trail passes through some of England’s best landscapes and wildlife areas including three National Parks and various National Nature Reserves. The variety of habitats make it one of the best places in Europe to see birds like breeding waders in the spring and early summer.
Walking the Pennine Way is a tour of spectacular natural landmarks and historic sites. At the start of the Trail in Edale you’ll walk up Kinder Scout, site of the 1932 Mass Trespass, which became a key moment in the struggle for public access to private land in the UK.
Alongside some of England’s best landscape and wildlife areas, other highlights along the route include Stoodley Pike, Top Withins, Malham Cove, Pen-y-ghent, Tan Hill, High Force, Cauldron Snout, High Cup Nick, Cross Fell, Hadrian’s Wall and The Cheviot.
Discover a memorable day out on or near the Trail, where attractions include the highest pub, highest waterfall and highest market town in England...
Feeling inspired? Build a bespoke itinerary and start planning your visit to this great National Trail here.