Walking the Pennine Way will take you through England's finest countryside. In terms of scenic grandeur, from the Dark Peak of its Debyshire beginnings, through the spectacular limestone country of the Yorkshire Dales, the Teesdale Valleys and high fells of Alston, along Hadrian's Wall and over the Cheviots, all the way into Scotland, the Pennine Way has it all.
Level of Difficulty
Although the trail keeps generally to the hills and moors, you also pass through several villages and towns along the way and as much of interest as the ever-changing natural scenery, is the variation in community reflected in architecture, custom and dialect on this great northward journey. The walking on the Pennine Way is nowhere difficult but two hundred and fifty odd miles is a long way and the completion of the whole route is a real and enjoyable challenge.
The National Trails website which might be considered authoritative, gives the length of the Pennine Way as 268 miles while the Pennine Way Association give it as 256. On the OS 1:25,000 'Explorer' map, the official route measures 244 miles long. The reality is that because of the many optional variations, temporary diversions and your own deviations for refreshment or accommodation, the actual mileage for any individual walking the entire route will probably be somewhere between the two extremes of 244 and 268 miles or perhaps even more!.
You can walk the complete Pennine Way as a self-guided tour over a choice of stages from 13 to 20 days walking and each option has its own merits. We recommend doing the route in 15 stages which will enable you to complete the route within a 2 week leave from Friday to Sunday. Strong walkers may consider the 13 stage option (Saturday to Saturday) while anyone with the time to spare should relish the possibility of more time in some of the outstanding areas which this route passes through on the 20 stage option. Alternatively, we offer the Pennine Way self-guided in three sections each taking a week.