The Pennine Journey is a challenging 247 mile circular walk – based on Alfred Wainwright’s 1938 expedition to Hadrian’s Wall and back from Settle in the Yorkshire Dales.
The route he followed to get to Hadrian’s Wall essentially followed the eastern flanks of the Pennines on the northward leg and the western flanks of the Pennines on the return journey.
Starting in the market town of Settle in North Yorkshire, in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the route heads north on the eastern side of the Pennines. It enters the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) at Tan Hill and winds its way north visiting Teesdale, Weardale and the Derwent Valley before reaching Hadrian’s Wall.
Hadrian’s Wall (World Heritage Site), in the Northumberland National Park, is followed for 21 miles until the route heads south back into the North Pennines. Initially the South Tyne Valley is followed to Alston before traversing the Pennines just below the highest point of Cross Fell. It enters and travels down the Eden Valley (visiting Appleby and Kirkby Stephen) before skirting the Howgills Fells and arriving back in Settle.
The walk is divided into 18 daily stages of varying length and offers a choice of possibilities. It can be undertaken as one continuous walk; split at Housesteads on Hadrian’s Wall (Alfred Wainwright’s primary objective) into two stages of roughly 120 miles each; or divided into three stages – eastern, northern and western – of around 80 miles each.
A guidebook for the route – called A Pennine Journey – has been published by the Wainwright Society. Further information about the route is available on the Wainwright’s Pennine Journey website.