In this week’s instalment of our online series highlighting the best 100 hikes in the world (first appearing in our 2012 special celebratory edition of Adventure Travel which marked its 100th issue), we look at one of the most arduous, yet most stunning trails in the UK, The Pennine Way…
The Pennine Way is one of the UK’s toughest but most spectacular trails, starting in the Peak District and taking the 270-mile route to the Scottish Borders.
On the way it passes through the South Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales National Park, with highlights including Malham Cove and summiting Pen-y-Ghent. You also take in the North Pennines, before joining briefly with the Hadrian’s Wall Path and then reaching the Cheviot Hills.
The best time to walk the Pennine Way is during the summer, from May to September, although the trail is open year-round. With wind chill, the temperatures on the higher reaches of the trail can plummet to zero even in summer, so come prepared with plenty of warm weather gear and waterproofs.
Although it’s often on high, rugged and exposed terrain, facilities along the way are well established and it’s fairly well signposted. Its not suitable for cyclists or horse riders, meaning some of the stunning scenery along the way can only be accessed on foot – making it ever the more special. And it’s well worth the effort for 18 or so days’ walking in such mind-blowing scenery. Four-legged friends are more than welcome on the Pennine Way.
The route starts/ends in Edale/Kirk Yetholm depending on which way you walk the trail and there are various hostels and campsites along the way. It’s recommended that you should book your accommodation in advance as some places are limited and you don’t want to get caught out without a bed to sleep in after a long day’s hike. There are plenty of companies that can also organise all of your accommodation and plan to have your luggage delivered to your hostel every evening.