“. . . . my escape to the hills . . .” Alfred Wainwright
The Pennine Journey is a challenging circular walk, 247 miles long, passing through the wonderful variety of terrain and scenery that the north of England offers and touching on all the major rivers in the region. 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 through the delightful Yorkshire Dales and moorland stretches of Co. Durham before arriving at Hadrian’s Wall. This World Heritage site, in the Northumberland National Park, is followed for 21 miles until the route heads south on the western side of the Pennines. After traversing the Pennines just below the highest point of Cross Fell, it enters and travels down the Eden valley before skirting the Howgills Fells then arrives back in Settle.
Over half of the Pennine Journey, perhaps not surprisingly, is within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This was established in 1988 and it is the second largest of 40 AONBs within England and Wales. The varied geology of the area, much in evidence on the walk, has been recognised by it becoming Britain's first Eurpean Geopark and it was a founding member of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network. 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.
Order the guide
Download an order form (pdf) to buy the guide and/or AW's original book.
Badges and Mugs
Cloth badges and mugs are now available for purchase. Click here for more information.
Route Monitoring & Development Plan
Find out about the Pennine Journey Development Plan, supporters, waymarking, Ordnance Survey maps and route monitoring here.
- July 2013
Newsletter No. 2 published.
- May 2013
New bench at East Gill Force, Keld to commemorate the anniversaries of Alfred Wainwright’s Pennine Journey, the publication of his Pennine Way Companion and the publication of his Coast to Coast Walk guide book.
- December 2012
Newsletter No. 1 published.
- December 2012
Route revision, day 17, Sedbergh to Ingleton. The PJ route now follows the road into Ingleton from Beezley as a payment is now required to walk down by the falls - Details.
- November 2012
- Walking Festival 28th September to 6th October 2013
- PJ-in-a-Day 28th September 2013
- September 2012
- Supporters Club receive HMRC registration for Gift Aid.
- Partnership agreed with the Friends of the North Pennines to launch a Donate–a-Gate scheme.
- March 2012
On 31st March, following the Wainwright Society's AGM, the Pennine Journey Supporters Club was inaugurated.
- February 2012
Decision taken to establish a Pennine Journey Supporters Club - the name reflects AW being a founder member of Blackburn Rovers Supporters Club.
- January 2012
Wainwright Society withdraws as “Responsible Organisation” - Press Release
- December 2011
The Ordnance Survey have agreed, following the completion of the waymarking of the Pennine Journey route, to add “the alignment of the ‘Pennine Journey’ . . . .to OS Landranger and Explorer mapping.”
- November 2011
Agreement with all the highway authorities concerning the nature and frequency of waymarks along the route has now been reached.
- September 2011
On 25th September a Blue Plaque was unveiled at Settle station to commemorate Alfred Wainwright's Pennine Journey. Following the unveiling 42 Wainwright Society members, some members of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line and others enjoyed a walk to Catrigg Force with additional fellowship at the Lion at Settle Hotel afterwards.
On 26th September a half hour TV programme entitled “Wainwright’s Long Walk” was shown on BBC TV throughout the North of England. This was an an enlarged version of last year’s Inside Out programmes with additional footage of interviews with AW’s biographer, Hunter Davies and Colin Bywater, illustrator of the pictorial guide who was filmed sketching St. Oswald’s Church Horton-in-Ribblesdale - believed to be AW’s first landscape sketch.
- September 2011
Agreement in principle has been given by all the highway authorities along the route for it to be waymarked. Discussions are continuing and it is hoped that the whole of the route will be waymarked to celebrate the 75th anniversay on 25th September 2013. Now that this agreement has been forthcoming an approach will be made soon to the Ordnance Survey to have the route marked on future OS maps as a tribute to Alfred Wainwright.
- August 2011
- A Development Plan has been sent to all the highway authorities seeking their approval for the route to be waymarked. Considerable support from a wide range of individuals, parish councils and other organisations has been obtained and a full list, and the Plan, can be viewed by clicking on the link above.
- July 2011
- Northern Rail agree to the installation at Settle station of a ‘Blue Plaque’ to commemorate Alfred Wainwright and his 1938 Pennine Journey. This will be unveiled on 24th September (the 73rd anniversary of the start of AW’s journey) together with an information board about Alfred Wainwright, his achievements and the 1938 Pennine Journey.
- March 2011
- 2,000 guide books sold within a year of its launch.
- January 2011
- Wainwright Society recognised as the Responsible Organisation for the future waymarking of the Pennine Journey by Cumbria CC and the Yorkshire Dales NPA.