Careful planning is required to undertake the Pennine Journey. Dividing the route into suitable daily sections bearing in mind the walker’s fitness level is important. Then linking this with accommodation and transport facilities is also important in the early stages – see note on accommodation below.. For walkers new to long distance footpath walking then it is strongly recommended that they read about the nature of the undertaking they are contemplating. Outdoor walking shops will have books on the subject but good advice can be got from the websites listed below:
Safe in the Hills
- an excellent website developed by Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team
The Ramblers - this association offers advice on long distance walking
The Long Distance Walkers Association has a very comprehensive website and it is well worth a visit
The start of the walk, Settle has the benefit of being on the main railway line from Leeds to Carlisle. In fact the journey starts and finishes at Settle station, itself the beginning of the most scenic section from Settle to Carlisle- so letting the train take the strain is probably the best way of arriving at the start. Train timetable information can easily be obtained from National Rail enquiries. However it is possible with careful planning to start anywhere on this circular route or even to walk sections based in one location using public and private transport.
The route coincides in quite a few places with other long distance walks and naturally is also within popular holiday areas for the general public so in the summer months and at weekends the demand often exceeds the supply. Accommodation providers on or close to the route, and at locations between the end of stages, can be found on this website.
Baggage Courier Service and Walking Holiday Companies
Brigantes offer various options for self guided Pennine Journey trips
Wandering Aengus offer various options for self guided Pennine Journey trips
The Pennine Journey is a challenging walk. A good initial level of fitness and, above all, stamina will be required to complete the journey especially if it is intended to walk the entire route in the one walk. It would also be sensible, for inexperienced long distance path walkers, to take the first few days more easily.
Mountains and moorlands can be dangerous places particularly in bad weather. Know how to read a map and use a compass, always carry an Ordnance Survey map – preferably large scale. Never be afraid to turn back if in doubt. Always carry a whistle and torch to summon help in an emergency. The international distress signal is six (6) good blasts on a whistle or torch flashes followed by a minutes silence then repeated. Do obtain up-to-date weather forecasts. Most accommodation providers will be happy to assist.
Clothing and equipment to be taken on the journey must be sufficient and of adequate quality to meet all kinds of adverse weather conditions, especially in the hilly and remote areas, to ensure that personal safety, which at all times is paramount is not impaired.
The same consideration applies to the carrying of basic supplies of food, always take an extra small quantity of high energy food – and, very important, ensure that adequate water is carried. Do not expect to find drinking water en route.
The Country Code
Always follow the Country Code when out walking in the countryside. It is easy to do and helps ensure that everyone can enjoy the countryside.
- Enjoy the countryside and respect its life and work
- Guard against all risk of fire
- Fasten all gates
- Keep your dogs under close control
- Keep to public paths across farmland
- Use gates and stiles to cross fences, hedges and walls
- Leave livestock, crops and machinery alone
- Take your litter home
- Help to keep all water clean
- Protect wildlife, plants and trees
- Take special care on country roads
- Make no unnecessary noise
The conservation of Hadrian’s Wall
In the preamble to Stage 9 in the Pennine Journey guide book special mention is made of Hadrian’s Wall - the primary objective of Alfred Wainwright’s Pennine Journey - saying “This has the unique distinction of being a World Heritage Site and also a National Trail. The authorities have recognised that satisfying their responsibilities for both these aspects is, at times, contradictory. Put simply, overuse of that part of the National Trail where the archaeology is most at risk would damage the World Heritage Site. . . . . . . . The current answer is to encourage the use of the Hadrian’s Wall Path as a spring/summer/autumn route. In cooperation with the authorities Mark Richards has written The Roman Ring and it is hoped that responsible walkers will use the southern part of this walk during the winter months. With this in mind the National Trail authorities ask all walkers to observe the following Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site & National Trail conservation tips.
Hadrian’s Wall Path was designated as a footpath only because of its status as an archaeological World Heritage Site. It is the archaeological dimension that makes the National Trail unique amongst heritage/access; archaeology is a finite resource – if any part is damaged or destroyed then it can never be replaced.
When the government approved the use of public funds in order to establish the route it stipulated that, with very few exceptions, the surface of the Trail should be managed as a green sward path. It is considered to be the best way of protecting any archaeology underfoot; it presents the visible archaeology, both masonry and earthworks, in the most sympathetic of settings.
There are a couple of very simple conservation tips that empower everyone to help to conserve the World Heritage Site for both this and future generations. They do make a big difference!
1) Avoid walking on top of the masonry Wall. This might seem self-evident but Hadrian’s Wall is almost 1900 years old and it is fragile.
2) The Trail’s carrying capacity can effectively double by walking side-by-side along the grass path, instead of in single file, contrary to the advice given for upland areas of Britain. On Hadrian’s Wall the aim is to prevent damage from occurring at all in the first place simply by walking side-by-side and avoiding worn lines in the grass. It does make a big difference!