News from 2023

A different kind of Spine Race event on the Pennine Way, as volunteers help to maintain the trail.

October 2023

On a sunny Sunday in October, a team of volunteers from the Montane Spine Race generously gave their time and energy to complete a maintenance project on the Pennine Way National Trail.

The team comprised previous participants from the Spine events, those who were hoping to take part in the future and individuals who volunteer to help with the organisation of the Spine Race events when they occur each year.

The Spine Race is an ultramarathon which takes place on the Pennine Way twice a year – in January and in July – and sees participants attempt to complete the entire Pennine Way National Trail in less than 7 days. In addition, there are events covering half the trail and a shorter ‘Sprint’ event, both of which challenge participants to reach their respective finish line by a certain cut-off point.

The volunteering day was organised with the Peak District National Park Authority’s Peak Park Conservation Volunteers programme and led by the Pennine Way Ranger for the area.

The day started with introductions and a briefing on the activities ahead before shovels were collected and the team set off on the 45 minute walk towards the project site. The section of trail which needed attention was a 250 metre long narrow stretch which runs along Clough Edge above Torside Clough. The trail had become badly eroded by rainwater washing down from higher ground forming steep gullies, exposing bedrock and making the path difficult to pass along.

On reaching the site, Pennine Way Ranger, Martyn, shared his expert knowledge of the landscape, geology and trail use and demonstrated to the volunteers the work needed to improve the condition of the trail. It was then over to the volunteers to work their magic!

Firstly, drainage channels were dug to the side of the trail to give a route for the water on the saturated path to drain away to lower ground. Next, the top layers of the grassed edges of the trail were removed and replanted on higher ground. Finally, the soil below was moved back on to the trail, levelling the surface and providing a clear route downhill for any further water run-off.  As the before and after photos show, it was a job well done!

We’d like to express our thanks to all the volunteers who gave up their time and got stuck in with such energy, determination and good humour. We’d also like to thank the Peak District National Park Authority and Peak Park Conservation Volunteer Team for making the day possible.

You can find out more about the Peak Park Conservation Volunteer programme here.
You can discover more about the Montane Spine Race events here.


Pennine Way National Trail above Torside Clough before work starts with volunteers to improve the trail.
Before the work began.
The Pennine Way above Torside Clough after Spine Race volunteers had helped to repair the path.
After the work had been completed.

Work starts on much needed improvements to the Pennine Way in Wessenden Valley

October 2023

This autumn, Kirklees Council are undertaking a project to improve the Pennine Way in the Wessenden Valley.

Supported by the National Trust, the Pennines National Trail Partnership, Natural England, and Peak District National Park Authority, 200 metres of pathway will be restored on a steep section of the Pennine Way National Trail between Blakely Clough and Wessenden Brook.

The steps at Wessenden Valley are a part of the picturesque Pennine Way that shows the best of the rugged landscape, including waterfalls, fascinating ecology, and links to Kirklees’ industrial past.

The improvement project will see approximately 450 stone steps airlifted to the location by helicopter. Due to the rural location a traditional method of installation is required. The installation will see each of the stone steps installed by hand with traditional hand tools by specialist contractors Aitch Conservation. The steps which are made from locally sourced gritstone will blend in naturally to the surrounding environment.

The project aims to help protect the delicate ecosystem of the area, which is part of the Marsden Moor estate, managed by the National Trust.

The moorland is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area, and a Special Area of Conservation. This is due to the rare ground-nesting bird population and blanket bog habitat.

It is hoped that by improving this public right of way and giving walkers a clear and safe route, visitors will no longer need to make their own way across important bird nesting sites and heather regeneration areas, especially around Blakely Clough near Wessenden Brook.

Councillor Yusra Hussain, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees said:

“Installing new stone steps at Wessenden Valley will improve access and enjoyment on this popular route along the Pennine Way for all, while protecting the environment, local ecology and wildlife, and safeguarding the area for the future.

“The project also supports some of the council’s key commitments towards improving and sustaining a better environment, inspiring more people to walk, and working with and supporting key stakeholders within the Kirklees district such as the National Trust, Peak District National Park Authority and Natural England in protecting our precious countryside.”

Ian Dowson, Area Ranger for the National Trust, said:

“Completing the works on this section of the Pennine Way will make a big difference – Protecting the valley from further erosion and making the path safe for people to enjoy”.

There is already a clearly signposted diversion in place around the reservoir so that walkers can still enjoy the Pennine Way safely throughout the duration of the restoration.

The project is funded in part by a grant from Natural England, in association with the Pennine National Trails Partnership, with the aim of helping people to enjoy the stunning countryside in the area.  Kirklees Council match funded the grant, from money given to the Public Rights of Way budget by West Yorkshire Combined Authority, to cover the full cost of the project.

(Article courtesy of Kirklees Council).

Pennine Way in Oldham set for £50,000 worth of improvement works

October 2023
Nearly 1km of the Pennine Way National Trail is set to be improved thanks to funding from Natural England and Oldham Council.

The work on the section of trail which heads northwards from Haigh Gutter, Denshaw has secured £43,173 of funding from Natural England, via the Pennine National Trails Partnership.  Oldham Council is providing a further £7,618.76 towards the works, which will see the existing eroded pathway being replaced with a new gritstone surface making it much easier to walk along.  Better drainage will also be installed to help stop further erosion of the path and landscaping work will also be carried out.

Construction is expected to begin on Monday, October 16 and will last for four weeks, weather permitting. The path will remain open throughout the works.

Natural England consent was required for the improvements because the site is designated as an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and is of national significance for the wildlife found here.

Pennine National Trails Partnership Manager Jo McAllister said: “This is the largest and final stage of a series of projects to improve the condition of the Pennine Way National Trail in the Oldham area.  We’re delighted that the work has been made possible and that walkers will be able to enjoy a much better experience on the trail.  We hope more people will now be encouraged to use this part of the trail to experience the beautiful landscape here.”

Councillor Chris Goodwin, Oldham’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “During Covid more people started to discover our countryside.

“That love of the great outdoors and getting some fresh air has stayed with people and they are continuing to go out walking and explore what the borough has to offer.

“The improvement work we are carrying out will not only improve walking conditions on this stretch of the Pennine Way but ensure it is accessible for years to come.

“I’d also like to thank council staff for bringing this funding into the borough.”

(Article courtesy of Oldham Council).

Dryburn Bridge closed between Alston and Garrigill

Due to flood damage the footbridge across the River South Tyne between Alston and Garrigill has been closed. There is an alternative route available on the north bank of the river. The bridge will be closed until further investigations and repairs can be undertaken.

To view the closure on the map, please click here.

Advance warning: 17th September - Kielder Targa Rally, Northumberland

September 2023

A motor rally event will be taking place in Wark Forest in Northumberland on 17th September 2023 which will impact walkers on the Pennine Way.   The section of trail which includes the affected areas can be seen here

Hexham & District Motor Club are running a Targa Rally in the area and part of their route is through a section of Wark Forest.  The rally stages will follow the forest roads and this includes a 700 metre section of the Pennine Way near Mollerstead Sike.  The southernmost end of the highlighted section shown on the map shows the start of this section which continues north for 700 metres.  Walkers on this section of trail may encounter rally marshals and could be asked to wait for a short time for safety reasons; marshals will also be able to stop cars to enable walkers to pass through safely.

In addition to the above, the rally will also cross the Pennine Way at two points further north within the plantation north of Haughton Common (as shown on the highlighted route on the map).  The crossing points will be marshalled.

Heritage Open Days - East Marton and Thornton in Craven

Every September thousands of volunteers across England organise events to celebrate our fantastic history and culture. It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – all of which are FREE to explore. Two churches along the Pennine Way are taking part this year, and opening their doors to welcome new visitors. The Heritage Open Days in 2023 are from the 8th-17th September.

Church Open Day – St Peter’s Church, Marton
Church Ln, East Marton, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 3LR – accessed over bridge 84 on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal from the Pennine Way. Car parking also available at the church.

Saturday 9 September: 1000-1500
Sunday 10 September: 1200-1500

Come and explore the history of this ancient rural church set in this peaceful and quiet part of North Yorkshire. Light refreshments will be available whilst you take time out of the busy world to take a tour around our mediaeval church.

St Mary’s Church. Thornton-in-Craven
Church Road, Thornton-in-Craven, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 3TS – follow the main road in Thornton in Craven towards Earby and then take the right turn signposted to Barnoldswick. The Church is down the hill on the right. Car parking also available at the church.

Friday 8 September: 1100 – 1630
Saturday 9 September: 1100 – 1630
Sunday 10 September: 10.30 – 1630

Our Church Doors are open to everyone and all are welcome to come in and take a tour of the history of our building, explore works of art created by local artists at our Art Exhibition and enjoy some refreshments.

Thornton in Craven Church

*POSTPONED* Filming at High Force and Low Force near Middleton-in-Teesdale 13th July to 1st August

*Filming has been postponed* this page will be updated when revised dates are known.

Filming is taking place at High Force near Middleton-in-Teesdale between 13th July and 1st August 2023.  Please note that the Pennine Way will remain open and marshals will be on hand to guide you but you may be asked to wait for a few minutes before proceeding so that filming can continue without interruption.   The dates for filming are as follows:

Thursday 13th July

Monday 24th July

Tuesday 25th July

Wednesday 26th July

Thursday 27th July

Friday 28th July

Monday 31st July

Tuesday 1st August

Filming will also be taking place at Low Force on 24th and 25th July.  The Pennine Way will remain open and marshals will be on hand to guide you.  You may be asked to wait a few minutes before proceeding so that filming can continue without interruption or you can take the diversion route shown at the following link, if you prefer.

Kielder Forest Rally, Saturday 17th June 2023

Kielder Forest Rally will be taking place on Saturday 17th June 2023 in Northumberland.  If you’re planning on walking the section of the Pennine Way through Wark Forest on this date, please note that the Trail will remain open and safety marshals will be on hand to guide you at the point where the rally route crosses the Pennine Way.  All other public rights of way within the forest will be closed.

Please refer to the Kielder Forest Rally website for further information.


Working together to improve the Pennine Way in the Vale of Edale

April 2023

Work to repair a 0.6 mile long section of the Pennine Way at Lee Farm in the Vale of Edale started on 12 April 2023.  The work, being carried out by Derbyshire County Council, will involve filling potholes and repairing drainage to provide a smoother, drier surface for walkers and riders.  At the same time the National Trust will replace the gates along the route, which will improve access.

The work will take around 4 weeks to complete, with gritstone being used from a nearby quarry. The cost is £65,000, with £45,000 coming from Natural England grant funding, managed and distributed by the Pennine National Trails Partnership, and £20,000 from Derbyshire County Council.

Further work will take place on Jacobs Ladder, adjacent to this stretch, in September 2023 after the bird nesting season.

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Highways Assets and Transport, Councillor Kewal Singh Athwal said:

“This is a very popular place for walkers and cyclists and I’m pleased to see it being repaired.  We are very grateful for the money from the Pennine National Trails Partnership which is helping to fund the work, and to the National Trust for their work to replace the gates along the route.”

Craig Best, General Manager at National Trust in the Peak District, said:

“Together with the improvements we are making to install gates which are easier to operate, the path repairs on this well-loved and iconic route should help make this area of the Peak District more accessible for people with a range of interests and abilities to enjoy the benefits of spending time in nature.”

Heather Procter, Pennine National Trails Partnership Manager, said:

“The Pennine National Trails Partnership is pleased to support the work of Derbyshire County Council to improve accessibility along this well used section of the Pennine Way, and we’re grateful to the National Trust for their work improving the gates along the route.  Whilst the Pennine Way is well known as a long distance walking route it also provides many options for day walks, some of which are also suitable for cyclists, horse riders, and less able people who may be using mobility aids. Once works are complete, the section from Lee Farm to Jacob’s Ladder will be a great example of this.”

The route will remain open during the work.

    View from Jacobs Ladder towards Edale looking, back across the Pennine Way.

 The Pennine Way through the Vale of Edale

(Image: AlanMBarr/

Trail improvements at Bellingham, Northumberland

March 2023

Two new footbridges have been installed and a new path surface laid on a section of the Pennine Way in Northumberland.

The section of trail is on a public footpath next to the B6320 road on the southern side of the Northumberland village of Bellingham. The condition of the original bridges had deteriorated and the path was susceptible to becoming regularly overgrown with vegetation.

The timber footbridges were replaced and aggregate was put down on a stretch of 225 metres of trail. The project was jointly funded by Natural England and Northumberland County Council with the funding from Natural England managed and distributed by the Pennine National Trails Partnership.

The finished result should provide improved access along this section of the National Trail.

Photo showing a new timber footbridge and aggregate footpath next to the roadside.
One of the new timber footbridges installed on the Pennine Way at Bellingham along with the new section of aggregate footpath.

Pennine Way reopens in Wark Forest, Northumberland

February 2023

The diversion that has been in place through the Wark Forest in Northumberland following Storm Arwen in 2021 has now been removed.

At the end of 2021 Storm Arwen caused devastation to the Northumberland forests through which the Pennine Way passes, making the trail inaccessible. Forestry England have been working hard ever since to clear the affected areas and although there is some further work to be done, the diversion has been removed and the Trail is open once more. Please note however that further repair work and brash clearance will be necessary in order to bring the condition of the trail up to standard.

News from 2022

The Pennine Way Experience - why do we do it?

June 2022

Be inspired or reminisce with an extract from The Pennine Way – The Path, the People, the Journey by Andrew McCloy.

If you’re considering walking part or all of the Pennine Way for the first time, you may be wondering what lies ahead on your journey along England’s oldest National Trail.   If you’ve already ventured on to the trail, you will no doubt have many tales to tell of your adventure.  Wherever you are on your own Pennine Way journey, this extract from Andrew McCloy’s book, The Pennine Way – The Path, the People, the Journey (published by Cicerone) is sure to delight and either inspire or provide an opportunity to reminisce.

Photograph of Andrew McCloy's book, The Pennine Way - the Path, the People, the Journey, resting on a dry stone wall.

New diversion in place in Wark Forest

June 2022

A much shorter diversion route is now available in the storm damaged areas of Wark Forest.

From June 13th 2022 a formal closure comes into place on the Pennine Way between Brown Rigg and Ladyhill in the Wark Forest area of Northumberland. The trail is inaccessible due to storm damage that occurred over the last winter. A much shorter diversion is now in place to avoid the closure, utilising the forest road. The diversion is clearly marked along it’s length, with maps displayed at both ends.

A map of the diversion can be viewed here .

Map of the Pennine Way diversion in Wark Forest


Pennine Way open at Byrness, but diversion still in place from The Sill to Bellingham

March 2022

Work by Forestry England has been ongoing, and the Pennine Way is now fully walkable, albeit with a diversion around the worst hit area.

Storm Arwen caused devastation to the forests in Northumberland through which the Pennine Way passes. The forests, and therefore the trail, have been closed to allow essential work to take place. The section from Bellingham through to the end of the trail at Kirk Yetholm is now full open.

The section from Hadrian’s Wall to Bellingham may take a little longer, but a diversion is available, see here:


Bellingham to Blakehopeburnhaugh picnic site now open!

January 2022

Forestry England have been working hard to clear the fallen and dangerous trees from the Pennine Way and sections are beginning to open.

Storm Arwen caused devastation to the forests in Northumberland through which the Pennine Way passes. The forests, and therefore the trail, have been closed to allow essential work to take place. The section from Bellingham to Blakehopeburnhaugh picnic site is now open. We anticipate that the section from Blakehopeburnhaugh to Byrness will be open in 2-4 weeks time (by end of Feb).

Work has started on the section north from Byrness and we hope this will be open by Easter at the latest. There is currently no diversion in place for this section,

The section from Hadrian’s Wall to Bellingham may take a little longer, but a diversion is available, see here:

If you are planning to walk the Pennine Way from Easter onwards this year, there is a good likelihood that your trip will be able to go ahead with very little alteration. Please allow a little extra time to cover the additional distance created by the diversion between Hadrian’s Wall and Bellingham. If the diversion route changes this will be updated on our interactive map.

If you are planning to walk the Pennine Way before Easter, you will need to find an alternative route north from Byrness to Chew Green. As any alternative route avoiding the forest relies on using a busy main road, getting a taxi from Byrness to Chew Green may be a more suitable option.


News from 2021

Pennine Way inaccessible through Forestry England land in Northumberland

December 2021

Walkers should avoid the area due to the large amount of fallen and dangerous trees.

Fallen trees on the Pennine Way

Storm damage on Pennine Way

Storm Arwen has caused devastation to a large number of coniferous forests in the north of England. Two particular sections of the Pennine Way, which pass through forests owned and managed by Forestry England, are currently closed to the public. The sheer number of fallen trees has made these sections totally impassable. Alongside the fallen trees, there are many other trees which have been weakened by the storms, and these could fall at any time. The scale of the damage is only just becoming clear, as Forestry England and their partners carry out further investigatory work.

This is a statement from Forestry England:

“Our teams are working hard to reopen trails and facilities as soon as it is safe to do so, in some areas this may take some time.

Wherever you are, be aware that there may be weakened and damaged trees making them unsafe. Please take extra care and avoid walking under any leaning trees or hanging branches.”

The sections closed are:

Hadrian’s Wall through to Horneystead, and

Gibshiel through to Chew Green

These can be seen on our interactive map:

There is currently no diversion in place. This post will be updated with further information, including details of diversion routes, as and when this is available.

Congratulations, Karl, on completing the Pennine Way and raising over £6,000 for Parkinson’s UK!

September 2021

A former veterinary surgeon living with Parkinson’s has completed his most ambitious fundraising challenge yet across the backbone of the UK – the Pennine Way National Trail – for Parkinson’s UK. So far, he has raised more than £6,000 and donations are still rolling in.

Yorkshire-born Karl Mckillop, 59, who now lives in Bromley, Kent, was a partner at the Park View Vet Group in Welling, for 25 years.  In 2016, he was forced to retire following his Parkinson’s diagnosis.

He decided to embrace walking as a way to keep active and manage his symptoms, whilst rediscovering the beauty of the English countryside and raising funds for Parkinson’s UK.  This year, after a delay caused by the Covid-19 lockdowns, he went for “the big one” – the Pennine Way.

Many people take years to complete the Pennine Way in several shorter sections.  Karl completed it in 22 days.  He averaged over 13 miles per day, including getting lost on the more remote and less well signposted parts of the trail.

Speaking about what  motivated him to tackle the first National Trail he said: “I was diagnosed four and a half years ago but, with my medical background, I already had my suspicions. It was nevertheless a shock. Since then, gradually things are getting tougher but I still continue to enjoy life to the fullest and will do so for as long as possible.

“After a childhood conversation with my late father, it has been a long held ambition to walk the Pennine Way.  As late middle-age and Parkinson’s make their presence felt, I wanted to attempt this iconic trail through the UK’s majestic Northern uplands, whilst still able to do so.  It is definitely not for the casual weekend walker!  The efforts for a cure for Parkinson’s continue and I want to put my own efforts to good use by raising money for Parkinson’s UK’s research.”

Traditionally, the walk starts at Edale in the Peak District and finishes at Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders; Karl, however, chose to buck tradition and do it ‘North to South.’  Overall, he clocked an impressive 704,584 steps and scaled a 30,770 foot ascension.

Jo McAllister, the Pennine National Trails Partnership Manager, said: “We’d like to send huge congratulations to Karl and his wife Krysia, who accompanied him on parts of the trail, on their completion of the Pennine Way.  It is arguably the most challenging National Trail in England: the combined ascent over the 268 mile length of the Trail is higher than Mount Everest, it passes through some of the remotest areas of the country and the weather is notoriously changeable.  It is a trail for experienced walkers and to complete it in the time that Karl managed certainly requires fitness, strength, stamina and determination.  This is an absolutely incredible and Herculean achievement and we are thrilled and delighted that the Pennine Way is helping raise much-needed research funds for Parkinson’s UK.”

Parkinson’s affects around 145,000 people in the UK, including approximately 12,268 in London.  There are over 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety, though it affects everyone differently.

Shana Bohlen, Regional Fundraiser at Parkinson’s UK, said: “We are really grateful to Karl supporting Parkinson’s UK with this fantastic challenge.  With more than 40 potential symptoms, Parkinson’s can devastate lives.  While we’ve made huge breakthroughs in the last 50 years, there is still no cure and current treatments are not good enough. Fundraisers for Parkinson’s UK, like Karl, help us drive forward the ground-breaking research we need to transform the lives of people with Parkinson’s.”

Karl Mckillop on the summit of Pen-Y-Ghent
Karl on the summit of Pen-Y-Ghent in the Yorkshire Dales National Park

Another FKT for the Pennine Way!

May 2021

John Kelly fought back and beat Damian Hall’s record by over 3 hours.

John Kelly has re-gained the Fastest Known Time for the Pennine Way; 58 hours and 4 minutes. On his most recent attempt in May 2021, John chose to run from north to south, as Damian and Sabrina had successfully done in 2020. How long will this record stand?!

Thanks and support for the Pennine Way volunteers

This year, International Trails Day also coincides with Volunteers Week and we want to say a huge thank you to all the amazing volunteers who give their time and expertise to help maintain the Pennine Way.

Volunteers play a vital role in the maintenance of the Pennine Way particularly in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Peak District National Park and the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  On average, around 250 days of volunteer time are given each year.  Volunteers regularly get involved in a variety of work: from controlling vegetation and installing waymarking, to drainage and surfacing works, fencing and repairing gates.  Their involvement is invaluable in helping to maintain the trails to their high standard.

The Pennine Way People Project

In the North Pennines, the Pennine Way has a dedicated team of volunteers involved in the Pennine Way People Project.  The project started in 2017 and is managed by the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership.  The group consists of around 30 regular volunteers although there are further volunteers who also join to do occasional work.  The stretch of the trail within the AONB is split in to 14 sections and each section is assigned a core Champion who is responsible for the monitoring and surveying of their section.  In addition, they and the other non-Champion volunteers, are given the opportunity to help out with maintenance work on the trail on a number of days throughout the year.

Simon Wilson, Business Manager and Planning and Access Lead at the North Pennines AONB Partnership, who is involved in delivering the Pennine Way People Project, knows how important volunteers are in supporting the wider maintenance work of the trail.  “It is hard to over-emphasise the value of volunteers to the care of the Pennine Way National Trail in the North Pennines,” he said.  “They give their time and expertise to ensure that those using the route have the best experience possible.”

Whilst volunteers generously give their time for free and enable work to be carried out which could otherwise not be completed, volunteer programmes are not free to run.  Every volunteer needs to be supported to fulfil their role safely and effectively.  It costs thousands of pounds each year to run projects like Pennine Way People.

How you can help

If you would like to make a donation to help fund the ongoing work of the volunteers on the Pennine Way please follow this link: Donate to the Pennine Way

(Please note, the link will take you to the website of Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority who manage the collection of donations on behalf of the Pennine National Trails Partnership).  Thank you for your support.

Photograph showing a volunteer reaching to place a stone on the cairn.
Pennine Way volunteers rebuilding cairns at Jacobs Ladder in the Peak District. (Image credit: Peak District National Park Authority)
Photograph showing volunteers installing new flagstones on the trail at Hardraw with Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority staff operating a digger.
Pennine Way volunteers working alongside staff from Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to repair the trail at Hardraw. (Image credit: Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority)


News from 2020

The Pennine Way A Poem A Day, by Andrew Cannon

To mark his fifth Pennine Way completion in 2020, poet and hiking blogger Andrew Cannon set himself the challenge of writing a daily poem while on the trail, scribbling them each night into a damp notebook by headtorch in a tiny tent, generally with rain pelting the flysheet.

Despite many improvements to the Pennine Way since its inception over fifty years ago, our original and most legendary National Trail remains a genuine challenge, mental as well as physical. Its completion is rite of passage that makes memories, provokes thoughts and even changes lives. Walking it has inspired songs (often raucous and unrepeatable), books and even poetry.

Now Andrew has used these poems as the framework of a quirky and very personal book; essentially a love letter to his favourite trail, a picture album and a mashed-up memoir and reminiscence that celebrates the places and people of the Pennine Way but also confronts the questions and concerns that preoccupy lone hikers drawn out of their comfort zone, pulled from their everyday timeline and given unaccustomed time and space to think.

In passing Andrew documents his idiosyncratic and ultimately successful (although not entirely advisable) mission to sleep out on all the trail’s high summits and explores his interests in ecology, sociology and food. And, although this is emphatically not a guidebook, there are practical tips and advice from a serial Pennine Way completer. Illustrated with over 120 colour photographs, the style is succinct and the structure is slightly non-linear, its flashbacks and reflections intended to recall the slight disorientation evoked by spending sixteen days alone in the hills.

Anyone who has hiked this remarkable trail will enjoy Andrew’s book for its humour and as a jewel box of shared memories, and for agreeing with them that it can be surprisingly hard to string those memories together in exactly the right order. Anyone who dreams of walking the Pennine Way will be encouraged to get going, and inspired to get thinking.

Cover of The Pennine Way A Poem A Day book by Andrew Cannon

The Pennine Way A Poem A Day by Andrew Cannon is available on Amazon, in paperback and Kindle ebook.

For more information see the author’s blog at

Brewery donation supports maintenance work on the Pennine Way

October 2020

Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery donates £6,350 from the sale of their Pennine Ambler ale to support the trail.

Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery staff Stu Taylor and James Law walked a popular section of the Pennine Way in Wensleydale in October, raising a bottle to the volunteers and rangers who repaired the path in the summer.

The brewery donated £6,350 to the repair project, having held back ten pence from every bottle or pint sold of one of their ales, the Pennine Ambler.

The amber beer is aimed at thirsty long-distance walkers.

Reclaimed stone flags, sourced from Lancashire and West Yorkshire, were laid along 115-metres of the Way near the village of Hardraw, where existing flags had become uneven or broken.

For three days Dales Volunteers Dick Laidler and Richard Humphries marshalled a digger, operated by an access ranger, and used spades and bars to make sure the flags were laid level.

Stu Taylor from Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery said:  “We use the Pennine Way trail ourselves, and are lovers of the outdoors – so it’s good to be able to give something back.”

Pennine National Trails Partnership Manager, Jo McAllister, who brings together more than a dozen local authority and other partners to maintain the 267-mile National Trail, said:  “The Pennine Way takes a lot of looking after and we couldn’t do it without the help of volunteers as well as supporters such as Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery. The assistance provided by the landowner and tenant farmer in storing and transporting the stone flags was also much appreciated.”

She added:  “If you want a challenging and spectacular walk on well-maintained paths, followed by a fine pint at a local pub, then look no further than the Pennine Way.“

Last year, 258 days of volunteer time were given to maintaining the Pennine Way, most of them in the North Pennines AONB, the Peak District or the Yorkshire Dales.

(Image of Stu Taylor and James Law from Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery on the Pennine Way, courtesy of Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority).

Stu and James from Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery on the Pennine Way
Stu and James from Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery on the Pennine Way (image courtesy of Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority).

Filming at Low Force

October 2020

There may be some short delays around Low Force in October due to filming.

We have been made aware of the intention to carry out filming for a TV production in the area of Low Force and High Force between the dates of 12th and 23rd October. The Pennine Way and the paths linking to Bowlees and the High Force Hotel will all remain open, but walkers may be asked to wait briefly during film shoots. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Maintenance work at Falcon Clints

September 2020

Short delays for walkers are possible whilst works are undertaken.

Maintenance work to replace some of the boardwalk at Falcon Clints will start on 21st September and is expected to continue until mid October.  Trail users may experience some minor delays on the section of the trail from Widdybank Farm to Cauldron Snout whilst materials are moved by helicopter to and from the site and the work is undertaken.  The terrain in this area may be tougher underfoot until the new boardwalk is in place.

Boulder field at Falcon Clints where the works are taking place

Boulder field at Falcon Clints where the works are taking place.

Sabrina Verjee sets new women's FKT

September 2020

Sabrina Verjee has broken her own female record for the Pennine Way.

This year has been a  year for record breaking, and the latest accomplishment is that of Sabrina Verjee, who has set a new ladies Fastest Known Time of 74 hours, 28 minutes and 19 seconds over the 268 miles. Sabrina’s previous record of 82 hours and 10 minutes was set in summer 2019, when she was the fastest female in the Spine Fusion Race. Sabrina ran from north to south, as did Damian Hall recently on his incredible record breaking run.

Congratulations Sabrina!

Runners on the Pennine Way Sabrina Verjee FKT 2020 – (copyright Damian Hall)

Damian Hall beats John Kelly's record

July  2020

Another fastest known time for the Pennine Way has been achieved in the space of 8 days.

The new Fastest Known Time for the Pennine Way is now two days, 13 hours and 34 minutes, set by Damian Hall on the 24th July 2020. Damian chose to run from north to south. John Kelly had run in the opposite direction, from Edale to Kirk Yetholm, in two days, 16 hours and 46 minutes, completing the trail on the 16th July. It is only eight days since John broke the record that had stood for 31 years. Mike Hartley ran the trail in two days, 17 hours and 20 minutes in 1989, also running north to south.

Damian Hall after setting the new Fastest Known Time for the Pennine Way in July 2020

Damian looked incredibly comfortable throughout, so perhaps it will be another 31 years until the record is broken again?!

Mike Hartley and John Kelly were at the finish to meet Damian (photo – left – credit: Nicki Lygo).

If running the trail was not enough, Damian and his pacers also collected litter along the route and raised funds for Greenpeace UK. Damian said on his tracking webpage:

I love a boggy bimble, me. And I’ve been thinking about this one for four years.

The Pennine Way is special. England’s oldest National Trail is directly linked to 1932’s Mass Trespass, a brilliant piece of civil disobedience where brave folk defied the law on Kinder Scout to protest about the lack of access to open country. The Pennine Way is our Appalachian Trail; the original, the classic, the daddy. 

It’s special to me too. I first hiked it in 2011, have written a guidebook for it and done the Spine Race twice. I have a weakness for bleakness. And bogs. And bimbles.”

There are a number of films of Damian’s attempt available to view on YouTube including:

John Kelly sets new Fastest Known Time for completing the Pennine Way

July 2020

John Kelly has broken the long-standing time set by Mike Hartley in 1989.

In the early hours of the 16th July John Kelly reached the Border Hotel in Kirk Yetholm, having set off from Edale at 10am on 13th July. That means that he completed the full length of the Pennine Way in 64 hours and 40 minutes breaking Mike Hartley’s record of 65 hours and 20 minutes. Mike’s record had stood for over 30 years, which in itself shows the near impossibility of John’s achievement. A short film of John’s challenge can be seen here. A more in depth film will be produced by Summit Fever Media in due course.

However, this may be a short-lived record as another well-known endurance athlete takes up the challenge later this summer. Watch this space!

Advance booking essential this summer

July 2020

If you are planning a trip along the Pennine Way this summer a little extra preparation is required to ensure you can find accommodation for each night.

Accommodation providers along the Pennine Way are coping with the post-lockdown challenges in different ways. Some are choosing not to re-open at all during 2020, whilst others are only accepting advance bookings. Others have rolled forward bookings from earlier in the year so are already fully booked for the rest of the year. There are sufficient options available to enable an end to end walk of the Pennine Way, but you may need to divert a little further from the trail. We strongly advise that you book all of your accommodation, including campsites, before you set off.

One particular location where accommodation is proving challenging at the moment is at Crowden/Torside. Both Crowden Campsite and The Old House are currently closed. There are other options further from the trail in the direction of Glossop, such as Windy Harbour Hotel. There is also a diversion in place on the Trail here to be aware of

Hostels, including those at Edale, Earby, Malham, Langdon Beck and Dufton are open for exclusive hire or group bookings only at present.

A large number of accommodation options are listed on our interactive map to help get you started.

Please bear in mind that some accommodation options which are located away from the trail, or remote from local pubs, and which used to provide transport services, may not be providing this service at the moment.

Baggage handlers and booking companies are operating, but please do check their current policies regarding infection control.

This information is intended to be a guide, it is not comprehensive, and may not be kept up to date. We strongly advise that you check with all of your required accommodation and service providers before setting off.

Gargrave Public Toilets Faced With Closure

January 2020

The Public Toilets in Gargrave faced closure on the 31st December so a  new Community Group, GNAT: Gargrave Needs A Toilet, has been set up to keep the toilets open.

Many Pennine Way walkers will have welcomed the sight of a public toilet on their travels.

A group of residents has volunteered to open, close and clean the toilets but money is needed to pay for water and consumables and to support the long term future of the facilities.

The group is determined to keep the toilets open, and have founded a Go Fund Me page to raise money for the cause

Gargrave is an iconic stopping off point on the Pennine Way with the well-loved Dalesman Café providing welcome sustenance to weary walkers.

You can help the cause by making a donation to keep the toilets open for walkers, cyclists, motorists and bus passengers who pass through the village.

Public toilets in Gargrave