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 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 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!
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 https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/en_GB/short-routes/torside-reservoir-diversion/.
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.
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 https://www.gofundme.com/f/gnat-gargrave-needs-a-toilet
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.