Image Credit: Pete Jeff

50 years of the Pennine Way

7th May 2014

When the M62 trans Pennine motorway was built between 1966 -1971 a huge  elegant 67m long footbridge was built to enable the Pennine Way to cross the large cutting at Windy Hill.

Every time I see that bridge it brings a lump to my throat, because deep down I know it would never be built nowadays, the cost would be huge.  So why did those hard motorway men build it?  Because, they appreciated the huge significance of the Pennine Way, which had been opened just a year before the motorway construction began.

It’s easy to forget that it’s not that long ago normal folk couldn’t go onto the Pennine Moors – there was no rights of way, no access. Just think – you couldn’t go for a walk in the uplands.

The Pennine Way came from the same campaigns for access that included the Kinder Scout trespass, people fought for the rights – to the Nation’s shame some campaigners were jailed, it’s an important part of all our social history.

And guess what? – The good old Pennine Way, the first long distance route in the United Kingdom is 50 years old in April 2015.

We are planning quite a party for the Pennine Way on its birthday, including, ensuring every foot of it gets a visit on the day. In fact there are lots of exciting things being planned for the celebrations – and we would like you all to get involved.

We will let you know what we are planning and how you can get involved over the next few months. If you have any ideas of your own let us know – after all it’s your trail.

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