Pennine Way Association

The PENNINE WAY ASSOCIATION was a registered charity run entirely by volunteers. It was founded in 1971 as “a focus of public interest” in Britain’s first and finest long distance footpath. They constantly liased with environmental organisations such as Natural England and National Park Authorities to ensure the integrity of this remarkable National Trail.

The PENNINE WAY ASSOCIATION influenced decisions on controversial proposals, for example by giving evidence at public enquiries. They also campaigned for local refurbishment of signs, stiles and bridges.

Their member base ranged from:

  • Walkers
  • Accommodation providers along the route
  • County, borough and parish representatives

There were also members of the PENNINE WAY ASSOCIATION who represented their interests through associated organisations such as:

  • Ramblers Association
  • National Park and Countryside Ranger Service
  • Youth Hostels Association
  • Peak and Northern Footpaths Association

However in 2016 it was decided that the aims of the Pennine Way Association had been achieved and that it would no longer be at risk of closure or disrepair. The Pennine Way Association was therefore disbanded, but the Pennine Way remains. The association  hopes that you will all continue your interest in it, that you will continue to enjoy it as much as they have done in the past and that you will encourage and help others to do so.

If you would like to see more about the Pennine Way Association please click HERE and if you would like to examine the minutes, newsletters and reports from the association please contact Pennine Heritage. Pennine Heritage are the guardians of the Pennine Way Association archive.

The Pennine Way according to the official guide book is 256 miles (412kms) long. However, by the time you have completed the walk you will probably have done a fair bit more due to the various diversions you will no doubt make.

The trail, which was mainly devised by Tom Stephenson in the 1930s, generally follows a high route along the back of the Pennines from the Peak District to the Tyne Valley and after a short section following Hadrian’s Wall goes north to reach the Scottish border at Kirk Yetholm by way of the lonely and remote Cheviots.

The Pennine Way was Britain’s first national trail and more recently, apart from a short section at its southern end, now forms part of the European long distance path called the E2.

There are two main ways of walking the Pennine Way. The first is to do the walk in stages, taking it a day or a weekend at a time. The other is to do the walk “in one”, i.e. start at Edale or Kirk Yetholm and walk to the other end in one continuous walk. Most people walk from south to north, mainly because most guide books are written this way, and because the wind and the rain are usually at your back. The last section over the Cheviot is the longest without civilisation (apart from two B&B off-route – with limited beds and a bunkhouse at Mount Hooley) on the route and is best left to the end if you intend doing this section in one day. Many people take two days and come off-route and B&B or camp. Which ever way you decide to do the walk, you will not be able to use youth hostels all the way. This means that you will have to use B&B or camp some nights. If you decide to camp all the way there are good campsites, many of which provide showers etc. so you do not have to rough it too much. Natural England produce a free accommodation guide.

Detailed information about the Pennine Way is available from the National Trails website HERE .