North Pennines AONB Partnership are looking for volunteers to help look after nature and the landscape in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and UNESCO Global Geopark.
Respect Greener Miles Running in bringing wider awareness of the Pennine Journey, a 247-mile path following in the footsteps of Alfred Wainwright that will form the route of an ultra-run in September 2023.
Pennine Journey North Ultra- 7th-9th April 2023
Another great opportunity to experience this wonderful route inspired by Alfred Wainwright’s walk in 1938, but at running pace! Pennine Journey North, 50 and 100 ish mile Ultra Marathons. April 7th/8th/9th 2023….. a Northern recce of the main PJ247 event which is planned for September 2023. Read more ……
The Pennine Journey Supporters’ Club will be holding its AGM via zoom at 2pm on Saturday 26th November.
Cross Fell shelter Greg’s Hut has reopened after a major refurbishment. This is welcome news for Pennine Way walkers and indeed the Pennine Journey for those Journeyers who want a bit of altitude! Read more ……
Pennine Journey maestros David and Heather Pitt came to Settle railway station on the 11th October 2022 to see off Pennine Journey Supporters’ Club publicity officer, Richard Aylwin on the first leg of his Pennine Journey.
Richard is starting with an 80-mile section of the 247-mile path finishing in Westgate and hopes to walk the next two sections back to Settle in the coming year.
Hundreds of objections have been lodged against National Highways retrospective planning application for the controversial infilling of the historicv bridge at Great Musgrave, Cumbria, over which the Pennine Journey path passes. Pennine Journey Supporters’ Club calls on lovers of the unspoilt wild to send in objections. Read more ……
Brian Melia, an optometrist at Hull University Teaching Hospital who is an experienced ultra-runner, chose to run the Pennine Journey route because his wife Susan had walked it in sections with their dog Poppy and said, “It is one of the best walks I have ever done, you should run it”. Brian completed this achievement in less than 4 days and was the first, as far as we know, to have run the Pennine Journey.
Steph Cooke runs the Endurance Adventures blog and has recently published an informative account, complete with photos, of her Pennine Journey adventure.
The following is an account of Jill King’s ‘virtual’ Pennine Journey and fundraising:
As a former long standing route co-ordinator, I am very familiar with the PJ route on the ground. Once we went into Lockdown and told to walk locally, my virtual journey began on 22nd November 2020 with a 1 mile turn round the block. What followed was a mix of long and short walks. I chose to complete the 247 miles by walking 12 miles back to back and staying overnight to walk the Yorkshire Square walk.
I (virtually) spent Christmas Day in Bowes, Good Friday in Appleby and finished in Settle exactly 6 months on to the day. Our Supporter’s Club charity is the Great North Air Ambulance and they will be the beneficiary of £750. (an appropriate amount linked to my upcoming age!)
Jill King (Member No. 5)
Bob Dickman has been raising money for the Great North Air Ambulance Service by walking 1 mile a day on a section of the Coast to Coast route at Burnbanks near Bampton. His plan is to raise money by walking the equivalent of the length of the Coast to Coast route – 200 miles. Bob was a very early member of the Pennine Journey Supporters Club and one of the many benefits he has brought to the PJSC was persuading our Treasurer, Catherine, to come on board with her invaluable knowledge and expertise.
In Bob’s words:
“After my wife Jan died in May 2000 David and Heather Pitt asked if I would like to use their planned September Coast to Coast Walk to raise monies for Leukaemia Research. So, aged 68 and for the first time undertaking a long distance walk,17 people – I and my family, David and Heather, Connie Brunskill, Ian and Jane Gregg and other friends – set out from St Bees and walked to Bampton. A couple of days later David, Heather and I then pressed on to Robin Hoods Bay. With support from the Bampton community and friends over £11,000 was raised for research into leukaemia at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Newcastle.
In the following years I joined David & Heather on the West Highland Way (battling the midges!) and in 2006 we teamed up again with Ian, Jane, Connie and also Maureen Cummings to walk the Hadrian’s Wall Path to raise money for a favourite charity of mine – the Great North Air Ambulance Service and over £4000 was raised.
Now 20 years after my first fundraiser I have decided, at the age of 88, to further my ambition to raise money for the GNAAS by linking in with an appeal by the Pennine Journey Supporters Club. Since I started to self-isolate in early March I have walked a mile each day on the Coast to Coast Walk through the bluebell wood at Burnbanks and intend to continue until I covered the length of that route.
A Just Giving page has been set up and anyone who wishes to support this worthy cause can do so at www.justgiving.com. We have now topped the £1900 mark – every little helps!!”
We are excited to be able to announce that the next stage in the journey of ‘A Pennine Journey’ is to be a campaign to have its status designated as a National Trail as a tribute to Alfred Wainwright to be achieved by 25th September 2028 – the 90th anniversary of him leaving Settle on his ‘A Pennine Journey’.
We have been in preliminary discussions with the National Trail authorities who emphasise that nothing would be possible whilst they are still working on the England Coast Path as well as the Pennine Bridleway. However they did say we could say we have “aspirations towards National Trail status” and this comment can be seen on our campaign emblem which symbolises the three walks for which AW will long be remembered.
The Club has come a long way in the 8 years of its existence but are confident that we can add this last step to follow those of waymarking the route and having the Ordnance Survey mark the route on their maps. We invite all Wainwright admirers to join us and help us to make this tribute a reality
The committee of the Pennine Journey Supporters Club were pleased to be able to mark the 90th birthday of its founding President, Ron Scholes, who is a train enthusiast, with the gift of a picture (taken by member Dr Richard Wozniak) of a steam train arriving at Settle station. Ron, who drew the wonderful route maps and vignettes for the pictorial guide, was a personal friend of Alfred Wainwright and delighted to get the picture.
In his ‘thank you’ letter he said “…it is especially appropriate to receive this superb picture bearing in mind that Wainwright came to Settle on a steam train to begin his Pennine Journey. Equally, my senses have been uplifted to see a “puffer” on the magnificent Settle-Carlisle Line” The picture was presented to Ron at his home near Stoke-on-Trent by the editors of the guide book David and Heather Pitt.
The Pennine Journey has been re-published by The Wainwright Society. Following the announcement that The Wainwright Society will be publishing some out of print books by Alfred Wainwright, the first of these, A Pennine Journey, is now available to buy. This new edition contains the full text as originally published as well as additional material produced by Wainwright at the time it was written in 1938. To find out more visit The Wainwright Society by clicking here
Dave Felton has published a fascinating and informative blog about his walk on the Pennine Journey complete with some of the stunning scenery along the route. Dave’s background is in book and digital publishing, including most recently founding Inspired by Lakeland, a Cumbrian publisher specialising in books and gifts relating to wild places.
Pop the kettle on, make a brew and join Dave on his trip retracing AW’s footsteps by clicking on the following link UK Long Distance Footpaths – A Pennine Journey
In May 2019 Fudge, a very cute Cocker Spaniel, ably assissted by his human companions completed the Pennine Journey and have created a very detailed and informative blog of their trip. This is well worth a read for anyone planning their own Pennine Journey and the trip report can be read by clicking the following link www.masarnenramblers.com
The Countrystride Podcast celebrates the landscapes, culture, heritage and people of Cumbria and the Lake District through a unique blend of immersive field recordings, inspiring commentary and interviews. In the latest podcast John Manning – Cumbria Magazine and Lakeland Walker editor – walks from Dufton to Appleby-in-Westmorland along the Pennine Journey. To listen to the podcast – and view the other excellent podcasts produced thus far, simply click the following link – Countrystride #14: A PENNINE JOURNEY
Our Route Coordinator, Robert Cullen, has been hard at work creating free, downloadable GPX route files and maps for the whole of the Pennine Journey using Viewfranger. To view all of the Pennine Journey stages online via ‘Viewranger’ on an interactive map, view elevation profiles and download a GPX file for your own use then simply visit the Route Summary page for a complete list of all stages.
For help with all things Viewranger works visit their support pages at https://support.viewranger.com/index.php
The Pennine Journey walk has been featured in the Great Walks Australia magazine. You can view the PDF by clicking on the following link – PJ in Great Walks Australia
Rebekah Burman from Oxford and her grandparents walked the route in July 2017 raising funds towards a project of Rebekah’s to raise £10000 in 4/5 years for an open-air classroom for street children in Kenya. Rebekah’s words are below:
To get me off to a good start I decided I would do a sponsored long distance walk and enquiries led me to the Pennine Journey. I roped in my grandma and granddad, both experienced and keen long distance walkers and so in early July 2017 off we set. The overall experience of the walk was very rewarding and the scenery throughout was beautiful – even on the days that it rained!
The walk covered a wide range of different terrain and scenery and, apart from having 12 blisters at one time and hurting my Achilles tendon after a week, every day was amazing. I was grateful that my grandma and granddad, both in their 70’s, did the walk with me; not many grandparents would walk 247 miles if asked too! They are a true inspiration and show that, whatever your age, you can do something if you put your mind to it – so a huge ‘thank you’ to them. The walk was also rewarding financially as it raised over £3000 towards my project bringing my overall total to just over £4000.
I would recommend the walk to anyone who wants to see, in a comparatively short space of time a large part of the magnificent range of scenery that northern England has to offer. It really is a beautiful walk and allowed me to combine a wonderful experience whilst raiding funds for a worthwhile cause which will make a difference to many children’s futures.
We have recently designed a Completers Certificate for those of you who have completed the total length of the Pennine Journey. The certificate is A4 in size and laminated with handwritten details including your name and completion date. To obtain a certificate simply visit the Merchandise page to download an order form.
On the ridge between Wild Boar Fell and Swarth Fell in Mallerstang in the Eden valley is an unnamed tarn shown on Walk 28 in Alfred Wainwright’s ‘Walks on the Howgill Fells’ pictorial guide.
Now, following an initiative by Ron Scholes and David Pitt, president and chairman of the Pennine Journey Supporters Club, the Ordnance Survey have agreed to name the tarn Swarth Fell Tarn at the specific request of the local Mallerstang Parish Meeting and with the consent of the landowner.
There was also support from Kirkby Stephen Walkers are Welcome group, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, the Yorkshire Dales Society and the Wainwright Society. The name will feature on maps of the area when they are re-printed.
A milestone of a different kind has been reached in ‘A Pennine Journey’ with the first use of the whole route for a sponsored walk. Breaking the ice (but obviously not in June when they did the walk!) is a group from the Milestone Pub at Crystal Peaks, Sheffield who walked the route in aid of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
The Pennine Journey featured in Country Walking this month Journey and for those of you who missed it then click the following link to download a PDF – Country Walking on the Pennine Journey
The Ordnance Survey has released the last Explorer map (307- Consett & Derwent Reservoir) in the series of Explorer maps that now cover the entire 247 mile route. They have also bundled them together for future journeyers click here to view the map bundle
The Ordnance Survey released new Landranger maps that will also cover the entire Pennine Journey route and these were made available in March 2016.
This is a special time for all AW admirers as it is the first time that a route of his own devising (as near as sensible to his actual route which involved many miles of road walking) is marked on an OS map – especially given his appreciation for the work of the Ordnance Survey of whom he said “I admire their work immensely, being lost in admiration of all their work.“
A new version of the Pennine Journey Guidebook is coming soon! The final proofs have been returned to the publishers, Sigma Press, and publication of the update is expected in November – in time to order signed copies to send out as Christmas presents! The book will have a foreword by Mark Richards who for many years has been unstinting in praising the help and advice he received from AW at the start of his writing career.
W. R. Mitchell 15 January 1928 – 7 October 2015
It is with great sadness that we have learned of the death of Bill Mitchell whose contribution to public awareness about the delights of, primarily, the Yorkshire Dales but also Cumbria through his own writings and his many years as editor of Dalesman is immeasurable. He was a true gentleman in every sense of that word. He was a personal friend of AW and needed no persuasion to make a contribution to the first thought by the Wainwright Society in 2005 of how to promote the idea of a re-creation of ‘A Pennine Journey’.
We have been informed by Frances Lincoln that, for commercial reasons, after current stocks have been sold they will not be re-printing any more editions of the ‘A Pennine Journey’ pictorial guide book. Since it was first published early in 2010 there have been 3 reprints.
Whilst it is sad that the relationship with Frances Lincoln has now ended, the decision in 2006 by John Nicoll, then managing director, to commission the pictorial guide book will never be forgotten and was unquestionably the major factor that has led to this modern re-creation of Alfred Wainwright’s 1938 Pennine Journey.
As one door closes, another door opens and so it is with real pleasure we are able to announce that publication of the pictorial guide book will now be undertaken by Sigma Press. They are an independent publisher of regional walking and cycling guides and local interest books based in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire and were highly recommended by Club president Ron Scholes having been his publisher for 6 years.
At the end of the month the first gate under the donate-a-gate scheme within the North Pennines AONB partnership will be unveiled in Teesdale in memory of Bob Pendlebury who was the first chairman of the North Pennines AONB and for many years a ‘champion’ of the North Pennines.
The scheme arose in 2011 after an idea by David Pitt, of the Pennine Journey Supporters Club, chimed with Mike Ogden, Senior Rights of Way Officer with Durham County Council, who had heard from an ex-colleague, then with Buckinghamshire County Council, of a similar scheme in the Chilterns. In 2012 the idea was taken up by the newly formed Friends of the North Pennines and the Pennine Journey Supporters Club.
The Ordnance Survey have now confirmed to the Pennine Journey Supporters Club that they will put the route of the Pennine Journey long-distance footpath onto their Landranger and Explorer maps in future reprints. As each relevant Landranger and Explorer map is updated the alignment of the Pennine Journey route will be added to their records at 1:25,000 (Explorer) scale.
On the 6th October 2013, the day of the PJSC AGM, there was a short walk taking in parts of the Coast to Coast Walk, the Pennine Journey and the Howgills and Limestone Trail. Before the walk a pavement slab was ‘unveiled’ by the chair of Kirkby Town Council as the slab was a joint initiative by the Town Council, Kirkby Stephen Walkers are Welcome Group and the Pennine Journey Supporters Club.
The slab commemmorates the 75th anniversary of Alfred Wainwright’s Pennine Journey and the 40th anniversary of the publication of his Coast to Coast Walk guide.
Before the first North Pennines Walking Festival was mooted the idea had arisen of some kind of an event to mark the 75th anniversary of AW’s Pennine Journey and, hopefully, the completion of the waymarking. What eventually transpired was the PJ-in-a-Day charity marathon involving a combination of charities and organisations raising funds for themselves by walking sections of the route. Part of this marathon took place within the North Pennines Walking Festival but the remaining 120 miles from Kirkby Stephen to the Tan Hill Inn was also covered. The Pennine Journey was well and truly launched on a glorious day for walking.
click here for an account of the day from the Yorkshire Dales Society newsletter
The 25th September 2013 saw the 75th anniversary of when Alfred Wainwright set out from Settle on his Pennine Journey of 11 days and covering a distance of around 210 miles before returning to Settle on 5th October.
The 24th September 2013 marked the completion by Rangers and Rights of Way Officers of all the highway agencies along the route – the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and the County Councils of North Yorkshire, Durham, Northumberland and Cumbria – of the waymarking of the entire 247 miles of the Pennine Journey.
In August 2013 with the cooperation of Muker parish council a bench seat was installed at East Gill Force, Swaledale – a junction of the Pennine Journey, the Coast to Coast Walk and the Pennine Way. This was to commemmorate the 75th anniversary of Alfred Wainwright’s Pennine Journey,the 45th anniversary of the publication of his Pennine Way Companion and
– Supporters Club receive HMRC registration for Gift Aid.
– Partnership agreed with the Friends of the North Pennines to launch a Donate–a-Gate scheme.
On 31st March, following the Wainwright Society’s AGM, the Pennine Journey Supporters Club was inaugurated.
The Wainwright Society withdraws as “Responsible Organisation” for the Pennine Journey project. The Wainwright Society’s Press Release is below:
A Pennine Journey long-distance walk to be managed by new Supporters Club
After much consideration, the Wainwright Society Management Committee has agreed to
pass over the role of ‘Responsible Organisation’ for the Pennine Journey long distance
footpath to the Pennine Journey Supporters Club.
This new body, in course of being established, will have as its primary purpose “the
support and promotion of the Pennine Journey” and its founder members are comprised
mainly of Wainwright Society members who have been involved with the Pennine Journey
project since its inception in 2005. The name of the new body reflects Alfred Wainwright’s
membership of Blackburn Rovers Supporters Club at the time he walked his 1938 Pennine
The Club will seek to engage with local communities and organisations in achieving its
aims which if successful will bring economic benefits to those communities through which
the route passes.
The Management Committee of The Wainwright Society has recognised that for the
Pennine Journey to make a real impact there is a need for the ‘Responsible Organisation’
to be more locally based when compared to the widespread membership of the Society.
The Wainwright Society wishes the Pennine Journey Supporters Club every success and
hopes to see the route waymarked at the earliest opportunity.
The Ordnance Survey have agreed, following the completion of the waymarking of the Pennine Journey route, to add ‘the alignment of the ‘Pennine Journey’ . . . .to OS Landranger and Explorer mapping.’
Agreement with all the highway authorities concerning the nature and frequency of waymarks along the route has now been reached.
On 25th September a Blue Plaque was unveiled at Settle station to commemorate Alfred Wainwright’s Pennine Journey. Following the unveiling 42 Wainwright Society members, some members of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line and others enjoyed a walk to Catrigg Force with additional fellowship at the Lion at Settle Hotel afterwards.
On 26th September a half hour TV programme entitled Wainwright’s Long Walk was shown on BBC TV throughout the North of England. This was an an enlarged version of last year’s Inside Out programmes with additional footage of interviews with AW’s biographer, Hunter Davies and Colin Bywater, illustrator of the pictorial guide who was filmed sketching St. Oswald’s Church Horton-in-Ribblesdale – believed to be AW’s first landscape sketch.
Agreement in principle has been given by all the highway authorities along the route for it to be waymarked. Discussions are continuing and it is hoped that the whole of the route will be waymarked to celebrate the 75th anniversay on 25th September 2013. Now that this agreement has been forthcoming an approach will be made soon to the Ordnance Survey to have the route marked on future OS maps as a tribute to Alfred Wainwright.
A Development Plan has been sent to all the highway authorities seeking their approval for the route to be waymarked. Considerable support from a wide range of individuals, parish councils and other organisations has been obtained.
Over 2,000 Pennine Journey guidebooks have been sold within a year of its launch.
Stuart Maconie, Wainwright Society Honorary Member, follows in the footsteps of AW and reveals the surprising secrets of a marathon expedition AW made along the length of the Pennines on the eve of the Second World War in the BBC’s ‘Inside Out’ programme. During the programme Wainwright Society chairman Eric Robson with members Heather and David Pitt and Ron Scholes were interviewed – at Settle, Blanchland and Housesteads. The film was screened in two parts in October 2010. View the BBC’s Inside Out programme on ‘A Pennine Journey’ on YouTube.
Pennine Journey completers cloth badges are now available. Visit our Merchandise page to find out more.
For those of you have completed the Pennine Journey a completers register has been added to the website. If you have completed the Pennine Journey please let us know so we can add you to the list.
AW’s Pennine Pilgrimage featured in Lakeland Walker magazine. To view the article click on the image links below.
Pennine Journey guidebook sales are so promising that Frances Lincoln have ordered a re-print of another 1000 copies.
Durham County Council have endorsed the route and Northumberland County Council have offered their support.
70th Anniversary walk commemorating the start of AW’s Pennine Journey and, coincidentally, the contract for the guide book is signed with Frances Lincoln.
Lancashire Telegraph publish article on the 70th Anniversary Walk.
Completion of the final test walking
Start of the final test walking based on Ron Scholes’s maps.
AW’s Centenary Memorial at Blackburn Cathedral when one of the readings was from A Pennine Journey.
At the 3rd Wainwright Society AGM David Pitt reported that all the 18 stages had been walked, recorded, written-up and test walked
At the 2nd Wainwright Society AGM, the Pennine Journey project was launched, with volunteers to be sought to walk and test walk 18 stages providing/amending written descriptions of the route
At the 1st Wainwright Society AGM David & Heather Pitt suggest that the Society uses their 1998 walk and updates it as a collaborative venture by the members
David & Heather Pitt walk their route of 230 miles and arrive back at Settle on 24th September, coincidentally the 60th anniversary of when AW set out from Settle on his journey.
David & Heather Pitt, having read ‘A Pennine Journey’, start to plan a long distance walk based upon it.
‘A Pennine Journey’ published by Michael Joseph: 37 years after it was written.
24 September 1938
AW leaves Settle bound for Hadrian’s Wall and returns on 11th October having walked around 210 miles.
17 January 1907
Alfred Wainwright (AW) born in Blackburn, Lancashire