Route Summary

Route Summary

The Pennine Journey long-distance footpath traverses some of the most delightful terrain that northern England has to offer.

Starting at Settle, the first two days pass through limestone country which Alfred Wainwright described in his pictorial guide ‘Walks in Limestone Country’. After passing the immense Hull Pot the route arrives at Buckden in Wharfedale.

From the delights of Swaledale the route passes the highest public house in England, the Tan Hill Inn on Sleightholme Moor, before making its way into Bowes with its ruined castle. From Middleton-in-Teesdale a lovely walk along part of the River Tees is followed by crossing over into Weardale before reaching the medieval village of Blanchland. Soon, by way of Hexham with its magnificent Abbey, Hadrian’s Wall is reached – Alfred Wainwright’s 1938 objective. 

The route then follows Hadrian’s Wall along probably the best 20 miles of this World Heritage Site, with opportunities to delve into the history of the Roman occupation of Britain particularly at Housesteads. From the ruins of Thirlwall Castle, near Greenhead, the route heads south, initially along the River South Tyne to Alston before climbing over the shoulder of Cross Fell, the highest point in England outside of Alfred Wainwright’s beloved Lakeland Fells. The Eden valley is followed to its source before the route crosses over to the River Rawthey bordering on countryside described in Alfred Wainwright’s ‘Walks on the Howgill Fells’. Bypassing the book town of Sedbergh the route goes into Dentdale before arriving back in limestone country in Ingleton after the ascent of one of the Three Peaks – Whernside. The final day from Ingleton sees the ascent of another of the Three Peaks, Ingleborough, before the journey ends back in Settle.

A Pennine Journey route map

Click on the route section below to discover more about each days route and the places it passes through. There is also the option to view a map and route profile of each days section plus you can download a free GPX route file courtesy of our Publicity Officer, Robert Cullen. 

Day 1:
Settle to Horton-in-Ribblesdale
Distance: 7.25 miles
Ascent: 1,824 ft

Day 2:
Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Buckden
Distance: 12.75 miles
Ascent: 2,218 ft

Day 3:
Buckden to Gunnerside
Distance: 17.5 miles
Ascent: 2,966 ft

Day 4:
Gunnerside to Bowes
Distance: 17.5 miles
Ascent: 2,146 ft 

Day 5:
Bowes to Middleton-in-Teesdale
Distance: 12.5 miles
Ascent: 1,581 ft

Day 6:
Middleton-in-Teesdale to Westgate
Distance: 15.75 miles
Ascent: 2,306 ft

Day 7:
Westgate to Blanchland
Distance: 10.75 miles
Ascent: 1,522 ft

Day 8:
Blanchland to Hexham
Distance: 11.75 miles
Ascent: 1,230 ft

Day 9:
Hexham to Housesteads
Distance: 15.5 miles
Ascent: 2,175 ft

Day 10:
Housesteads to Greenhead
Distance: 9.75 miles
Ascent: 1,526 ft

Day 11:
Greenhead to Alston
Distance: 17 miles
Ascent: 2,451 ft

Day 12:
Alston to Milburn
Distance: 16.75 miles
Ascent: 2,500

Day 13:
Milburn to Appleby
Distance: 8.25 miles
Ascent: 771 ft

Day 14:
Appleby to Kirkby Stephen
Distance: 16 miles
Ascent: 1,585 ft

Day 15:
Kirkby Stephen to Garsdale Head 
Distance: 12.25 miles
Ascent: 1,909 ft

Day 16:
Garsdale Head  to Sedbergh
Distance: 13.75 miles
Ascent: 1,949 ft

Day 17:
Sedbergh to Ingleton
Distance: 17.75 miles
Ascent: 3,133 ft

Day 18:
Ingleton to Settle
Distance: 14.25 miles
Ascent: 3,081 ft

Total Distance: 247 miles
Total Ascent: 36,942 ft

"Give me a map to look, and I am content. Give me a map of country that I know, and I am comforted: I live my travels over again; step by step I recall the journeys I have made; half-forgotten incidents spring vividly to mind, and again I can suffer and rejoice at experiences which are once more made very real."

Alfred Wainwright writing in A Pennine Journey
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