Pennine Way: Edale to Kirk Yetholm

The Pennine Way was England’s first National Trail. Known as the ‘Daddy’ of all England’s Great Walking Trails, the full walk takes you along the backbone of England through National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

From the rugged Peak District, through the glorious Yorkshire Dales, a short section along Hadrian’s Wall to the Cheviots and ending in Kirk Yetholm, the Pennine Way is a wild space which inspired writers such as the Bronte Sisters and William Wordsworth.

Historical and geological interests are matched with cosy pubs and charming villages. There are plenty of stunning natural sights too: the Pennine Way includes England’s highest waterfall, Hardraw Force; England’s highest pub, The Tan Hill Inn; the coldest place in England at Cross Fell and the longest canal, the Leeds & Liverpool.

Don’t worry if you can’t fit in the full 431km route. The Pennine Way can be arranged over shorter walking breaks for those who don’t have time for the full trail.

Tour Overview

The icons below highlight the distance, difficulty and theme of this itinerary.

Distance

268 miles

Days

6 to 22

Grade

Challenging

Theme

Natural beauty / History

Landscape Type

High Hills and Moorland

Pennine Way: Edale to Kirk Yetholm

Every step of the journey has been carefully planned to help you make the most of your walking adventure. Click on the blue tabs below for more information.

Tour Details

This itinerary is  operated by Great British Walks, who will arrange all the Bed & Breakfast accommodation, luggage transfer, guidebooks and maps, and offer high quality customer service through the entire booking process.  They supply fabulous holiday packs which contain leaflets and details of interesting places to visit. They can help with travel advice for arrival and departure and can also book taxis.

They will be happy to put together a shorter Pennine Way itinerary if you do not have the time to walk the full trail.

To find out more about this itinerary and make an enquiry or a booking, click on the Enquire Now button at the top of the page. The Save to My Rucksack button allows you to save itineraries to view later, or to download them as a PDF.

Itinerary

This itinerary takes 22 days to complete the whole Pennine Way.

Day 1 - Arrival Day in Edale

Start your holiday in the charming village of Edale. The Moorlands Visitor Centre is open daily from April to September with free entry.  The village has two pubs, a café and a small shop. Wander around the village and check out The Old Nags Head where cask ales and food are served. This Inn is situated at the start of the Pennine Way!

Day 2 - Edale to Torside/Crowden

Leave Edale and walk toward Torside & Crowden. This first day throws you straight into Pennine walking through the savage beauty of the Peak District. Hike over fine flagstone paths and through sheep pastures. Today, you will skirt around Kinder Scout (the Peak District’s highest mountain).  In good weather you may even get a glimpse of Pen-y-Ghent, a week’s walk north of where you are standing.  24km / 15 miles

Day 3 - Torside/Crowden to Standedge

Leave Torside or Crowden walking toward Standedge. Today’s walk is a classic mix of moorland, wide views and hills. Short climbs up to the gritstone outcrops of Laddow Rocks. Walk through pretty white fluffy cottongrass. Weather permitting, you will have outstanding views from the higher ground. An inviting descent down to Wessenden Reservoir.  22.5km / 14miles

Day 4 - Standedge to Calder Valley

Leave Standedge and head toward Calder Valley. Today is a relatively easy stretch of the Pennine Way. Gentle rolling moorland, and a series of tracks cross reservoir dams. The monument of Stoodley Pike can be seen along the walk. For better or worse, this monument will dominate the skyline for most of the day. You will eventually descend into Hebden Bridge and the Calder Valley.  24km / 15 miles.

Day 5 - Calder Valley to Ponden

Leave Calder Valley and head toward Ponden. Whilst your walk today starts with a cruel climb, the landscape is especially pretty. You are now entering the rolling Yorkshire Dales, Bronte country. The Brontës were one of the most remarkable literary families in English literature. They grew up in Haworth, inspired by the landscapes of Heptonstall Moor and Ickornshaw Moor. The steep cobbled streets of Haworth are a real treat. This village is where you are most likely to overnight. Explore the village and peep through the windows of the Bronte’s former home.  22.5km / 14 miles

Day 6 - Ponden to Thornton-In-Craven

Re-join the Pennine Way and head toward Thornton-in-Craven.  Walking over Ickornshaw Moor you may see grouse, curlew and golden plovers.  Today’s journey skirts past Cowling and Ickornshaw, then on toward Lothersdale, the last Pennine Mill town with its incongruous chimney. Down into Thornton-in-Craven.   22.5km / 14 miles

Day 7 - Thornton-in-Craven to Malham

Leave Thornton-in-Craven and head north toward Malham.  A mile into today’s walk you come across the Leeds & Liverpool Canal (the longest canal in Britain). Walk along the towpath to enjoy watching the narrow boats and swans nesting in the reeds. Head on into Gargrave to view St Andrew’s Church, then on toward Malham where you’ll you will receive a warm welcome at The Lister Arms or The Buck Inn. Time for a pint!  15km / 9.5 miles

Day 8 - Malham to Horton in Ribblesdale

Today’s walk from Malham to Horton in Ribblesdale takes you into Three Peaks Country. A special day. The surroundings here are perfect walker’s territory. You are treated to the majestic Malham Cove and Malham Tarn Nature Reserve, before approaching Pen-y-Ghent. The highest point of your walk so far! This ‘hill’ is part of the Three Peaks Challenge. Views from here are breath-taking. Very apt, as Pen-y-Ghent means Hill of the Winds. Maybe visit the Crown Hotel for a glass of beer this evening.  23km / 14.5 miles

Day 9 - Horton in Ribblesdale to Hawes

Walk today from Horton in Ribblesdale to Hawes. A very enjoyable section of the Way, exposed, exhilarating and with wide angled views. As you stroll along, the Ling Gill Nature Reserve offers an array of mixed trees and rare flora. There are views of the Ribblehead Viaduct, a charismatic piece of architecture. You are now heading toward Wensleydale Cheese country, and your supper in Hawes. The Board Inn is a popular choice here.  22.5km / 14 miles

Day 10 - Hawes to Upper Swaledale

What a day greets you today walking from Hawes to Upper Swaledale. Starting with a view of the fairy tale waterfall called Hardraw Force. After the greatest waterfall on the Way you will walk on to Great Shunner Fell, the highest point on the walk so far. Then on into Thwaite, regarded as one of the prettiest settlements along the Pennine Way, and finally on into Swaledale.  20km / 12.5 miles

Day 11 - Upper Swaledale to Baldersdale

Walk today from Upper Swaledale to Baldersdale. Follow an old packhorse trail across remote moorland. The Tan Hill Inn, a 17th Century Inn is the most isolated pub you are ever likely to see. It is also the highest pub in England. Your challenge today is to reach the halfway point of the Pennine Way at Baldersdale. You will trudge through the greatest wilderness in the country. Finally walking down off of Cotherstone Moor into Baldersdale with its three large reservoirs.  22.5km / 14 miles

Day 12 - Baldersdale to Langdon Beck

Continue north today from Baldersdale to Langdon Beck. Middleton in Teesdale is too tempting not to visit, and afterward some joyous walking along the riverside for the rest of the day. Pass Low Force and High Force waterfalls and arrive at Langdon Beck relaxed and ready for your evening meal. Try out the Langdon Beck Hotel with its fine ales and home cooked meals.  22.5km / 14 miles

Day 13 - Langdon Beck to Dufton

Your journey on from Langden Beck to Dufton may bring glimpses of peregrines and kestrels with a great viewing point at Falcon Clints. Have your cameras ready at High Cup Nick. A jaw dropping landscape where the valley floor has been carved by a glacier. Head on into Dufton with its pretty village green. Enjoy a restful evening.  19km / 12 miles

Day 14 - Dufton to Garrigill

Dufton to Garrigill is a tough day, there is no kind way to say that! The route passes over the summit of Great Dun Fell, and over the Cross Fell range. The highest point of the Pennine Way. A tough walking day, where you could be rewarded with views of mountain birds. The best view may well be the walk into Garrigill and a pint at the pub!  26km / 16 miles

Day 15 - Garrigill to Slaggyford

Walk from Garrigill to Slaggyford. Start your day with the Way running parallel to the River South Tyne into the historic village of Alston. As you start to make progress north toward Hadrian’s Wall, you can see a Roman Fort called Whitley Castle. This is the highest stone built Roman Fort in Britain. The old Kirkhaugh Railway Station is on the South Tynedale Railway which follows part of the route of the old Haltwhistle Line. Your walking day ends at Slaggyford. The word ‘slaggy’ means ‘muddy’.  14.5km / 9 miles

Day 16 - Slaggyford to Greenhead

Leave Slaggyford for Greenhead. At this point on the Pennine Way the River South Tyne is still close by, and as each mile goes by you may be able to glimpse Hadrian’s Wall in the distance. Once across Hartleyburn Common, you will see Greenhead. A welcome will await you at this small village Inn. Rest up for tomorrow’s section, and some great sights along the Hadrians Wall.   16.5km / 10.5 miles

Day 17 - Greenhead to Once Brewed

Walk today from Greenhead to Once Brewed. A suitable short day on mileage to allow time to visit some Roman sights. Your first stop should be at Thirlwell Castle, the ruin of a fortified tower-house dating back some 700 years. If Roman history interests you, then visit the Roman Army Museum on the outskirts of Greenhead. Further along the Wall are Cawfield Crags which is one of the best-preserved sections of the Wall. Your walk today is to Once Brewed, where you can visit the local Twice Brewed Inn. This is a great place to add an extra day. On your Rest Day you could go on a brewery tour (this would need to be pre-booked), or visit the Roman Forts at Vindolanda and Housesteads.  10.5km / 6.5 miles

DAy 18 - Once Brewed to Bellingham

Walking from Once Brewed to Bellingham starts again along Hadrian’s Wall Path. Before heading back north onto the Pennine Way, you could take a short diversion to visit Housesteads Roman Fort before reclaiming the Way as your chosen route. Once heading north again you enter Wark Forest (part of Kielder Forest). The largest man-made forest in Europe.   25km / 15.5 miles

Day 19 - Bellingham to Byrness

Leave Bellingham for Byrness, and you are on your way to the Cheviots – heathery landscapes and wonderful views. There are vast forest plantations on today’s walk, so you may see Roe Deer.  24km / 15 miles

Day 20 - Byrness to Windy Gyle

Walk from Byrness to Windy Gyle. You now have just 27 miles to walk over two days. The Cheviots are home to herds of wild goats. As well as merlin, buzzards and black grouse, even golden eagles have been spotted here in this fabulous wilderness. Your accommodation at Byrness will collect you from Windy Gyle and return you the following morning to complete your walk to Kirk Yetholm.  22.5km / 14 miles

Day 21 - Windy Gyle to Kirk Yetholm

Return to Windy Gyle and walk to Kirk Yetholm. You are finally on your last day’s walk. Just 13 miles to complete the most demanding National Trail in England. Yes, it will be windy. Yes, it will be boggy. But stride out today knowing what a deeply satisfying and triumphant experience you have had. You may call yourself a Pennine bog-trotter. Head off to the Border Hotel and celebrate with some great beer and food.  20.5km / 13 miles

Day 22 - Departure day

After breakfast leave Kirk Yetholm for your return journey home.

Accommodation

Great British Walks will book good quality B & Bs, guest houses, inns and hotels. They like to offer a variety, and look to book rooms with en suite wherever possible. They are also happy to take instruction from the client to upgrade where available, adding that extra charge to their invoice.

Your trip might include the following:-

The Old Nags Head – Edale, which dates back to 1577, offers cask ales and food, and is the official start of the Pennine Way.

The Historic Lister Arms is a 17th-century coaching inn set in the heart of the stunning National Trust-owned village of Malham.

The Buck Inn at Malham is a family run pub in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, where you can sample traditional Yorkshire ales.

The Crown Hotel, Horton in Ribblesdale is a Cask Marque Inn.

The Board Inn at Hawes prides itself on fine ales.

Langdon Beck Hotel offers award winning beers and home cooked meals.

Twice Brewed Inn at Once Brewed. Beer has been brewed here for over 500 years. The Brewhouse has now been opened where you can sample ales such as Sycamore Gap Pale Ale.  A great location for a Rest day to visit the Roman Forts & Museum at Vindolanda & Housesteads. Pre-booked brewery tours are available. Please enquire.

Border Hotel at Kirk Yetholm.  The Inn has been here since 1750, and marks the end of the Pennine Way. A great place to end your walk with some great beer and food.

Travel

The Great British Walks are happy to arrange taxis, supply local bus timetables and to assist with travel arrangements to and from the walk start / finish points.

By Air

The nearest international airports are Manchester and Leeds for the start of the walk, with Edinburgh the closest to the end of the walk.

By Rail

There is a railway station at Edale at the start of the walk with train services from Manchester and Sheffield, Edale station is within walking distance of the local guest houses.  The nearest station at the end of the walk (Kirk Yetholm) is at Berwick upon Tweed, there is a bus service connecting the two. Please note; there are currently no buses running on a Sunday.

Trains from London

Trains leave Euston and St Pancras regularly with connections for Edale, the journey takes around 3 – 3.5 hours.

Advice

The Pennine Way is a challenging walk.

The best time to walk the Pennine Way is April to early October.

Recommended locations for Rest Days are Malham, one of the most visited villages in the Yorkshire Dales with numerous tea shops and home to the National Park Information Centre which is open daily from March to October. Hawes is another excellent Rest Day location, a bustling market town with a range of shops and cafes, also home to England’s highest single drop waterfall Hardraw Force. A Rest Day at Middleton on Tees is a super idea, a small town full of Victorian architecture and shops or the tiny of hamlet of Once Brewed can provide a base while you explore the wonderful history of the Romans at nearby Vindolanda and Housesteads.

Food & Drink

Look out for the opportunity to try a ‘Yorkshire Pudding’ at one of the many restaurants along the Pennine Way. This tasty savoury batter is eaten alongside roast dinners.

Wensleydale Cheese is a rich, crumbly and creamy cheese made at the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes. Take a Rest Day at Hawes and visit the Creamery for the Cheese Experience.

Parkin is a ginger cake made with oatmeal and black treacle. A great local cake from the Yorkshire area.

Maps, Guidebooks and Merchandise

The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the National Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.

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