The Pennine Way from the bottom up.

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Jimmy Juice, Aug 25, 2011.

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  1. I'm interested if anybody has done the full 268 miles in either direction and has any experiences, advice or stories they would like to share. More than that though, what kit did you take? Did it work as advertised and if not what would you take instead? Finally how did you get to the start line and home again at the end?
  2. JJ, I did this many moons ago as part of an Army charity thingy, what I remember was;

    We had vehicle support which kept our weight down, there were a couple of stops where we had to be self supporting.

    Generally the route enabled us to camp, near a pub of course

    Get a copy of Wainwrights guide, absolutely invaluable for keeping on track

    The scenery was beautiful but I remember it was bleedin' hard work at times

    If you want to do something a little less ambitious try the Coast to Coast which starts at St Bees (West) and finishes in Robin Hoods bay (east) - a fine walk, which includes Helvellyn and striding Edge
  3. An alternate to the C2C is the North of England Way (there is a guidebook out there, somewhere) that starts at Ravenglass and takes you to Filey. Uses permissive ways (unlike the C2C) and doesn't feel like the A303 on a summer Bank Holiday (unlike the C2C). The PW is for masochists. It starts in the middle of nowhere, and takes you to the middle of nowhere, via nowhere.
  4. I've done most of the Pennine Way, in bits, and I think that's actually the best approach. There are parts that are far from enjoyable, such as flogging over Cotherstone Moor in the drizzle, but the section from Middleton in Teesdale to Garrigill, via High Cup and Cross Fell is excellent, for example, as is the Cheviot (on a good day).

    When I first did a section, forty-odd years ago, I persuaded the OTC to give me a lift to my start point and I hitched home from my end point. I camped in some places and used the YHA in others. There's quite an infra structure of B&Bs now, though you need to be self-sufficient for some parts - like the long Cheviots section.

    The kit I used on my first bash was primitive in the extreme - nowadays, you should be able to go for 2-3 days carrying no more than about 20-25 lbs, as long as you are prepared to purify water you collect on the way.
  5. My Bold .... that is what I did nearly 20 years ago when I did it in several sections although a number of the YHA Hostels have now since closed . I feel sure the Interweb will lead to a list of B&B on the PW . TBH I actually got lost in the peat hags on the first day ... misty ... added a couple of hours . The section Byrness to Kirk Yetholm now has two Refuge Huts .... the one nearest Byrness has instructions on where to obtain good drinking water . I believe it is / was possible to get overnight accomodation at Uswayford which is over halfway on this leg .
    I used Wainwright .... this was the defintive book then and two " Strip Maps " .... cannot remember who made them but they covered the whole walk with a little more detail as to what lay off the PW than Wainwright will provide ,

    Edited to add linky to one of the two maps I used ..... Pennine Way: Edale to Teesdale Pt. 1: Map and Guide Pennine Way Map & Guide 1: Footprint: Books ..... it must be possible to still obtain both from a single source .
  6. The Pennine Way Map and Trail Guide

    I did the whole thing in one go in Sept. 07 using the above website for planning of accomodation. (Sorry the link looks like a dog's dinner)

    I mixed camping and B+B but didn't book anything, was able to fins a place when I wanted to.

    High Cup Nick was the best view I had on the walk and gliders over my head on Cross Fell a close second.
  7. I'm thinking of doing the same, but doing it on light scales and camping/bivvy-bagging only.

    Are there any strip maps available of OS quality? As far as I can tell, the OS "custom map" service only does standard sheets - so you still have to shell out about £70 for the eight maps at 1:25000 coverage or nine maps at 1:50000. Using the "wilderness" waterproof maps sees the price go up to over £100.

    I used to enjoy doing Wainwright's long distance walks as a kid, but these days they've become rather expensive trips due to the cost of public transport in getting to/from the termination points...
  8. I did the Pennine Way last year in 15 days.

    I did the whole 268 miles staying in B&B, pubs and hotels. Getting to the start point at Edale is relatively straight forward as there is a railway station there. At the other end at Kirk Yetholm you have to use the bus to get to Kelso then another bus from there to Berwick, Newcastle or Edinburgh for the train home.

    The worst day is the first one out of Edale as it is very steep and after 30 minutes or so you'll be puffing out your arrse and wondering how on earth you'll do the rest! The way is relatively well sign-posted, although I wouldn't do it without having all the OS maps - you can always post the ones you don't need anymore back home. The worst bit of the Pennine Way is on the penultimate day between Bellingham and Byrness. You go over a hill called Brownrigg Head which is a disgusting, vile bog. Nothing will prepare you for just how unpleasant this section actually is! The last day - the 25 miles from Byrness - Kirk Yetholm - you can do in a day although it will take some 12-14 hours. I've also walked the West Highland Way, Peddars Way, Norfolk Coast Path and Hadrians Wall and have found that I average 2 miles an hour including breaks, up hill, down hill and map reading.

    Your big challenge is to decide whether to do it via B&B or with a tent. Most people who camp will also use B&B's if only to allow their kit a chance to dry out. If you decide to do it via B&B you avoid the weight of a tent, sleeping bag etc. which makes room for jeans, t-shirt and trainers to wear in the evening. A luxury worth having!

    If you PM me your e-mail address I'll send you through my itinerary along with the B&B's I used, bus times and daily mileages.
  9. I did it in bits over the years, either driving to a start point and thumbing back a couple of days later, or scrounging a lift to a start point and one back as well. I always travelled very light, mountain marathon style dried food and no spare clothes. The sheep dont mind the smell. Mate of mine did it in 3 days (google Pennine Way record) or just under he had full support and his only thing he needed was to borrow larger and larger trainers as the run went on. But to be honest I cant imagine its the best of long distance footpaths to do in one go, though do accept it is a classic so can be one for the memory banks. But I personally think the coast to coast is a better walk if a little shorter Lots to choose from though. Enjoy it.
  10. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

  11. Edale has a train station at it (I think others have mentioned this).

    God knows what you do at the other side. May as well keep walking to Edinburgh.
  12. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

    They were starting to flag parts of it when I was last did bits of it a good few years back - a counter to erosion.

    The flagged bits are very much harder on the feet. I'd suggest good, cushioned boots or, failing that, replace your footbeds with sorbothane or something similar.