Settle to Settle, 247 miles
Endlessly engaging North Pennines circular following the 1938 'campaign' of Lakeland fell wanderer Alfred Wainwright.
Settle – Horton in Ribblesdale
Pennine Journey - Day 1 - 7.25 miles
"On 24 September, 1938, a 31-year-old Alfred Wainwright, still clerk in the Treasurer’s Department at Blackburn Town Hall, arrived at Settle railway station to begin a long distance walking expedition..."
Horton in Ribblesdale – Buckden
Pennine Journey – Day 2 – 12.75 miles
"The path drops into Littondale. At the road end is Foxup, terminus hamlet before the moor. WIth its arched bridge, ancient parkland ashes and 17th century stone barns, it's like walking into the past..."
Buckden – Keld
Pennine Journey – Day 3 – 21 miles
"Upper Swaledale answers the call of the wild: it has the feel of a Scottish Glen, the earnest Swale cutting a wide channel through seas of boulders piled in spate. A few dozen yards beyond the floodplain either side the ground rises suddenly in steep valleysides..."
Keld – Bowes
Pennine Journey – Day 2 – 12.75 miles
"Even when the moors begin burning in the hastening apocalypse Bowes Moor will remain soggy; a kind of vegetative Noah’s Ark for climate change refugees..."
Bowes to Middleton-in-Teesdale
Pennine Journey – Day 5 – 12.5 miles
"These are not the Lake District dales, or the Yorkshire Dales, or the Westmorland Dales. They are dales unknown by tourists. The valleys – Bardersdale, Deepdale, Lunedale – appear in no holiday brochures..."
Middleton-in-Teesdale – Westgate
Pennine Journey - Day 6 - 15.5 miles
"Upper Teesdale is a perennially engaging delight, with each stretch of the walk serving up new landscapes. One minute you’re strolling through upland hay meadows, the next you’re winding through woodland glades..."
Westgate – Hexham
Pennine Journey – Day 7 – 22.5 miles
"There is a melancholy in wandering too long through this landscape-scale graveyard, where the sad lament of the present is lost among the deadened sighs of the past..."
Hexham to Twice Brewed
Pennine Journey – Day 8 – 18 miles
"As the wall finally meets the Whin Sill – that crust of dolerite that surfaces in scattered outcrops of high drama, most of all at High Force and High Cup – it’s impossible not only to be wowed..."
Twice Brewed – Greenhead
Pennine Journey – Day 9 – 7.4 miles
"It’s the view north that really stirs the imagination, confirming – if there was any doubt before – how complete a job Hadrian made of his defensive Wall..."
Greenhead – Alston
Pennine Journey - Day 10 - 15.4 miles
"I remove my pack and sit by the old line, birches shimmering in the breeze, butterflies dancing over parsley fronds and listen to the songbirds..."
Alston – Dufton
Pennine Journey – Day 11 – 20 miles
"There, 20 miles distant, are the hills of Lakeland, stretching across the horizon in familiar array. Below opal blue they serrate the western sky, shifting slightly like mirages in the heat haze..."
Dufton – Appleby-in-Westmorland
Pennine Journey – Day 12 – 5 miles
"We enter the wood at a sea of violet; bluebells in every direction, cascading down the slopes, blazing beneath the oaks and beeches and willows. The hot air is thick with perfume..."
Appleby-in-Westmorland – Brough Sowerby
Pennine Journey – Day 13 – 11.25 miles
"At a dipped ford it is not hard to imagine the dairymaids working on trestled stools as their men-folk gather in the sheep; nor of a young milkmaid dancing carefree around Milburn’s fine Maypole..."
Brough Sowerby – Garsdale Head
Pennine Journey – Day 14 – 14.5 miles
"It’s a walker’s dream: soft, springy turf and a level line make for a joyous trek, a fair breeze taking the edge off the heat and winging me on..."
Garsdale Head – Sedbergh
Pennine Journey – Day 15 – 13.75 miles
"Terracing above it on the flanks of Grisedale Brow there's little to catch the eye. But this backwater valley has exerted a pull on the public imagination for decades as 'The Dale That Died'..."
Sedbergh – Ingleton
Pennine Journey - Day 16 - 17.75 miles
"This is it. The perfect mountain valley, every step a delight, and every step new, a feast for the eyes, a verdance to nature that is intoxicating..."
Ingleton – Settle
Pennine Journey – Day 17 – 14.25 miles
"All around, familiar friends now, are the moors and craggy bluffs of Dales country. Then finally – too soon atop Giggleswick Scar – a vista of journey's end: the market town of Settle. From here it is downhill all the way..."