The path was the idea of the journalist and rambler Tom Stephenson, inspired by similar trails in the United States of America, particularly the Appalachian Trail. Stephenson proposed the concept in an article for the Daily Herald in 1935, and later lobbied Parliament for the creation of an official trail.
The walk was originally planned to end at Wooler but eventually it was decided that Kirk Yetholm would be the finishing point.
The final section of the path was declared open in a ceremony held on Malham Moor on 24 April 1965. Before the official opening of the Pennine Way the British Army was invited to test the whole route, a task which they accomplished in one day.
The Pennine Way celebrated its 50th anniversary in April 2015. A special four-part BBC One series The Pennine Way was broadcast throughout April.
Yorkshire Dales National Park
North of Gargrave the Pennine Way ascends Airedale and enters the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It follows field paths, through the small villages of Airton and Hanlith to the larger village of Malham.
It then climbs steps on the west side of Malham Cove, traverses the limestone pavement at the top of the cove, and continues north to Malham Tarn.
The trail then crosses a shoulder of Fountains Fell, crosses the head of Silverdale and ascends the nose of Pen-y-Ghent in a very steep section. From the summit of Pen-y-Ghent the Pennine Way descends to the village of Horton in Ribblesdale (on the Settle–Carlisle Railway).
The Pennine Way then heads up Ribblesdale along the old Settle–Langstrothdale packhorse road. It passes the eastern end of Ling Gill and climbs Cam Fell, where it follows the line of a Roman road, shared with the Dales Way. The trail then passes Dodd Fell Hill and follows a ridge between Widdale and Sleddale, before descending into Wensleydale at Gayle and the adjoining town of Hawes.
The path crosses the dale to Hardraw, then begins the 5-mile (8 km) ascent of Great Shunner Fell. From the summit of the fell the trail descends to upper Swaledale and the village of Thwaite. It then crosses the side of Kisdon, with good views down Swaledale, passes Kisdon Force, a waterfall on the River Swale, and reaches the village of Keld.
From Keld the path crosses the route of the The Wainwright Coast to Coast Walk, then ascends a side valley known as Stones Dale to reach Tan Hill and its isolated inn at the northern boundary of the National Park.
Most full length walkers allow between 16 to 19 days to walk the Pennine Way with some including rest days.
One of the most important things is careful planning and preparation, this walk takes you to some beautifully remote areas where weather conditions can change in minutes, so good navigation skills are essential.