It is 50 years ago this week since the opening of the Pennine Way, the 268 mile grandad of long distance paths in Britain. The route runs from Kirk Yetholm in Northumberland to Edale along what has become known as the backbone of England.
The route was conceived back in the 1930s by journalist and rambler, Tom Stephenson who was inspired by the long distance trails of the United States. It was to take 30 years, however, to see the dream become a reality.
It is estimated that quarter of a million people use at least part of the trail every year. This number of people obviously has a big impact on the trail itself so many sections have to be actively managed with flagstones and duckboards.
If you wish to complete the walk you can expect to cross more than 430 stone and wooden stiles, open and close in the region of 280 gates and cross 200 bridges! There will be more than 450 route marks to ensure you stay on the right path.
I remember being inspired to complete the long distance route when just a child – not that I have actually done it!
Birthday celebrations are taking place this weekend with more than 50 circular walks taking in the majority of the long distance route. Closest to us, celebrations take place in Edale from Friday 24th April until Sunday 26th.