Official opening of the Pennine Way
It took 30 years to organise a walk from one pub to another. But then the walk is The Pennine Way , and the distance between the pubs is 268 miles. The walk involves crossing more than 400 stiles, 200 bridges, and enough peat bogs and steep slopes to break an infrequent walker’s weary heart. And for those who negotiated the passage over many private properties it also involved tricky talks with a multitude of sometimes less than keen landowners.
The traditional starting point for The Pennine Way is the Nag’s Head in Derbyshire’s Edale , the end point The Border Hotel in Kirk Yetholm just over the border into Scotland. The trail, Britain’s first National Trail, was the brainchild of writer and long time Ramblers’ Association secretary Tom Stephenson, first mooted to the general public in an article in The Daily Herald in 1935.
After much parliamentary lobbying, innumerable negotiations, and great preparations of signage and information, the official opening of the Pennine Way came on April 24 1965, witnessed by an estimated 2,000 enthusiasts gathered at the beautiful Malham Moor in Yorkshire . Between 3,000 and 4,000 walkers now complete the trail every year, no easy task given the tough terrain and unpredictable weather conditions at some of the stages even in summer – the walk even defeated the great Wainwright. Those who tramp all 268 miles certainly deserve their celebratory drink in the well chosen finishing point.
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