In September 1938 Alfred Wainwright, the writer and illustrator famous for his pictorial guides to the Lakeland Fells, set off from Settle on a solitary walk in the Pennines heading for Hadrian’s Wall. He returned to Settle 11 days later having walked around 211 miles and during the following year wrote a fascinating narrative about his walk which was eventually published in 1986. He travelled north through the countryside traversed by the rivers Wharfe, Ure and Swale, over the bleak moorland country around Tan Hill before encountering the valleys of the rivers Tees, Wear and Tyne. Just beyond Hexham he reached Hadrian’s Wall which he followed west and then headed south crossing the Pennines from the high moorland town of Alston, passing through Appleby and Ingleton before returning to the start of his ‘journey’ at Settle.
In September 1998 David and Heather Pitt walked their version of his route and when the Wainwright Society was founded in 2004 a project was launched to produce a walking guide for this modern Pennine Journey. Society members agreed to walk each of the 18 stages and write a route description and then they and other members test walked and , where appropriate, revised the route description. Illustrated with black and white drawings by Colin Bywater and complete with detailed hand drawn route maps by Ron Scholes the guide was published by Frances Lincoln, Wainwright’s publishers, in March 2010 and a further print run was ordered in late 2010 to keep up with demand for the guidebook.
The Wainwright Society has now relinquished the role of Responsible Organisation, which has now been assumed by the Pennine Journey Supporters Club.
More information can be found at: www.penninejourney.org.uk