Pennine Way South
6 stages . 7 nights . South Pennines
(Pennine Way South) Kinder Scout in the Peak District on Stage 1
Kinder Scout on the Pennine Way
Pennine Way South
Pennine Way South
6 stages . 7 nights

Pennine Way South
Self-guided walking holiday

Key information

Start: Edale in the Peak Distict
End: Malham in the Yorkshire Dales
Season dates: 1 May to 15 Sept 2024
Length: 6 days' walking
Typical walk: 23.5km, 630m ascent
Total distance: 139km or 86 miles
Highest altitude: 633m
Grade: Red 3 (Walking grades)
Group size: 2 or more trekkers

From GBP 740 per person

Set foot on Britain’s oldest National Trail, and cover the first 88 miles of the Pennine Way on this superb walking holiday over the contrasting beauty of the Peak District and South Pennines.

Starting in the picturesque town of Edale, the route sets off up Kinder Scout, before taking you to the windswept moorlands around Bleaklow Head and Black Hill. From lonely hillsides to peaceful valleys, you continue your way up North as you enter ‘Wuthering Heights’ country and explore the fascinating literary and industrial past of the area on your stops in Hebden Bridge and Haworth, home of the famous Brontë sisters. Finally reach journey’s end in Malham at the foot of the Yorkshire Dales, a pretty village surrounded by limestone dry-stone walls.

A brilliant trip in its own right, this Southern section of the Pennine Way, once completed, leaves you poised at the start of the higher Central stages in the Dales and North Pennines. Save these for later or carry straight on! Our routecards follow the official Pennine Way route, and a self-guided trip allows you to complete the walk at your own pace and in your own way. Stay in cosy inns and guesthouses along the way, and enjoy warm hospitality and a hearty breakfast every morning! Please contact us if you have any considerations and we’ll arrange the trip to suit your needs.

Alternatvely, if you'd like to hike the Pennine Way Central with an International Mountain Leader, please ask us for details of privately guided trips.


Alternative trip options
Prefer a different length of trip? Why not try one of these:
Full Pennine Way - 19 stages, 22 nights
Pennine Way Central - 7 stages, 8 nights
Pennine Way North - 6 stages, 7 nights
We walk the Southern Section of the Pennine Way in 6 stages, without any rest days as per our standard itinerary. The Pennine topography as well as the accommodation options along the way lend themselves to days of roughly 25km, but longer or shorter schedules are possible. Have a look at the most popular options below, but please ask if you are looking for something a little different!

Make the trip shorter
The walking days on this trip are already quite long, but for those up for more of a challenge we suggest staying in Cowling and combining the final 3 stages into 2. By bypassing Haworth, which is slightly off route, the final 2 stages become 35km and 36.5km respectively. Please let us know if you’d like more details of this.

Make the trip longer
For those with more time, we can suggest a schedule of 7 stages. For this the 2 long stages between Haworth and Malham are split into 3, with nights around Cowling and Gargrave. Please ask if you would like mor information on this option.

More rest days
If you have some extra time at hand, why not add a rest day or two to explore the local area? There are a few larger and better-connected towns along the way that make excellent stops, such as Hebden Bridge and Haworth. Take a day trip to a town nearby – Skipton with its castle is a great option - or explore the local sights such as the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth. Malham, the small market town at the end of you trip is connected by bus to Carlisle, if you’d like to venture further. Alternatively, please ask us to advise on visiting Manchester at the beginning or end of your trip!

Hike with a guide
Hike with confidence in the company of our fully qualified International Mountain Leaders (IMLs), with the navigation, accommodation and all arrangements taken care of. You're welcome to walk on any date within our season and we can adjust the hike to suit your needs. If your group would like a guide for your trip, please get in touch for more details.
Pennine Way South
1 May to 15 Sept 2024
Hutty Classic Comfy
5 stages
(6 nights)
Please ask
GBP 680
Singles 300
60 per dog
GBP 780
Singles 350
60 per dog
6 stages
(7 nights)
Please ask
GBP 740
Singles 360
70 per dog
Main Trip
GBP 840
Singles 410
70 per dog
7 stages
(8 nights)
Please ask
GBP 810
Singles 420
80 per dog
GBP 910
Singles 470
80 per dog
Baggage transfer
To all stops
Please ask us
Baggage transfer
Please ask us

Where we stay
Your accommodation along the Pennine Way varies from small guesthouses to country hotels tucked away in the hills. We choose friendly hosts, handy locations and comfortable rooms, booking ensuite accommodation where possible. We take a small detour off the official route to spend a night in Haworth, a quaint and historic Yorkshire village.

Add a little luxury to your trip and upgrade your accommodation in some towns and villages along the way. We book a smarter hotel off route in Hathersage at the start of your trip (a short train ride away from Edale where the walk beings), and in Torside, Diggle and Haworth we swap our B&Bs for comfier hotels.

We don’t standardly offer a hutty itinerary, but please contact us if you are interested in hiking the Pennine Way using more basic accommodation, such as hostels or bunk houses. We will be happy to assist.

Single Room Supplement
If you would like to stay in single rooms rather than sharing a double, twin or triple room we add our single room supplement. This covers the additional cost of booking single occupancy rooms on a per person basis.

Solo Travel
We do not take bookings for solo walkers on self-guided trips. If you are still interested in this trip, we do have availability on our guided trips.

Bring your dog
In common with most of our UK trips, we're delighted that you can walk with your dog! We’ll follow our normal schedule with a few adjustments to get to dog-friendly accommodation. Just let us know and we will be able to provide you with further details.
Typical Pennine Way view
Hillside Views along the way
Our approach to the Pennine Way
Our route follows the official Pennine Way. Set off from Edale, the pleasant starting point in the Peak District, to soon cross Kinder Scout, more accurately skirting the edge of the plateau. Bleaklow Head is the next obstacle before the long walk up to Black Hill. A succession of moorland crossings takes you to Blackstone Edge and the reservoirs above the Calder Valley and Hebden Bridge. Take to the moors again to Haworth, and keep on North through Lothersdale and Thornton-in-Craven to East Marton and Gargrave. The walking is now pastoral, through fields and along rivers. Arrive in Malham with the Dales proper just above you.

People at Alpine Exploratory
Latest research on the Pennine Way by Alpine Exploratory's Pete.

The Terrain
The Pennine Way's gradients are for the most part gentle in comparison to much UK mountain walking; this follows the route's nature as a series of moorland crossings. Certain parts of the route involve steep ground. Underfoot the route is reasonably solid, on dusty or potentially muddy paths and across fields but rarely on very muddy open moorland.

Is it for me?
The Pennine Way is our longest hike in the UK, but by tackling only the Southern section in one go, we can offer a manageable week long holiday that still gives you a great taste of what the full route is all about! The walking days are generally longer compared to our other UK routes, but the raw figures of daily distance and ascent can in many cases mislead; with the miles passing quickly on the sections of walled track or of smooth open moor. As with any of our holidays, it will greatly help your enjoyment of the walk to arrive fit at the start, used to days of similar distance and height gain to those that you are about to face.

The Pennine Way is generally easy to follow with wooden posts saying ‘Pennine Way’ or with the acorn symbol denoting a National Trail. The sections over higher ground are not always so obvious, and we recommend that at least one member of the walking party is confident in navigating with map and compass.

Of course, you can always come back and complete the full Pennine Way. Have a look at our Pennine Way Central trip from Malham to Alston and our Pennine Way North trip from Alston to Kirk Yetholm.

The emphasis of the Pennine Way is on distance rather than rockiness or technical difficulty. Compared to our other UK walks the Pennine Way spends more time on high, wild ground, and is overall a little tougher.

The difficulty of the Pennine Way is on the distance travelled rather than rockiness or technical challenges. Walking days range from roughly 5h to 8h 30m. Most ascents are gentle gradients up grassy moorland although in a small number of places the route takes you up steeper ground. However, these sections should be no problem for regular walkers and they add interest to their respective stages.

   For an even more detailed read, please see our Pennine Way Walking Guide
How to get there
Why not visit Manchester at the beginning or end of your trip?

Your holiday starts in Edale and ends in Malham. Edale is on the train line between Manchester and Sheffield; Malham is linked by bus to the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle train line. If flying, we suggest Manchester for both start and end.

Travel to and from the trip is not included in the holiday price. We take care to give the most useful notes possible about all the travel options. We supply these both on booking and in your info pack, and we offer personalised tips at any point. The aim is that our trekkers arrange their travel by the simplest and most scenic means as suits their plan.
  • Bespoke accommodation itinerary - tailored to suit your particular requirements
  • Breakfast every morning
  • Detailed Routecards PEW1-19 of the Exploratory system, printed on waterproof paper
  • The 1 topographical map needed
  • Downloadable GPX Tracks covering the route
  • Expert advice and local information
  • A comprehensive 'Season Update' following our pre-season recce
  • Full support during your trip from the Alpine Exploratory team (8am until 8pm UK time)
Not included
  • Travel to and from your trip
  • Local transport whilst on the trip unless specified
  • Travel insurance
  • Lunches, snacks, drinks and evening meals
  • Baggage transfers (available as an extra)

Baggage transfer

Our baggage option on the Pennine Way takes your bag to each night's accommodation. In the morning, simply leave your bag with your host or at reception and we will make sure that it will be waiting for you at your next accommodation.
Got questions about the Pennine Way South?
Feel free to ask us any questions you have about any aspects of your planning and preparations! Lucy, Steph, Nicky, Rob and Ben will reply with expert advice. We spend a lot of time walking our routes and more broadly exploring ski and hiking trails around the world so do feel free to ask anything at all.

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Pennine Way South Self-guided

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Contact Alpine Exploratory
Phone +44 (0)131 214 1144
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Since Alpine Exploratory started in 2005 we have loved getting to know our clients from around the world. Along with the UK, our best-represented countries are the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Please use our national-rate numbers for a cheaper call to contact our office in Edinburgh.

The Alpine Exploratory Team
The Alpine Exploratory team in Edinburgh

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Sheep on the way to Kinder Scout
  Sheepish Company on the way to Kinder Scout    Photos from the Pennine Way South

Alpine Exploratory
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