+ Independent walking at your own pace
+ Wild moors contrast with lush valleys
+ Careful advice helps you enjoy it to the full
Latest news October 2019
Our 2020 dates and prices are up! Availability is great at this early point. Please ask us about a trip - thank you.
Cover 85 of the 270 miles of the Pennine Way on this walking holiday over the Peak District and South Pennines stages.
Join the Pennine Way at its start in the village of Edale. The route sets off up Kinder Scout, then takes to more open moorland to Bleaklow Head and Black Hill. The theme for the route to Malham is a series of moorland crossings between valleys. Cross many of the East-West trade routes in this part of England, trekking through the South Pennines. Hebden Bridge and Haworth provide fascinating stopovers with old industrial sights and local life. Finally cross farmland in the Aire Gap to reach Malham at the foot of the Yorkshire Dales.
This Southern section, 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! Each stage from Edale follows the official PW route... and the notorious bogs are almost entirely a thing of the past. We book your accommodation and give you maps and our detailed routecards.
Your accommodation along the Pennine Way is in a mixture of welcoming guesthouses, B&Bs and old inns. It's a mix of village, town and countryside life that we hope will inspire you.
PWSsg Pennine Way South (Self-guided)
3 May to 18 September 2020
Prices in GBP
70 per dog
70 per dog
80 per dog
80 per dog
60 per dog
60 per dog
Here is our normal schedule of 6 stages:
Arrival day: Arrive in Edale
Your trip begins on arriving at your B&B in Edale. In the heart of the Peak District, the views of the Pennines begin right away in this picturesque village with two pubs and a cafe.
B&B in Edale
Stage 1: Edale to Torside
Red3 grade, 24km with 680m ascent, 740m descent
Begin the Pennine Way by crossing two Peak District hills: Kinder Scout and Bleaklow Head. The distance goes quickly on solid paths with gentle gradients. Enjoy the wide views and the sense of remotness on this excellent introduction to the Way.
B&B in Torside
Stage 2: Torside to Standedge
Red3 grade, 20km with 750m ascent, 562m descent
Black Hill is the major obstacle and feature of this stage. It rises gradually to the North. At 582m its summit is the highest point crossed by the Pennine Way from now until the Yorkshire Dales. Recent years have seen huge improvements in the path underfoot, making the black peat morasses that surrounded the summit a thing of the past. A sense of wilderness remains.
Inn in Diggle (off-route at Standedge)
Stage 3: Standedge to Hebden Bridge
Red3 grade, 26.5km with 380m ascent, 665m descent
This stage is a series of moorland crossings between the major roads linking Yorkshire to the East and Greater Manchester to the West. Around the middle of the day, enjoy striding out along the flat, smooth tracks between Blackstone Edge and Hebden Bridge. End the day with the canal-side walk into Hebden Bridge.
B&B in Hebden Bridge
Stage 4: Hebden Bridge to Haworth
Red3 grade, 23.5km with 790m ascent, 650m descent
Classic South Pennine views await on the stage as you cross the moors to Haworth. This is Wuthering Heights country; the moorland between Hebden Bridge and Haworth is wild but made easy by solid paths and good stone slabs. While the crossing marks a distinct journey between the catchments of the Calder Valley and the Worth Valley, the time spent on wild moorland is actually quite short.
Guesthouse in Haworth
Stage 5: Haworth to Elslack
Red3 grade, 25.5km with 790m ascent, 900m descent
This is a typical South Pennines stage of low moorland crossings and field paths. The views are less dramatic than on previous stages but still interesting. The stage threads a way between the industrial centres of Lancashire to the West and of Yorkshire to the East, crossing the last high ground of the South Pennines.
Inn in Elslack
Stage 6: Elslack to Malham
Blue3 grade, 24.55km with 285m ascent, 395m descent
Settle into a steady pace today and the distance will fly by. Field paths are the theme, interspersed with lanes and even a bit of canal towpath. The countryside is pastoral as you cross the Aire Gap, the lowest-lying section of the Pennine Way and the link between the South Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales.
Guesthouse in Malham
Departure day: Depart from Malham
After a last breakfast and a look round Malham, depart from the trip. Take the bus to Gargrave (for the South) or Settle (for the North) on the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle line. Leeds and Carlisle are well connected to the wider UK rail network.
Our usual schedule of accommodation might not be available, especially if there is not much time between booking and your trip. We book accommodation as closely as possible to this itinerary and present a schedule for you to check before we proceed.
Our baggage service on the Pennine Way takes your bag to each night's accommodation. Each morning simply leave your bag with your host or at reception.
We can adjust your Pennine Way South in various ways, as follows:
Fewer long days
The Pennine topography lends itself to days of 25km, give or take, and makes it curiously difficult to walk longer days... unless you go very much faster! This 6-stage trek is hard enough for most groups. Very fast groups could miss one of the nights around Haworth, for 5 stages. In the other way, to add a night here gives a 7-stage schedule that lessens the long stage into Malham.
At some stops we can book smarter hotels, or alternatively dormitory/hostel accommodation. A typical Pennines village has limited places to stay but larger ones have a mix like this. It is no longer possible to complete the Pennine Way staying only in YHA youth hostels but these plus private bunkhouses can form part of your trip.
Our approach to the Pennine Way South
Your route follows the official Pennine Way. Set off from Edale, the pleasant start point in the Peak District. 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.
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.
How to get there
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.
Key information Summer 2020
Trip name: Pennine Way South
Prices Summer 2020
6 stages, per person:
Research Summer 2020
Lothersdale (Photo gallery)
Alpine Exploratory's service
Find out more
Ready to book?
Our booking form to get things started: