Tuesday, January 25, 2011

United Kingdom - England - The Pennine Way (Edale to Kirk Yetholm) Mapcard

The Pennine Way (Edale to Kirk Yetholm).

Sent by Ian, a postcrosser from England.

This is from Wikipedia : The Pennine Way is a National Trail in England. The trail runs 429 km (267 mi) from Edale, in the northern Derbyshire Peak District, north through the Yorkshire Dales and the Northumberland National Park, it ends at Kirk Yetholm, just inside the Scottish border. The path runs along the Pennine hills, sometimes described as the "backbone of England". Although not the United Kingdom's longest trail, it is according to the Ramblers' Association "one of Britain's best known and toughest".

The path was the idea of the journalist and rambler Tom Stephenson, inspired by similar trails in the United States of America, particularly the Appalachian Trail. Stephenson proposed the concept in an article for the Daily Herald in 1935, and later lobbied Parliament for the creation of an official trail. The final section of the path was declared open in a ceremony held on Malham Moor on 24 April 1965.

The Pennine Way has long been popular with walkers, and in 1990 the Countryside Commission reported that 12,000 long-distance walkers and 250,000 day-walkers were using all or part of the trail per year. They furthermore estimated that walkers contributed £2 million (1990) to the local economy along the route, directly maintaining 156 jobs. The popularity of the walk has resulted in substantial erosion to the terrain in places, and steps have been taken to recover its condition, including diverting sections of the route onto firmer ground, and laying flagstones or duckboards in softer areas. These actions have been generally effective in reducing the extent of broken ground, though the intrusion into the natural landscape has at times been the subject of criticism.

Accommodation is available at Youth Hostels, camp sites, B&Bs, and pubs. However, these are limited on upland stretches, so when planning the walk it is sometimes necessary to choose between a long day (between two places offering on-route accommodation) or two shorter days involving an evening descent off-route (to a nearby village or farm) with a morning re-ascent.

There are 535 access points (on average, one every half-mile or approximately one kilometre) at which the Pennine Way intersects with other public rights of way. Also, the route is crossed by many roads and passes through many villages and towns with good public transport. This makes it easy to sample a short section of the trail, or to break the PW up across several vacations or long weekends.

The majority of the Pennine Way is routed via public footpaths, rather than bridleways, and so is not accessible to travellers on horseback or bicycle. However, a roughly parallel Pennine Bridleway is also now under development (as of autumn 2005, two principal sections are open). This route, open to anyone not using motorised vehicles, starts slightly further south than the PW.

A survey by the National Trails agency reported that a walker covering the entire length of the trail is obliged to navigate 287 gates, 249 timber stiles, 183 stone stiles and 204 bridges. 319 kilometres (198 mi) of the route is on public footpaths, 112 kilometres (70 mi) on public bridleways and 32 kilometres (20 mi) on other public highways. The walker is aided by the provision of 458 waymarks.

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