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Events > 2010

A Pennine Journey
From Settle to Hadrian’s Wall in Wainwright’s Footsteps

It was 48 years from Alfred Wainwright’s epic walk of 211 miles in the September of 1938 to his publication of what is thought by some to be AW’s best work. On the 60th anniversary of AW’s start from Settle in 1938, David Pit and his wife Heather concluded their walk following, broadly, the route AW described in his book A Pennine Journey – The story of a Long walk in 1938’.
At the first AGM in 2004 of the newly formed Wainwright Society, David asked whether the Society might consider that the walk he and Heather had done in 1998, with AW’s book as its inspiration, could be used as a collaborative project by its members. In February 2005, in my role as Secretary of the Society, David and I met at the Craven Heifer, Stainforth to discuss the way in which a guide book might be developed. The project was launched at the 2005 AGM and David assembled a team of keen members to reconnoitre and map the route in a series of 18 sections. Five years later the book has become a reality, published by Frances Lincoln in the ‘Pictorial Guide’ style so beloved of fell walkers.

Society members at the start of the walk at Settle Station

On Saturday 17 April 2009 the official launch of the book was celebrated by Society members, including many of the project’s helpers and friends of David & Heather totalling in all 43 people. In a mini-Pennine Journey they walked from Settle railway station to Stainforth, along the first 3½ miles of section one of the route, then crossed over to Feizor, passing Smearsett Scar, one of the fells described by AW in Walks in Limestone Country. From Feizor the walkers then returned along the last 3½ miles of section 18 of the route.

After what has been a hard winter and for all but the hardiest walkers a ‘closed season’, the day of this walk was pure joy. Clear blue skies and a light breeze were the conditions throughout a delightful day. After the obligatory photograph of the party on the Midland Railway footbridge at Settle the party set off at just after 10 a.m. at a gentle pace and arrived in Stainforth just in time for the opening of the Craven Heifer. Packed lunches were consumed whilst sitting by the stepping stones of Stainforth Beck and at just after 1.30 p.m. the party left Stainforth via Little Stainforth over the fell to Feizor where a welcome cup of tea and no doubt cake or scones were consumed at the tearoom. When all were satisfied the group started the return leg via Stackhouse and the west bank of the Ribble to Settle and the Railway station.

Not too tired, but in need of some lubrication, we resorted to the Golden Lion, in a very busy Settle, where tea and beer accompanied the conversation about the day’s activity. A short ceremony where David thanked his many helpers and Wainwright Society Committee member Derek Cockell, thanked David, on behalf of the Society for his dogged determination in seeing this project through to finality, rounded off a great day.

The proceeds from royalties and sales by the Society of this excellent guide book are earmarked for use in waymarking this route, in the hope that in the fullness of time the route may be endorsed by all the highway authorities and thus qualify to be acknowledged by the Ordnance Survey and recorded on their maps.

All in all it was a very pleasant day celebrating the culmination of an important Society project.

Peter Linney - Member 3

For further information on A Pennine Journey please visit:

A Pennine Journey book is available to non-members to purchase.
Click here to download an order form.

Wainwright Society members can still purchase the book at a discounted rate by downloading the PDF order form from the Members Only area of the website.