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North West Way

Cumbria, Lancashire

307 km / 191 miles
This walk was devised to incorporate some of the best walking in the north of England. It has been broken into manageable sections with overnight stops where good accommodation is available. Starting and finishing at mainline railway stations, this walk is designed for anyone of reasonable fitness. Based on years of experience of walking using guidebooks which are vague, misleading and sometimes simply totally wrong, the author has taken great care to give simple instructions which have been rigorously checked.

Starting in Preston the walk follows the Ribble Way on the riverside paths of the delightful Ribble Valley, through Ribchester and Hurst Green to Gisburn. Shortly after Gisburn it heads eastwards to pick up the Pennine Way at Malham with its dramatic limestone outcrops. Follow it northwards through what anyone who has completed the Pennine Way would agree is its best section. There are many scenic highlights such as the exciting scramble over Pen-y-Ghent, the formidable heights of Great Dun Fell and Cross Fell, the awesome falls of High Force, the glacial valley of High Cup Nick - which many consider to be the highlight of the walk and many more too numerous to mention. At Alston, the highest market town in England, the Pennine Way reaches one of its poorer sections. Our walk instead takes a more gentle route up the beautiful South Tyne Trail, following the line of a disused railway to Haltwhistle. The walk now links with the Hadrian's Wall National Trail and heads west towards Carlisle along an inspiring walk rich with history and over the incomparable Walltown Craggs, one of the highlights of walking in the north of England.


Path Type: Other Paths
Attributes: Challenging
National Park
Start: SD535290 - Preston, Lancashire View on StreetMap
Finish: NY402555 - Carlisle, Cumbria View on StreetMap

Publications, Badges and Certificates:

Guidebook North West Way  (Trailguides  - 2013 )


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Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2016.
© OpenStreetMap contributors under Open Database Licence.
Rights of way data from selected Local Authorities.
Large scale digital mapping is provided by John Thorn.
At high zoom levels the route is indicative only.
Purchase Ordnance Survey Maps:
OS Landranger 85, 86, 87, 91, 92, 98, 102, 103
OS Landranger Active 85, 86, 87, 91, 92, 98, 102, 103
OS Explorer 2, 19, 21, 30, 31, 41, 43, 286, 287, 315
OS Explorer Active 2, 19, 21, 30, 31, 41, 43, 286, 287, 315

Accommodation within 5 km of this Path:

Camping Barn
3 km
41 km
Caravan Park
Gallaber Park  (bookable online)
< 1 km
62 km