The Pennine Way is the first, and some would say the toughest, of Britain's National Trails. It runs for 256 miles up from Edale in the Peak District along the crest of the Pennines - sometimes known as the Backbone of England - and the Cheviot Hills of Northumberland across the Scottish Border to the village of Kirk Yetholm.
The idea of access campaigner and outdoor journalist Tom Stephenson in 1935, the Pennine Way took 60 years to come into being, and is now probably the best-known test of long distance walking in the country.
This book is a celebration, rather than a guide to the Pennine Way. While covering the important highlights, it does not stick to the designated route religiously but meanders from the official path where there are points of interest along the way.
Illustrated by John Morrison's perceptive photography and award-winning writer Roly Smith's insightful prose, The Pennine Way is at once a beautiful and refreshingly different look at the grand daddy of our long distance footpaths.
With an eloquent mix of history and personal recollection, Roly Smith paints a vivid picture of how Tom Stephenson battled against the authorities before finally prevailing with his plan to see free access from Edale to Scotland over some of the most fiercely protected grouse moors in England. The quality of John Morrison's photography gives due credit to the grand-daddy of our long distance paths; from limestone pavements to gritstone moors, the pages make the route come alive in the reader's living room.
ROLY SMITH is a freelance writer, editor and consultant and the author of over 60 books on walking and the countryside. He was recently dubbed 'Mr Peak District' by his local newspaper. Based in Bakewell in the heart of the Peak, Roly was formerly Head of Information Services to the Peak District National Park - Britain's busiest - before taking voluntary early retirement in 1997 to concentrate on his freelance career. Previous to that, he enjoyed a 20-year award-winning career in journalism. He was chairman of the Outdoor Writers' and Photographers' Guild from 1990 to 2002 and was made an honorary life member in 2005.