Pennine Journey waymarkers in the Yorkshire Dales national park

Pennine Journey waymarkers in the Yorkshire Dales national park

A long-distance trail based on a pre-war work by Alfred Wainwright has now appeared on the latest Ordnance Survey maps.

The Pennine Journey route was devised by Wainwright aficionado David Pitt and his wife Heather and follows roughly the itinerary of the famously taciturn author’s formative 1938 journey up the spine of northern England.

The latest edition of OS’s Yorkshire Dales map now shows the beginning and end of the circular route, north of Settle on the southern fringe of the Dales.

Subsequent planned revisions of the maps will eventually show the whole of the 398km (247-mile) trail which leads up to Hadrian’s Wall before turning south again to end at Settle.

The southern sections of the Pennine Journey are on the Explorer OL2 paper map. The whole route has now been waymarked with the support of the Pennine Journey Supporters Club, of which the Pitts are founder members.

The club made available to Ordnance Survey the hand-drawn route maps from the Journey’s guidebook which were produced by the club’s president Ron Scholes, a writer of walking guides and who was a friend of Alfred Wainwright.

David and Heather Pitt at Feizor, on the route of A Pennine Journey, with Ron Scholes, left, who collaborated on the guide

David and Heather Pitt at Feizor, on the route of A Pennine Journey, with Ron Scholes, left, who collaborated on the guide

David Pitt said: “Alfred Wainwright’s love of maps and his high regard for the work of the Ordnance Survey is well documented.

“On one occasion he said ‘I admire their work immensely, being lost in admiration of all their work. Their maps are, as ever, my favourite reading. They are a fine example of dedicated effort and meticulous accuracy.

“‘My private sanctum at home is crammed with Ordnance maps, most of them dog-eared with over-much use but all loved and respected and handled with reverence’.”

Mr Pitt added: “Then this tangible tribute to the man, who 30 years after his Pennine Journey wrote what many consider to be the definitive guide to the Pennine Way and followed that five years later with his very successful Coast to Coast Walk, will have the recognition that his work in the field of long-distance footpath walking deserves.”

Wainwright’s original A Pennine Journey, a personal account of his trip in an England threatened by the gathering clouds of the Second World War, lay unpublished until 1986, after he had become an established figure following the publication of his Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells.

His original Pennine Journey route often took to minor roads, but the Pitts have adapted it to steer clear of roads as much as possible.

David Pitt’s guidebook to the route was published in 2010 after work with the Wainwright Society. The Pennine Journey Supporters Club was later formed to raise funds to have the route recognised and waymarked.

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