North Pennines Walking Festival

The North Pennines Walking Festival, which runs from 28th September to the 6th October 2013 is a new walking festival which celebrates artists and writers, the most famous of which is WH Auden, who have drawn their inspiration from the wonderful landscape of the North Pennines.

The festival commences on the opening day with a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Wainwright’s Pennine Journey which was walked in 1938. His written account of this walk (made at a time of great national concern regarding the possible impending war with Germany) laid unseen in a drawer until 1986 when Wainwright, following a discussion and support from Michael Joseph his publishers at the time, decided to have the book published. What an interesting book it is combining the atmosphere of walking on quiet roads and tracks which are unthinkable now, with the heavy politics of the period. The Wainwright Society subsequently published an updated walking guide on the route Wainwright had walked which was edited by David Pitt in 2010 which broadly followed his route but utilised the many long distance paths that were now available, supplemented by other rights of way. The style was a la Wainwright and was produced by Frances Lincoln. This is a fine book and the route, although familiar, is a joy to walk.

On September 28th the whole 247 miles of the route will be walked and celebrated in a similar manner to the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the Pennine Way and the sections in the North Pennines are all covered as part of the festival with the route being organised by Durham County Council and members of the leaders and stewards of the Durham County Council Guided Walks programme, many of which are PWA members.

Thereafter there are a great variety of walks numbering about 50 which are all shown on the programme supplemented by talks in the area. Full details can be found on the website at or by contacting Kaye Jemmeson at

A report on this festival will feature in the next newsletter.

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