Walking in the North Pennines – 50 walks in England’s remotest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

By Paddy Dillon – Published by Cicerone - £12.95

PADDY Dillon, whose walking guide to Malta I reviewed in November 2016, has just produced a new book much closer to home and covering an area where many people from West and North Yorkshire take either day visits or holidays. This is the area of the Durham Dales and parts of Cumbria and Northumberland. It covers the area from the North Yorkshire boundary in the south to the A69 Newcastle to Carlisle highway in the north and stretches from Barnard Castle and Consett in the East to Brampton and Penrith in the west. This area contains some magnificent walking country within these boundaries.

Paddy has researched and written about 50 walks in this area, 44 of which are circular and 6 are linear but for these he includes details of local transport back to the starting point. The longest of the walks is 15 miles and the shortest 5½ miles so there is something to suit all capabilities.

Included are moorland walks, walks around the river valleys of the rivers Tees, Wear and South Tyne and also some high level walking around Cold Fell, Cross Fell and Mickle Fell. There is also a walk which includes a visit to the Tan Hill Inn, the highest public house in England.

As well as the walks themselves, Paddy has included details about Geology, Landscape, Mining, Weather, Plants and Wildlife, Access to the countryside, Travel details about both getting to and getting around the North Pennines, Tourist Information and visitor centres, Maps and, if needed, what to do in an emergency in this area. The book is divided into 13 sub-areas with approximately four walks from each of these.

A detailed map accompanies the text for each the walks and the book is also punctuated with over 80 full colour photographs of landscapes and places encountered on route.

I have completed a number of these walks over the years and note that there have been some recent access changes which is always very useful for the walker but there are many walks in the book that I have not done in the past and which I look forward to completing over the next few months and years.

It is a book I would recommend as it contains something for both the seasoned walker and also the newer walker embarking on this highly pleasurable pastime.

by John Burland