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Pennine Way Celebrates Golden Anniversary

April 24th 2015 will be a special date in the calendar of thousands of walkers countrywide as it marks the day the Pennine Way was officially opened in the Yorkshire Dales National Park 50 years ago.

The 268-mile Pennine Way national trail, which stretches from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders, was opened at Malham Cove in the presence of the then Minister of Land and Natural Resources, F.T. Willey, and Tom Stephenson, the author and writer whose dream of a path running along the Pennines inspired its creation.

North Pennines

© Copyright Arjen Bax and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The anniversary this year coincides with the setting up of a partnership to coordinate the management of the entire length of both the Pennine Way and the 205-mile-long Pennine Bridleway.

The new partnership is led by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority with support from all the local access authorities and other key partners. A new Pennine National Trails Partnership Manager has been appointed to oversee budgets, route maintenance and improvement work.

The anniversary is being marked by a mass Walk the Way in a Day event on Saturday April 25. People can choose from 50 circular walks that cover the entire Pennine Way – 10 of them in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Ilkley-born TV presenter Alan Titchmarsh said: “The word iconic is over used, but it most certainly applies to the Pennine Way and to the terrain it traverses.

“I've always been proud that it passes through some of my favourite native haunts, and my copy of Alfred Wainwright's astonishing guide is well thumbed.

“I hope that hardy walkers continue to be uplifted by walking even a part of it, and to feel a sense of achievement and wonder as they marvel at the beauty of the countryside around them.”

The Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes is currently staging an exhibition of work by a group of Dales artists called Pennine Ways, which is inspired by the popular walking route using art, photography and sculpture.

The exhibition, which finishes on Sunday April 26, was opened by the Authority’s Area Ranger for Upper Wensleydale Matt Neale, who in January came seventh in the gruelling 268-mile Montane Spine Race along the entire length of the Pennine Way.

Museum Manager Fiona Rosher said: “More than 2,000 people have been to see the exhibition – it’s been a real success. They have said they enjoyed viewing the artwork and the opportunity to share their memories.”

The BBC is currently screening a series of four programmes about the Trail while BBC Radio 4 will broadcast a three- part series looking at musicians, poets and storytellers associated with the Trail on May 7, 14 and 21.

Yorkshire Dales

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