Today marks the 50th anniversary of Britain’s oldest National Trail, the Pennine Way. The 268-mile route was launched after walker and journalist Tom Stephenson wrote an article in 1935, saying that Britain needed ‘a long green trail’ like the Appalachian Trail in America. After 30 years of lobbying and hard work, the Pennine Way was opened on April 24 1965, spawning another 14 National Trails around the country.
To celebrate the anniversary, I walked the Cumbrian leg, 34 miles from Langdon Beck to Alston, to write an article for The Independent. Guided by some of the lovely folk from Penrith Ramblers Association, I had a few scrambles up rocky boulders and some tiring climbs (all while laden down with a Duke of Edinburgh-style backpack), but it was well worth taking the hike.
Here are 50 of my favourite pictures from the trip, one for every year that the trail has been open.