Pennine Way - Central Section

Pennine Way - Central Section

A walk from Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Greenhead via the Yorkshire Dales, North Pennines and Hadrian

6 to 10 nights
102 miles
Moderate / Demanding to Strenuous

From £640 per person

Discover the available tours

About this route

Absolutely stunning scenery is abundant along this stretch of the Pennine Way, which deftly weaves together a sumptuous mix of limestone gorges, rushing cascades, arctic-alpine flora and idyllic views along flowering dales.

This Central Section visits some of the highest villages – and pubs – in England, and adds in some immensely walker-friendly hamlets and towns along the way. It’s arguably the most varied section of the Pennine Way and is well worth the rugged climbs along the way.

© Contours Walking Holidays Pennine Way - Central Section map
Horton-in-Ribblesdale to Greenhead
102 miles (163 km)
28th March to 30th October

Holiday highlights

Experiencing some of Britain's most breath-taking scenery, from the impressive Hardraw Force to the tumbling waters of Cauldron Snout.

Discovering spectacular historic sites such as Thirlwall Castle and Hadrian's Wall.

Walking through the stunning scenery of the Yorkshire Dales, including Wensleydale, Swaledale and Teesdale.

Available tours

CodeTourDurationDifficultyPrice per person
PENC1 From Horton-in-Ribblesdale(L) to Greenhead 6 nights, 5 days walking Strenuous£640
PENC2 From Horton-in-Ribblesdale(L) to Greenhead 7 nights, 6 days walking Demanding / Strenuous£745
PENC3 From Horton-in-Ribblesdale(L) to Greenhead 8 nights, 7 days walking Demanding / Strenuous£850
PENC4 From Horton-in-Ribblesdale(L) to Greenhead 9 nights, 8 days walking Demanding£955
PENC5 From Horton-in-Ribblesdale(L) to Greenhead 10 nights, 9 days walking Moderate / Demanding£1060

Pennine Way - Central Section 6 nights, 5 days walking

£NNN per person
  • Itinerary
  • What's included?
  • Extra nights?
  • Tour facts
  • Route profile
  • Travel info
  • Weather

Important information

Please note that due to the high volume of walkers attempting the Yorkshire Three Peaks, accommodation in Horton-in-Ribblesdale is scarce at weekends. If your stop in Horton-in-Ribblesdale falls at a weekend, a transfer may be required to take you to your accommodation. Please contact us for more information.


Travel to Horton-in-Ribblesdale(L) where your first night's accommodation has been booked

Day 1

Horton-in-Ribblesdale(L) to Keld. 26.5 miles (42.5km) / 3763 ft (1147 m) ascent

Day 2

Keld to Middleton-in-Teesdale. 20 miles (32km) / 2441 ft (744 m) ascent

Day 3

Middleton-in-Teesdale to Dufton(T). 20 miles (32km) / 2014 ft (614 m) ascent

Day 4

Dufton(T) to Alston. 19.5 miles (31km) / 3209 ft (978 m) ascent

Day 5

Alston to Greenhead. 16 miles (25.5km) / 1716 ft (523 m) ascent


Depart from Greenhead after breakfast

Your Itinerary

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this tour. Sometimes there may be a shortage of available accommodation in a preferred location, in which case we will transfer you from the trail to your accommodation and back again at no extra charge. Overnight stops marked with a (T) will always require transfers as standard.

Overnight stops marked with an (L) have very limited accommodation, and therefore more often than not will also require a transfer, particularly on bank holidays and weekends. We will use non-transfer accommodation wherever possible.

The daily mileages quoted are average trail miles only and do not include the distance from the trail to your accommodation. We do not expect you to have to travel more than a mile from the trail to your accommodation; should your accommodation be further than this, transfers will be provided as standard.

Below are the additional costs that may apply depending on your requirements. Dog-friendly tours are subject to a Daily Dog Charge, which will be listed below if applicable. Our standard prices per person are based upon two people sharing a room; if you are on your own, or are part of a group but require a room of your own, then the Solo Traveller or Single Supplements apply respectively:

A note about transfers
Solo Traveller Supplement
£60.00 per person / per night
Single Supplement
£45.00 per person / per night

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£60.00 per person / per night

What's included?

  • 6 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms (where available) in selected B&B’s, hotels, inns and guesthouses along the trail, or a short distance away via taxi provided at our expense.
  • Breakfast each day.
  • Door to door luggage transfer.
  • Maps with the route marked on and a guidebook or route notes describing the trail.
  • An information pack containing an itinerary, instructions on how to find your accommodation each night and a kit list.
  • Detailed travel instructions on how to get to the start of your holiday and back from the end of it.

Extra Nights & Rest Days

If you would like to spend an extra day exploring the stunning landscape of the Yorkshire Dales National Park or relaxing, surrounded by Victorian architecture, shops and cafes, the small town of Middleton-in-Teesdale is a good choice for an extra night.

You can add rest days at any of the overnight stops:

Extra night (Standard)
£60.00 per person / per night

Tour Facts

Total distance: 102 miles (163 km)
Duration: 6 nights, 5 days walking
Minimum daily distance: 16 miles (25.5 km)
Maximum daily distance: 26.5 miles (42.5 km)
Code: PENC1 Grade: Strenuous
Season: 28th March - 30th October
Start of holiday: Horton-in-Ribblesdale(L)
End of holiday: Greenhead

Route Profile

Pennine Way - Central Section Route Profile

Travel Information

Useful information and travel links that will assist you in your plans to travel to the start of the holiday and back from the end of it are sent to you with your full tour pack. A summary is given below:

By Air - The most convenient major city and international airports are Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds Bradford.

By Rail - There is a rail station at the start of the trail (Horton-in-Ribblesdale). The nearest rail station to the end of the trail (Greenhead) is at Haltwhistle (about 3.5 miles away).

By Bus - Various bus services run to Horton-in-Ribblesdale. Buses run to Haltwhistle Station from Greenhead.

From London - Trains run from various London stations to Horton-in-Ribblesdale.

Return To The Start - The easiest way to return to the start of the trail, is to take a bus/taxi from Greenhead to Carlisle rail station (the bus only runs Monday to Saturday, so a taxi will be required on a Sunday). From there, trains run to Horton-in-Ribblesdale.

Weather Information

To find out more about the weather forecast for your chosen holiday's general location, please see the following websites:

  • MetCheck - This website allows you to look up detailed weather information for specific locations as far as six months in advance.
  • Met Office - This website shows regional area forecasts a few days in advance, with a general UK forecast description of up to 30 days in advance.
  • Mountain Forecast - This website shows what the forecast is like up on specific hills and fells, and offers forecasts a few days in advance.

Routes on this trail

Pennine Way
14 to 22 nights
265 miles
Moderate / Demanding+
From £1,400 per person
A self-guided walking holiday from Edale to Kirk Yetholm along England's best-known National Trail.Find Out More
Pennine Way - South Section
6 to 8 nights
95 miles
Moderate / Demanding+
From £640 per person
A walk from Edale to Horton-in-Ribblesdale via the Peak District, South Pennines and the Yorkshire Dales.Find Out More
Pennine Way - North Section
4 to 6 nights
64 miles
Moderate / Demanding+
From £420 per person
A walk from Greenhead to Kirk Yetholm via Hadrian's WallFind Out More
Pennine Way Short Break - North Section
3 nights
21 miles
From £325 per person
A short walking holiday through the stunning North Pennines from Middleton-in-Teesdale to Dufton.Find Out More

Customer reviews from the Pennine Way - Central Section

“Would recommend if anyone asked, it is a challenging walk but very enjoyable.”
Mr Clark, UK
“Walking over moorland and in high places generally makes me incredibly happy, particularly if there is a comfortable B&B and a pub dinner at the end of the day.”
Ms Myerscough, Australia
“Excellent scenery. Efficient bag transfer service.”
Mr Richardson, UK
“All the accommodation was good to excellent.”
Dr Thamia, UK
“Lovely part of the country - pleased we chose it. We commented that we really didn't notice the organisation as everything worked.”
Mrs Burton, UK