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Pennine Way

In the time of Covid

ByStephen Platt

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The Pennine Way is a tough old walk. It's about 270 miles long (435 km), was the first National trail in England and is one of the most famous long-distance walks. I did it a couple of weeks before I should have, during the Covid pandemic of 2020 when the guidelines encouraged outdoor exercise but advised against overnight stays away from home. There was no accommodation or catering en-route and few shops open. I arranged two poste-restante food drops at post offices in Alston and Hawes at approximately one-third and two-thirds of the way. That meant I had to wild camp and carry food for a week. Lockdown during the Covid pandemic was a great time to do the Pennine Way. No one else was on the walk. In fact hardly anyone had done it for months and nature had reclaimed the way and at times the path was almost indistinct. The guidelines that everyone should stay at home meant that the villages and settlements I passed through were deserted. It was like a sci-fi movie when everyone has disappeared. When I got back people asked me, what was the best bit. The problem is that so much happens in the 17 days of a walk like this, so much that is singular and arresting. But with the repetition of walking each day over similar ground it becomes difficult for the mind to encompass and remember. Alfred Wainright, who devised the walk in 1938, said he wrote his 'pictorial companion' for himself, so he could relive the walk back in the comfort of home. In part that's what motivated me. But I also needed to make sense of what I'd done, to map it out, and to fit the parts together as a whole.


Publication Date
Jul 8, 2020
Travel & Adventure
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Stephen Platt


Interior Color
US Trade (6 x 9 in / 152 x 229 mm)

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