It is a national trail that has challenged generations of walkers and now it has provided the inspiration for artists.
In the year that the Pennine Way marks its 50th birthday, the Dales Countryside Museum, in Hawes, has teamed up with a group of Dales artists to produce an exhibition of work that highlights the popular walking route using art, photography and sculpture.
The Pennine Way was originally the inspiration of walker and writer Tom Stephenson, who fascinated by tales of the Appalachian Way in America, published an article in 1935 entitled “Wanted: A Long Green Trail” in which he suggested a route running along the Pennines that would cross hills from south to north, taking in dramatic scenery, changing landscapes and the challenges presented by each.
It was the first national trail and was officially opened at Malham in 1965, by which time Stephenson had become the secretary of the Ramblers’ Association.
Fiona Rosher, museum manager, said: “The exhibition is a fascinating mix of original artefacts, archive material, unique artwork and sculpture connected with or inspired by the Pennine Way.”
The exhibition at the museum, owned by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, will run from February 28 to April 26. It will be officially opened on February 27 by Matt Neale, the Authority’s Area Ranger for Upper Wensleydale and last month came seventh in the gruelling 268-mile Montane Spine Race along the entire length of the Pennine Way.