560-mile Northern Trek connects two countries and four national parks

A new walking route that stretches from the Peak District to the summit of Ben Nevis has been launched with the aim of encouraging walkers to explore the spine of England and Scotland – whether it be in one 40-day burst or done in different sections over a series of months or even years.

The Northern Trek is a 560-mile walk that will treat those who tackle it with the most breathtaking scenery the two countries have to offer – taking them through four National Parks, three UNESCO World Heritage sites and from the east coast in Northumberland to the west coast in the Scottish Highlands. It is also the first of the UK’s big treks to take walkers right through a city centre – with Edinburgh providing a captivating contrast to the natural beauty of the more traditional elements of the route. And it is only the second official long-distance trek to cross the England Scotland border.

The finish line on the summit of Ben Nevis

Former web-developer, Ken Heptonstall is the brains behind The Northern Trek – and says the idea for it was born from a desire to see both the Pennine and West Highland Ways incorporated into one enormous, challenging and rewarding trek: “I’ve always loved long distance walks – the longer, the better,” said Ken. “Having walked both the Pennine Way and West Highland Way, I felt what was needed was a bigger, better and much, much longer route! The idea of taking it across the border from England into Scotland really appealed and the way I’ve designed it, half the walk’s South of the border and half is north of it, which should please Scottish and English walkers equally.”

The Northern Trek is broken down into six sections – the Tail, the Rump, the Back, the Neck, the Head and the Crown & Glory –; a facet of the walk that Ken believes sets it aside it from other routes: “I don’t expect many people to take on the entire Northern Trek in one go – though some will. The six sections are all manageable in the space of 5 to 7 days each, and my real hope for it is that walkers will tackle it section by section, with the aim of completing it in a timescale that suits them and their lives. As a result, I’m not putting any time limit on the walk – I’ll just be happy to hear from those enjoying parts of it and will, of course, have an honours board up and running for those who finish it.”

The Northern Trek in numbers

  • 560 miles from start to finish,
  • 83,445 feet of ascent (including Ben Nevis)
  • Split into 6 sections
  • 35 to 40 days to complete the entire route

The Northern Trek at Hadrian’s Wall

The Northern Trek in sections

The Tail
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire to Gargrave, North Yorkshire – 98 miles – 16,315 feet
The Northern Trek – Section 1 – The Tail – Chatsworth House To Gargrave

The Rump
Gargrave to Alston, Cumbria – 111 miles – 16,360 feet
The Northern Trek – Section 2 – The Rump – Gargrave To Alston

The Back
Alston to Kirk Yetholm, Scottish Borders – 81 miles – 12,150 feet
The Northern Trek – Section 3 – The Back – Alston To Kirk Yetholm

The Neck
Kirk Yetholm to Edinburgh – 97 miles – 15,671 feet
The Northern Trek – Section 4 – The Neck – Kirk Yetholm To Edinburgh`

The Head
Edinburgh to Milngavie, Glasgow – 68 miles – 4,592 feet
The Northern Trek – Section 5 – The Head – Edinburgh To Milngavie

The Crown / The Glory
Milngavie to Fort William and up Ben Nevis – 95 miles (plus 10 up) – 13,707 feet (plus 4,650 feet up)
The Northern Trek – Section 6 – The Crown – Milngavie To Fort William and Ben Nevis

The starting point of The Northern Trek at Chatsworth House

Find out more about the epic Northern Trek at www.northerntrek.co.uk.





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