The 268-mile-long Pennine Way was the country’s first official long-distance footpath, opened in 1965. It stretches north from the boggy plateau of the Peak District’s Kinder Scout, proceeds through the Yorkshire Dales and Teesdale, and then crosses Hadrian’s Wall and the Northumberland National Park, before entering Scotland to fizzle out at the village of Kirk Yetholm. One of the most popular walks in the country, either taken in sections or completed in two to three weeks, depending on your level of fitness and experience, the Pennine Way is a challenge in the best of weather, since it passes through some of the wildest countryside in Britain. You must certainly be properly equipped and able to use a map and compass. The National Trail Guides Pennine Way: South and Pennine Way: North, are essential, though some still prefer to stick to Wainwright’s Pennine Way Companion. Information centres along the route – like the one at Edale village – stock a selection of guides and associated trail leaflets and can offer advice.