And so, Part 1 of the journey begins.
On The Trail
Phil has spent the last few weeks, prepping and packing for the long adventure of hiking the Pennine Way.
As a proud partner of the Movember charity, Phil’s aim is to raise funds and awareness for mental health while exploring the beauty of nature. His challenge will take him from Edale to Horton-in-Ribblesdale, a long and arduous path that will test his mental endurance.
“I have previously shared about my mental health struggles and I’m aware I need to spend time doing things that allow me to think and be inspired and healed by nature. This trip will help me do that in so many ways.”
This blog is his ongoing journal to document the trail, so you can follow his journey. You'll get a glimpse into the challenges, triumphs, and everything in between, and who knows? This blog might inspire you to take on your own challenge in the future. But for now, onto the trail...
Entry 1 | 03.05.23
I started the first day in Edale in bright sunshine and blue skies. I had heard this was a tough first day with some hard climbs at the start with the famous Jacob’s Ladder - winding stone steps to the first peak, Kinder Scout. Well worth the effort as the views were incredible.
I walked further on and stopped in an outcrop of rocks where the land flattens off a bit. It was really windy so I sheltered there and had a coffee in my tin mug. It was so beautiful up there so I just absorbed the scenery.
Making my way across to an impressive waterfall, I was stunned at the scenery and elevation here. The views went on for miles. I had to take some images here with my little Leica as it was so epic.
After a milder climb, the land levelled off to a stretch of moorland marshes with a straight path across with the wind whipping across. Finally, I reached Snake Road and started to make my descent down onto some rough riverbed trails. My legs were very tired but eventually, I stumbled into Torside for my pick-up to the next leg. An amazing, inspiring day!
Entry 2 | 04.05.23
I started the second day of my walk, knowing that today would be a challenge with an elevation gain of nearly 600 meters. As I set off from Torside, the sky was overcast but the air was cool and refreshing.
The first few miles were a steep ascent up to Laddow Rocks, and I could feel the burn in my legs. But as I reached the top, the view was once again breathtaking. The rolling hills and moorland stretched out before me, and I felt a sense of accomplishment for making it to the top.
From there, the path continued across the open moorland tracks, with only the sound of the wind and the occasional bird to keep me company. The landscape was wild and rugged, but there was a sense of tranquillity in the solitude.
I made my way along the path and the terrain became gentler as I followed access roads along several reservoirs. The manicured landscape provided a contrast to the untamed moorland, and I enjoyed the change of scenery. Finally, I reached Standedge, my destination for the day. The views had been stunning throughout the day, and I was grateful for the chance to rest and take it all in. As I settled in for the evening, I reflected on the challenging yet rewarding day. The Peak District is truly an incredible place, and I’m fortunate to be able to explore it on foot.
Entry 3 | 05.05.23
I started the third day of my walk in a drizzly overcast weather. This leg of the journey was much flatter compared to the previous two days, but it was also more urbanised and I had to cross through several towns and villages.
Walking through the open heather moorlands, I passed several reservoirs and made my way through the busy Calder Valley. The scenery was different from the first two days, but I still enjoyed the views of the rolling hills and green fields along the way. The sound of raindrops hitting my jacket and the smell of fresh rain in the air was refreshing.
As I made my way toward Hebden Bridge, I was determined to reach the end of this leg and complete another successful day of walking. Finally, after a few hours, I arrived in the quaint little town. It’s rewarding to know that I had walked so many miles. I enjoyed a warm meal and was grateful to rest my weary feet.
ENTRY 4 | 06.05.23
I started my walk from the picturesque town of Hebden Bridge, ready to embark on a journey along the Pennine Way towards Ponden. The route was challenging, with steep climbs and rocky terrain, but the stunning views made it all worth it.
Leaving Hebden Bridge behind, I made my way up towards the beautiful moorland of Widdop. The ascent was tough, but I was rewarded with breathtaking views of the valley below. The landscape was rugged and wild, with rocky outcrops and heather-covered hills stretching out as far as the eye could see.
As I continued along the Pennine Way, I crossed the wild and windswept landscape of Walshaw Dean Reservoir. The moors were alive with the sound of skylarks and the sweet scent of heather.
After a challenging and exhilarating walk, I reached my destination, Ponden. I was tired but exhilarated by the beauty of the landscape and the satisfaction of completing the journey along my route.
Entry 5 | 07.05.23
I woke up early and set off towards the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales. The path was relatively flat at first, but soon the climb started. The ascent was tough, but the views from the top of Pinhaw Beacon were stunning and made the effort worthwhile.
The beauty of the moors was captivating, and I felt privileged to witness this remote part of England.
After descending from Pinhaw Beacon, the landscape opened up into a vast, flat field that stretched as far as the eye could see. The rest of the walk was much more relaxed, as I followed the path over fields and into Gargrave, a charming village that marked the gateway to the Dales. The quaint houses and friendly locals made me feel at home, and I knew I was in for a treat as I prepared for the next leg of my journey.
So far we have donated £29,807 to Movember! Want to help us raise even more? You can sponsor Phil and his challenge here
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ENTRY 6 | 08.05.23
Today's walk was a much-needed change of pace from the previous days. The terrain was easier, and the scenery was less rugged, which made for a more enjoyable walk. Starting from Gargrave, I crossed Eshton Moor and enjoyed some stunning views along the way. The fresh air was invigorating, and the gentle breeze was a welcome relief from the past few days' harsh weather conditions.
As I continued on, I reached the River Aire, which I followed for the rest of the day's walk. The sound of the rushing water was a soothing backdrop as I made my way closer to Malham. The fields and meadows were lush and green, and the wildlife was abundant.
As I approached Malham, I was struck by the charming small-town feel of the place. The quaint shops and cafes added to the welcoming ambience. It was a pleasant and relaxing day, and I feel re-energised for the remaining days of the walk.
Entry 7 | 09.05.23
Today marked the end of Part 1 of my journey on the Pennine Way, as I made my way from Malham to Horton-in-Ribblesdale. It's bittersweet to think that this adventure is coming to a close.
Leaving Malham, I walked on as the landscape gradually changed, giving way to more rolling hills and steep climbs. Finally, I arrived at the end of my trail, feeling a mix of emotions as I looked back on the past few days. What an opportunity I had to explore such a stunning part of the world.
There is no better food for the soul than to be amongst Nature’s best work. I feel different already. My shoulders have relaxed, and my spirit has returned, along with my smile. I encourage anyone who needs to escape, process and make sense of things to go outside walk and breathe slower, away from the cities and towns. It restores you back to your true self.