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Pennine Way Day 12 - Alston to Greenhead

Honestly, this isn't a classic Pennine Way day but it's a necessary linking section which takes you to Hadrian's Wall

Also in Cumbria, United Kingdom

Hiking Moderate

27 km
592 m
733 m
6-7 hrs
Low Point
135 m
High Point
340 m
Pennine Way Day 12 - Alston to Greenhead Map

There's no point pretending that today lives up to the standards set by the previous week or so on the Pennine Way because it simply can't compare to what's preceded it. That said, the good days wouldn't feel quite so good if it weren't for days like this, so accept it as a necessary price which must be paid for more spectacular experiences elsewhere on the Pennine Way.


The route isn't unpleasant by any means, but it feels rather tedious, and the slightly tricky micro navigation only adds to the slightly wearying feel of it. Keep an eye on FATMAP and try not to get off route in order to get the done day as efficiently as possible.

Midway through today's hike you'll wave goodbye to the Pennines and begin your journey through the wilds of Northumberland and the Kielder region. The second part of the day follows a now-abandoned railway line and you'll pass under several impressive stone viaducts before heading across a series of boggy floodplains. Unless you really are lucky with the weather you'll likely get wet feet at some stage today, and will squelch into Greenhead ready for some hot food and a shower!

Once in Greenhead, change your socks and go for a look at Hadrian's Wall - the landmark which signifies that you're entering the final stage of the Pennine Way. The furthest north reaches of England now await you, with Scotland beckoning just a few days walking away.

You're on the home straight once you're in Greenhead, so savour every day of the Pennine Way - returning to reality is getting ever closer!



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between April and October


  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly

Guidebooks in this area