View Full Version : Walking Home: A Poet’s Journey,’ by Simon Armitage

John B
03-27-2013, 10:54
It's a book about the author's hike on the Pennine Trail, England. The trail sounds like it would be great fun to hike; the book seems as if it is perfectly dreadful.

I haven't read it, so maybe someone who has will make comments.

And if anyone has hiked the trail, I'd be grateful to read your thoughts about it. A link to a trail journal woule be perfect..

Reviewed in the March 25 edition of the New York Times :

03-27-2013, 14:23
I have only read a little of the book. Based on what I did read, although offering insights, I had the feeling Armitage was a moody often unhappy man and this came out in his perspective of hiking the trail and the trail itself. I'm not the first to have that opinion. While this provides one view of the Peninne Way if you want a more balanced and fairer view of hiking it I suggest you expand your reading and discussion of it with others. I like the words he uses to describe things but had to put his book down because it just got too one sided in it's negativity FOR ME.

I'm strongly considering hiking the Pennine Way which is a north/south trail immediately followed up with one of the coast(east) to coast(west) trails, that bisect it, probably the Coast to Coast Path. Depends if weather and time allow though. Perfect total trail mileage for my targeted 22-25 MPD avg that fits into my current available hiking time frame. PW is about 270 miles. I'd add about 4-7 days for one of the coast to coast routes. I've done ZERO research on the Southwest Coast Path but that seems interesting to me as well. My hiking slate is pretty full right now though.

One last thought that I think needs mentioning with the PW and hiking in the UK that can influence one's opinion of hiking there. It's summed up in one word - WEATHER. Pick a window of nice weather to hike the PW when ever possible or go during when it's less WET. Even then, be prepared for exposure to wind and rain and rolling up and down countryside.

Here are some decent links that I've used for UK hiking info. I know the first has a discussion group on the PW and other trails in Great Britain. Both links have folks who hiked the PW. Contact them.


And the Trail Dino site is GREAT for UK trekking.


The only one, that personally immediately comes to mind, who has recently hiked the PW, I THINK, is German Tourist aka Chistine. She's recently been posting here on WB. Here's a link to her blog:


Old Hiker
03-27-2013, 14:38
Don't know about the book - may read it someday, but wouldn't "Grim Yomp" be a GREAT Trail name?

03-27-2013, 17:57
I expect the Pennine Way would be a fun hike; I hiked the Wainwright (AKA Coast to Coast) trail in England in 2010, and found hiking there to be a great experience overall. My wife doesn't like trips where night after night we're sleeping in a tent, so the Wainwright trail was a great experience for us staying in B&B's and Youth Hostels. Easy to meet and enjoy the company of fellow hikers at a B&B or a pub or just while walking along the way, and rainy/wet days didn't matter much being able to dry everything out overnight and start dry again the next morning. Not a lot of "wildlife", but a lot of beauty and a great perspective on 'rural', agricultural and small-town England. Food was good, people friendly, we speak the same language more or less --- what's not to like?
I particularly liked some of the historical as well as the occasional I guess I would call 'cultural' bits along the way.
I expect that the Pennine way would be at least somewhat similar, ditto Hadrian's Wall, Windermere Way, St. Oswalds, ...