This classic route was originated and described by the celebrated A.Wainwright, author of a well-known series of mountain-walking guide books on the English Lake District. The route is 190 miles long, which works out at an average of 14.5 miles per day. Shorter days occur early in the tour, where steep gradients and rough going are encountered during the crossing of several high passes in the Lake District. The days get longer towards the end of the tour, with 24 miles, mostly on level ground, between Richmond and Osmotherley being followed by a day of 21 miles over the Cleveland Hills and North York Moors.
As well as providing a challenge, the route is renowned for its variety of beautiful scenery. Particular highlights include the idyllic Lakeland valley of Borrowdale, the historic cobbled streets and market square of Richmond, and the marvellous heather-covered plateaux of the North York Moors. For a sustained walking tour such as this, with often rough going underfoot, steep gradients and long days, a good standard of fitness is required before starting.