A blue tourist plaque has been unveiled at Settle Railway Station to commemorate Alfred Wainwright’s walk from Settle to Hadrian’s Wall and back, undertaken in 1938 just before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Wainwright began his long walk at Settle Station after travelling by rail from Blackburn and, on his return, wrote a book entitled A Pennine Journey, which was not published until 1986, long after he had become famous as the author of the Pictorial Guides to the Lake District Fells. In 2010, a new guide to the original walk was published, but this time the route was entirely on public footpaths and not along the roads that Wainwright used at the time of his 1938 holiday.

Following discussions between David Pitt, a Wainwright Society member, who devised the new route, and Marion Armstrong of The Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company on behalf of The Settle-Carlisle Partnership, it was agreed that a blue plaque and information board should be installed in the waiting room at Settle Station.

The plaque was unveiled at a ceremony attended by about 60 people including representatives from Northern Rail, The Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company, the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line and The Wainwright Society. And carrying out the unveiling honours was Helen Holden, the daughter of Lawrence Wolstenholme, one of Wainwright’s work colleagues in Blackburn, to whom he sent a series of illustrated postcards from various locations along the route in 1938.

The Wainwright Society wants to promote this new long-distance walk to bring economic benefit to the communities that lie along the route, as well as showcasing the beautiful landscape of the Dales and northern Pennines.

It is also hoped that the Pennine Journey route will be waymarked on the ground as a precursor to its marking on future Ordnance Survey maps.