The Pennines (ˈpɛnaɪnz) are a low-rising mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

, separating the North West of England
North West England
North West England, informally known as The North West, is one of the nine official regions of England.North West England had a 2006 estimated population of 6,853,201 the third most populated region after London and the South East...

 from Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

 and the North East
North East England
North East England is one of the nine official regions of England. It covers Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Teesside . The only cities in the region are Durham, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland...


Often described as the "backbone
Vertebral column
In human anatomy, the vertebral column is a column usually consisting of 24 articulating vertebrae, and 9 fused vertebrae in the sacrum and the coccyx. It is situated in the dorsal aspect of the torso, separated by intervertebral discs...

 of England", they form a more-or-less continuous range stretching from the Peak District
Peak District
The Peak District is an upland area in central and northern England, lying mainly in northern Derbyshire, but also covering parts of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, and South and West Yorkshire....

 in Derbyshire
Derbyshire is a county in the East Midlands of England. A substantial portion of the Peak District National Park lies within Derbyshire. The northern part of Derbyshire overlaps with the Pennines, a famous chain of hills and mountains. The county contains within its boundary of approx...

, around the northern and eastern edges of Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 2.6 million. It encompasses one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United Kingdom and comprises ten metropolitan boroughs: Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, and the...

, through the Yorkshire Dales
Yorkshire Dales
The Yorkshire Dales is the name given to an upland area in Northern England.The area lies within the historic county boundaries of Yorkshire, though it spans the ceremonial counties of North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Cumbria...

 past the Cumbria
Cumbria , is a non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local authority, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's largest settlement and county town is Carlisle. It consists of six districts, and in...

n Fells to the Cheviot Hills
Cheviot Hills
The Cheviot Hills is a range of rolling hills straddling the England–Scotland border between Northumberland and the Scottish Borders.There is a broad split between the northern and the southern Cheviots...

 on the Anglo-Scottish border
Anglo-Scottish border
The Anglo-Scottish border is the official border and mark of entry between Scotland and England. It runs for 154 km between the River Tweed on the east coast and the Solway Firth in the west. It is Scotland's only land border...

. North of the Aire Gap
Aire Gap
Aire Gap is a mountain pass through the backbone of England formed by geologic faults and carved out by glaciers. The term is used in various senses: a vast geological division, a travel route, or a location that is an entry into the Aire river valley....

, the Pennines give out a western spur
Spur (mountain)
A spur is a subsidiary summit of a hill or mountain. By definition, spurs have low topographic prominence, as they are lower than their parent summit and are closely connected to them on the same ridgeline...

 into Lancashire, the Bowland Fells, and south of the gap is a similar spur, comprising the Rossendale Fells and West Pennine Moors
West Pennine Moors
The West Pennine Moors cover an area of approximately of moorland and reservoirs in Lancashire and Greater Manchester, England.The West Pennine Moors are separated from the main Pennine range by the Irwell Valley. The moorland includes Withnell, Anglezarke and Rivington Moors in the extreme west,...


Although the above is a common definition, the Cheviot Hills
Cheviot Hills
The Cheviot Hills is a range of rolling hills straddling the England–Scotland border between Northumberland and the Scottish Borders.There is a broad split between the northern and the southern Cheviots...

 are not, strictly speaking, part of the Pennines, being separated by the Tyne Gap and the Whin Sill
Whin Sill
The Whin Sill or Great Whin Sill is a tabular layer of the igneous rock dolerite in County Durham and Northumberland in the northeast of England. It lies partly in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and partly in Northumberland National Park and stretches from Teesdale northwards...

, along which run the A69
A69 road
The A69 is a major road in northern England, running east-west across the Pennines, through the counties of Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and Cumbria. Originally the road started in Blaydon, but since the creation of the A1 Western Bypass around Newcastle upon Tyne, it now starts at Denton Burn a...

 and Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain. Begun in AD 122, during the rule of emperor Hadrian, it was the first of two fortifications built across Great Britain, the second being the Antonine Wall, lesser known of the two because its physical remains are less evident today.The...

, but because the Pennine Way
Pennine Way
The Pennine Way is a National Trail in England. The trail runs from Edale, in the northern Derbyshire Peak District, north through the Yorkshire Dales and the Northumberland National Park and ends at Kirk Yetholm, just inside the Scottish border. The path runs along the Pennine hills, sometimes...

 crosses them they are often treated as such.