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Pennines facts for kids

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Pennine scenery
Typical Pennine scenery.

The Pennines are a mountain range in England. Often said to be the "backbone of England", they form an unbroken range stretching from the Peak District in the Midlands, through the Yorkshire Dales, parts of Greater Manchester, the West Pennine Moors of Lancashire and Cumbrian Fells to the Cheviot Hills on the Scottish border. Their total length is about 250 mi (402 km).


The name Pennines is believed to come from the Celtic pennioroches, meaning "hill", although the earliest written reference to the name dates only from the 18th century.

Altitude and size

The mountains are not very tall and are often called hills. The highest is Cross Fell in eastern Cumbria, at 893 m (2,930 ft). Other main mountain peaks include Mickle Fell 788 m (2,585 ft), Whernside 736 m (2,415 ft), Ingleborough 723 m (2,372 ft), Pen-y-ghent 693 m (2,274 ft), and Kinder Scout 636 m (2,087 ft).

The landscape of the Pennines are mostly upland areas of high moorland. The Pennines make up the main watershed in northern England, dividing the eastern and western parts of the country. The rivers Eden, Ribble, and Mersey flow west towards the Irish Sea. On the other side of the watershed, the rivers Tyne, Tees, Swale, Calder, Aire, Don, and Trent flow east to the North Sea.

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