Pennines [key] or Pennine Chain, mountain range, sometimes called the “backbone of England,” extending c.160 mi (260 km) from the Cheviot Hills on the Scottish border to the Peak District in Derbyshire. The range consists of a series of upland blocks, separated by transverse valleys (Tees, Aire, Wensleydale, and Wharfdale). There are caverns, and several chasms are more than 300 ft (91 m) in depth. Cross Fell (2,930 ft/893 m) is the highest peak. The range is sparsely populated. Sheep raising, quarrying, and tourism are important economic activities. The Pennine Way is a 268-mi (429-km) hiking path along the range; it opened in 1965. Reservoirs in the Pennines store water for the cities of N England.
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