Looking across High Cup Nick to the Pennine Way which follows the rim of the valley just above the cliffs on the far side

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Route No. 284 - Sunday 15 March 2009
Dufton, High Cup Nick circuit - 15km
North Pennines . . .

Ordnance Survey route map on the Landranger series map base.
View the route in Google Earth

Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL19 Howgill Fells & Upper Eden Valley at 1:25000


Dufton across the fields from our cottage
Dufton across the fields from our holiday cottage

It's just a few miles off the A66. Today the ladies are going to Keswick, mostly shopping I think (Ugggh!). My two brothers-in-law and I are going for a decent walk.

Each spring we have a weekend away with two of my wife's sisters and their husbands in a holiday cottage. This weekend we have all come to a very nice cottage in the village of Dufton near Appleby.

Swaledale tupp in the field behind our cottage
Swaledale tupp in the field behind our cottage

Bow Hall farm on the Pennine Way
Bow Hall farm on the Pennine Way

At map ref. NY694248, we turned left to follow the Pennine Way route up a lane past a farm called Bow Hall.

We walked along the village street towards Appleby to the edge of the village.

The Pennine Way near Bow Hall
The Pennine Way near Bow Hall

The Pennine Way near Bow Hall
The Pennine Way near Bow Hall
Looking south from the Pennine Way towards Keisley
Looking south from the Pennine Way towards Keisley
Looking towards the Lake District from the Pennine Way
Looking towards the Lake District from the Pennine Way

From Bow Hall we continued along the Pennine Way route for about 5km to High Cup Nick at map ref. NY745262. From Bow Hall the path climbs 330m to High Cup Nick.

Flag pole and notice holder to warn of military training activities which  restrict access to vast areas of countryside  here
Flag pole and notice holder to warn of military training activities which restrict access to vast areas of countryside here

Old lime kiln by the Pennine Way
Old lime kiln by the Pennine Way

Looking towards the Howgill Fells from the Pennine Way
Looking towards the Howgill Fells from the Pennine Way

A sheep that didn't make it through the winter
A sheep that didn't make it through the winter
Dales ponies running free on the hills
Dales ponies running free on the hills
Our first view of High Cup Nick
Our first view of High Cup Nick
The Pennine Way around High Cup Nick
The Pennine Way around High Cup Nick
The Pennine Way around High Cup Nick
The Pennine Way around High Cup Nick

The Pennine Way around High Cup Nick
The Pennine Way around High Cup Nick

Wild Boar Fell in the distance from the Pennine Way
Wild Boar Fell in the distance from the Pennine Way

The winding course of High Cup Gill about 150m below the Pennine Way
The winding course of High Cup Gill about 150m below the Pennine Way

Cliffs around High Cup Nick
Cliffs around High Cup Nick

Lunch break in the shelter of the inlet channel
Lunch break in the shelter of the inlet channel

We sat in the shelter of the inlet channel through the cliffs at map ref. NY746261 for our lunch.

The views south to the Howgill Fells and west to the Lake District are wonderful and the steep narrow valley of High Cup Gill is just amazing with its sides topped off with a horseshoe of rocky cliffs up to 20m high.

Rock pinnacle in the cliffs around High Cup Nick
Rock pinnacle in the cliffs around High Cup Nick

Lichen on a dry stone wall
Lichen on a dry stone wall
Start of the permissive path around the eastern side of the valley
Start of the permissive path around the eastern side of the valley
Coming down from Middle Tongue to join the farm track to Harbour Flatt farm
Coming down from Middle Tongue to join the farm track to Harbour Flatt farm

Patches of snow were still around in the hollows
Patches of snow were still around in the hollows

The path is reasonably well defined on the ground and it led us through a gate in the wall at map ref. NY743252.

After our break we followed a permissive path (it's all open access land now anyway) around the top of the cliffs on the eastern side of the valley.

Track leading to Harbour Flatt farm
Track leading to Harbour Flatt farm

The bottom of High Cup Gill
The bottom of High Cup Gill

We walked along the farm track around the hill side to join another track at map ref NY729239.

From the wall there was a quadbike track which we followed over Middle Tongue to join a farm access track at map ref. NY735239.

Lichen on a dry stone wall
Lichen on a dry stone wall

High Cup Gill at the road to Keisley
High Cup Gill at the road to Keisley

(there's no path visible on the ground - you aim for a large single tree in the middle of the field and from there go through the gap between two low rounded hillocks to reach the stile in the corner of the field onto the road).

There is a public right of way which roughly follows the line of this track and we walked along the track to Harbour Flatt farm. At the farm we turned off to the right to follow a public footpath across the field to the road at map ref. NY717234

Stone barn on the hillside near Keisley
Stone barn on the hillside near Keisley

Spring lambs near Keisley
Spring lambs near Keisley
Spring lambs near Keisley
Spring lambs near Keisley

Path across the fields back towards Bow Hall
Path across the fields back towards Bow Hall

We followed the farm road for about 100m and then turned left across the fields for about 1.2km to the Pennine Way route about 150m above Bow Hall.

We walked along the road past Keisley to a farm access road at map ref. NY707238. There is a public footpath up the farm road.

A last break in the sunshine
A last break in the sunshine

Lichen on a dry stone wall
Lichen on a dry stone wall
Lichen on a dry stone wall
Lichen on a dry stone wall

Lichen on a dry stone wall
Lichen on a dry stone wall

We got back to the cottage around 3.30pm just as our wives we driving in from their shopping and sightseeing trip to Keswick. The weather had been cool and sunny, a perfect day for a really spectacular walk.

From there we retraced our steps back to our cottage in Dufton. The whole route had been 15km and had taken us almost 6 hours to walk including a couple of breaks.

Farm road from Bow Hall back to Dufton
Farm road from Bow Hall back to Dufton

Snowdrops by the lane into Dufton
Snowdrops by the lane into Dufton