High Cup Nick Walk
This circular walk explores High Cup Nick, a spectacular glacial valley and one of the major highlights in the North Pennines AONB. The whole of the valley is within an area mapped as open country under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 hence there is a general right for walkers to roam at will. The section of the Pennine Way running through the area is also a bridleway therefore legally available to cyclists and horseriders too.
This 8 mile route begins at the village of Dufton in the Eden Valley and starts by following the Pennine Way to Dod Hill and Peeping Hill. You continue your ascent to High Cup Nick where there is a waterfall and great views of the u-shaped glacial valley, the Eden Valley, Dufton Pike and Murton Pike. You'll also pass Nichol's Chair, a notable pinnacle of this rock on the northern side of the valley. It is named after a local cobbler who, for a bet, practised his craft perched on its summit.
The walk then descends through High Cup Gill where you will pass boulder fields on your way to High Cup Gill Beck. You continue along the beck through Middletongue Crag to Harbour Flatt where you join a country lane, taking you back to Dufton.
This is a special place with some spectacular geological wonders to enjoy. It is quite a steep and challenging climb but the footpaths are generally good for most of the walk.
An alternative route starts from Cow Green Reservoir, approaching High Cup from the east and following the Pennine Way to the summit.
If you would like to continue your walk you could head to the nearby Cow Green Reservoir and visit the wonderful Cauldron Snout waterfall. The circular High Force Waterfall Walk is another major highlight of the area. You could also head to Cross Fell for more wonderful views of the area.
High Cup Nick Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
High Cup Nick Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
High Cup Nick OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
High Cup Nick Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
After your walk head to the Stag Inn in Dufton for some well earned refreshments (Postcode:CA16 6DB). The rustic country inn was built in 1703 and includes solid oak beams. It's in a lovely spot overlooking the village green and is very walker friendly. There's a good menu and accommodation is also available if you need to stay over.
Pictured above, the pretty village green in Dufton and the Stag Inn which sits on the edge of the green.
The area is great for dog walking and the Stag Inn mentioned above is also dog friendly.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Dufton village is an interesting place for a stroll too. Houses in the village were built from the 17th century onwards and it has changed little over the last 100 years. Dufton Pike rises above the village and is another popular walk in the area. You can climb to the pike on a circular walk by using trails heading north from the village and using part of the Pennine Way National Trail.
Pictured above is Dufton Pike which is another worthy walk from the village. Rising to a height of 481 m (1,578 ft) it offers more fabulous views over the area.
To the south is Murton Pike. The fell can be climbed from the Murton Fell car park in the little village of Murton. It is often climbed in conjunction with High Cup Nick.
Just to the east you can try the climb to Mickle Fell. The fell is significant as being the highest point within the historic county of Yorkshire and the highest point within County Durham.
For more walking ideas in the area see the County Durham Walks and North Pennines Walks pages.