The last (and only time) I had been in Dufton was as part of a flood relief fundraiser walk last year. Actually, we had only glanced the edge of the village before circling back to Appleby. So when I realised that the hostel that friends Ali and Steve had booked was in Dufton (in Westmorland), it was a nice surprise. I’d already decided to be part of the mix of folk staying that weekend and coopted Anita into the trip as she knew a few of them too.
Two walks were planned for the weekend – High Cup Gill / Nick on Saturday and Dufton Pike on Sunday. In between those: lots of food, communal cooking and eating, and general japes. The fun started on the Friday eve when some of us crossed the village green from the hostel and headed into the friendly The Stag Inn.
I’m stretched for time just now so this post will be photo heavy and words light. But suffice to say it was a great weekend, with perfect (for November) autumnal weather. And a lovely mix of people, from baby to teens to us forty / fifty-somethings. Anita and I also had some time to mooch around Appleby whilst searching for a cafe after we curtailed some of the Saturday walk. We found the Courtyard Gallery cafe: great art on show and great cakes – result.
After a bit of a yomp up to Middletongue (and the shake holes area) we stopped for a snack. At that stage I realised we wouldn’t have the speed to catch up the others, who were heading around the ridge and onto the Pennine Way. Which could have been disappointing, but contrast that with the fact that two years ago Anita’s liver, in essence, stopped working; then a year later the drugs to combat that gave her osteoporosis. Such that a simple slip off of a kerbstone resulted in a badly broken lower leg and ankle. e.g it was great just to be out on the hills whatever the distance covered. And we had loads of time to mooch before it got dark AND get to Appleby for coffee and cake. Every cloud etc.
Despite feeling tired after an evening of never-ending, excellent home-made pizzas, a few drinks and then a cooked breakfast on Sunday morning; I was looking forward to a walk up Dufton Pike. The pike is a hill’s hill.. e.g the kind of thing you would draw as a child. Pleasingly pointy, as seen from the hostel.
So now I have ‘walk up and around High Cup Gill and Nick and onto the Pennine Way’ on my list. It’s been there a few thousand years so it’ll wait for me I’m sure 🙂