High Cup Gill Westmorland Hike

A Westmorland Weekend in Dufton

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.

High Cup Gill Westmorland
Heading out towards High Cup Gill ..
High Cup Gill Westmorland
Crossing one of the streams in spate
high cup gill nick
Some of the party headed up Middletongue crag for a spot of scrambling. At this point, the rest of us elected to go around to the left to drop down into High Cup Gill. Which proved to be a mistake for Anita and her ankle full of metalwork..
High Cup Gill Westmorland Hike
Heading towards High Cup Nick in the distance.
High cup Gill
As you can see in the photo.. the others carried on to the head of High Cup Gill / Nick which Anita (now with added poles) and I headed up hill to the less slippy/rocky top path. Anita’s busted ankle from a year ago has lots of Meccano in it now and the off-road path below wasn’t doing her any favours.
high cup nick
Our ‘bailing out’ route afforded some great views.
High Cup Gill area
Resting after the uphill, off-piste yomp.

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.

MIddletongue Crag Westmorland
Spotting rabbits near Middletongue Crag
Middletongue Crag
Performing sheep near Middletongue Crag
Middletongue Crag area Westmorland
The autumnal colours were lovely as we headed back towards Harbour Flatt Farm.
Appleby and River Eden at sunset
Appleby and the River Eden at sunset

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.

Dufton pike walk
Dufton Pike as seen from the front of the hostel and with the Stag Inn in front.
Dufton Pike
Heading up to Dufton Pike
Dufton Pike viewpoint
Professor Andy, having turned 50 that weekend, looking over the hill (or some such).

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 🙂


6 thoughts on “A Westmorland Weekend in Dufton”

  1. Wow those views are something else. I thought to myself when I saw the valley photos “it looks like a glacier formed one” quick google to check and I was right glad my 6th form Geography wasn’t wasted 🙂

  2. I also love a photo heavy post, especially when the views are so great. It’s fab finding out about all these amazing areas for walking, my wishlist is growing by the day! Looks like you had a brilliant weekend 🙂


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