High Cup Nick

The weather was much better today so I was off bright & early to Dufton for a 9 mile and 1,750ft walk to High Cup Nick. This is a classic U-shaped valley high on the western flanks of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). A deep chasm on the Pennine fellside, this famous nick, a dramatic geological formation at the top of High Cup Gill is part of the well-known Whin Sill, and overlooks the best glaciated valley in Northern England. Here you can see the grey-blue dolerite crags which also form High Force and Cauldron Snout. I’d seen pictures of the area before setting out on the walk but in reality it is far more spectacular and I’m glad I made the effort to get there. It was an uphill struggle for most of the outward leg and I only saw 4 other people on the whole of the walk. My planned route suggested a return alongside the stream in the bottom of the valley but, as it was open access land, I diverted to follow a little used path on the southern flanks of the valley for the return to Dufton.

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