Walking & The Pennine Way
The Stag offer the perfect starting and finishing point for your walk or a great stop off whilst walking the Pennine Way.
The Pennine Way
Steeped in history and traversing spectacular landscapes, the iconic Pennine Way stretches for 268 miles (435km) across England’s wild northern uplands.
The route follows Britain’s rocky spine from the hills of the Derbyshire Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales, through the stunning Swaledale Valley, across the North Pennines and over Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland to the Cheviot Hills, ending in the Scottish Borders in Kirk Yetholm.
The Pennine Way was the first National Trail in England and is one of the UK’s most famous long-distance walks. Opened on 24th April 1965, it paved the way for public access to some of England’s wildest landscapes.
With a combined ascent that exceeds the height of Mount Everest, the Pennine Way is arguably the most challenging National Trail in England and the route is recommended for experienced walkers who want a unique experience – but you don’t have to walk it all at once.
The Pennine Way is hilly and often remote. The terrain is varied and in some places the paths are smooth and firm, but in others the path may be narrow and uneven or wet and boggy. It’s best to take waterproofs and plenty of dry socks.
Walks Around Dufton
Length – 5.5 miles / 8.9 km
Ascent – 1250 feet / 379 metres
Time – 4 hours 0 minutes
Grade – easy/mod
Dufton Pike is a small hill with big views in the Northern Pennines. The walk starts from the village of Dufton, worth a visit in its own right, and follows a circular route. For those not wishing to make an ascent of the hill then the route can be easily adapted and used as a gentler circular walk.
This short circular walk starts from the attractive village of Dufton and follows the Pennine Way north before ascending Dufton Pike from where excellent views are reward for the effort required for the ascent. Dufton Pike takes a conical form when viewed from many directions and provides a convenient landmark in this part of the Vale of Eden.
The start is the village of Dufton where there is small car park adjacent to the public conveniences (Grid ref. NY689250). Exit the car park and turn left and the follow the road through the village towards Knock. Just after the road turns right to leave the village take the farm track that forks right (Grid ref. NY 688 253). This leads north with the Pennine Way joining from the right to reach Coatsyke Farm.
Continue north on the Pennine Way (Hurning Lane) to Halsteads. Just beyond here the track descends to cross Great Runsdale Beck at a gate. Just before the gate take the right hand grassy path (Grid ref. NY692273). You soon enter “Open Access” at a wall. Just beyond here go half right and head for the path that can be seen on the hillside ahead. This leads without further problem to the summit of Dufton Pike.
Because Dufton Pike is a solitary hill the views in all directions are worthwhile with the main Pennine ridge in view to the east and the Lakeland Fells visible across the Vale of Eden to the west. To continue descend by the clear path leaving the summit to the south-west. This leads down to a lane. Turn right and follow this track back to Dufton.
Note – The ascent of Dufton Pike described above does not involve any trespass. However there is a more direct path that starts before open access countryside is reached but this is not a public right of way.
Length – 9.3 miles / 15.1 km
Ascent – 1400 feet / 424 metres
Time – 6 hours 0 minutes
Grade – moderate
High Cup Nick in the Cumbrian Pennines is one of the great landscape features of the UK. This walk starts from Dufton with its beautiful village green and continues via Middle Tongue to reach High Cup Nick before returning along a section of the Pennine Way.
From the car park in Dufton go east along the road and Pennine Way to Bow Hall. Just past Bow Hall take the path on the right going south east towards Keisley. This follows the stone wall until Town Head. This can be wet underfoot but most of the stream crossings have little wooden footbridges. Go around the Town Head winery with it on your right hand side then before you get to Keisey House take the farm track to the right down to the Dufton to Murton minor road.
Turn left and follow the road past Keisley Bridge then take the footpath on the left to Harbour Flatt which is just over the hill in front of you. At the Harbour Flatt farm don’t go through the gate into the farmyard but bear left on the track that leads north east to open access land.
The track continues through a gate just before crossing Trundale Gill. You continue on the track uphill towards Middletongue Crag. As the stone track peters out the path goes to the right of Middletongue Crag. As the path continues to climb it is always distinguishable as what looks like a farmer’s quad-bike track. There are good views to the right of Trundale and Murton Fell.
Carry on across Middle Tongue which can also be quite wet underfoot and cross the stile at grid ref. NY742252. At this point you continue on the path that follows the edge of High Cup Scar. Some way along here you may prefer to walk further away from the edge on the quad bike track that appears once more.
Continue to High Cup Nick where you turn west when you see the boundary stones and then join the Pennine Way. The view from High Cup Nick is spectacular.
The Pennine Way going back towards Dufton is well marked all the way – again there are sections of path that are not as close to the edge for anyone who prefers to take them. Continue on the Pennine Way via Narrow Gate and Dod Hill back to Bow Hall and Dufton.
Length – 10.5 miles / 17.1 km
Ascent – 1400 feet / 424 metres
Grade – moderate
Start – OS grid reference NY689249
Lat 54.618284 + Long -2.4831188
Postcode CA16 6DE
This is a “five star” route that includes interesting geology, wild moorland and fantastic views all contained in a few square miles of the North Pennines. One word of warning is that the section from Great Runsdale Tarn to the bridge on the Pennine Way over Maize Beck could be very wet underfoot after rain with an added risk of flash floods. Care is therefore needed. Despite this warning, crossing this desolate moorland is easy from a navigational point of view provided you do not stray from the beck.
The start is the attractive village of Dufton (Grid ref. NY689249) a few miles north along a minor road from the A66 at Appleby-in-Westmoreland. There is a small car park, a pub, village store and tearoom together with public toilets. Exit the car park and walk back towards Appleby (south) following the road around to the left. Where the lane turns right walk straight ahead along a lane. Keep to the right where the track divides (Grid ref. NY 691 252) and with improving views ahead climb steadily with conically shaped Dufton Pike to your left.
Having reached a col due east of Dufton Pike the track descends slightly before entering a deep steep sided valley where evidence of former mine working can be seen. The track continues to climb but never steeply into the narrowing valley. Stay on the track past a section that has seen recent reconstruction towards a shooting cabin. From here the northern shore of Great Runsdale Tarn is just over a hundred metres south.
Turn left along the shore and locate the outflow. This is Maize Beck and needs to be followed downstream for approximately 2.5 km. There is a path of sorts and it will probably be fairly damp underfoot so be prepared for some “bog trotting”. The view ahead across some of the wildest moors in England is dominated by the whaleback of Mickle Fell.
Reaching a footbridge over Maize Beck means that you have reached the Pennine Way. Turn right (southwest) to follow this National Trail, which is marked by posts, across a limestone pavement to reach spectacular High Cup Nick. This is where the Whin Sill, which is formed of blue-grey dolerite, has provided extra resistance to glaciers and formed one of the most spectacular natural features in the UK.
After spending some time taking in the view, which on my last visit included every peak in Lakeland, follow the wide path along the northern rim. This is again the Pennine Way and is followed all the way back to Dufton. On reaching the road through the village, turn right and follow it back to the start.