High Cup Nick

  • A geography lesson for anyone
  • Well situated above pretty Dufton
  • Great views over the Eden Valley

After miles and miles of hard, but typical walking along the rough moorland of the central spine of England walkers completing the Pennine Way suddenly come across the spectacular geographical  feature of High Cup Nick and the impressive  glaciated U shaped valley of High Cup Gill. It is a glorious situation, one of the very best in Northern England with the valley opening up under your feet and the wide expanses of the  Eden Valley glistening in the distance.

However for those not wanting to undertake the Pennine Way the simple ascent from Dufton is rightly popular and great walk for anyone, last time I was up I passed a school party who were clearly enjoying themselves (well done the teachers, a real lesson when geography comes alive).

Recommend: A steep descent through the nick brought me quickly to the valley floor and a different perspective off both the valley and its head.

Download GPX files

High Cup Nick map

All maps are copyright of Where2Walk ©2018

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL19 Howgills & the Upper Eden Valley Buy Map Now
Start Point: NY 690250. A clear sign to the Nick is at the east end of Dufton
Height to Climb: 455ms (1,492 feet)
Terrain: The Pennine Way is followed to the Nick itself and the return is via a grassy path in the valley floor
Eating & Drinking: Enjoy the excellent Stag Inn in Dufton
Similar Walks Nearby: Great Dun Fell from Dufton
Melmerby Fell
Dufton Pike
Places to Stay:


  1. Jonathan says:

    Hi all,

    Dogs need to be kept under control as it is sheep country but a great walk for them, if they are not under your control then on a lead.
    I cannot agree with John on the water, it is always essential you carry your own water and snacks, even though there are streams there is always a slight risk in drinking from them.
    I have just put a new blog on my latest walk up High Cup Nick here

  2. John Bedlington says:

    It is very suitable for dogs as long as you keep them on a lead. There are several springs/small streams that cross the path so you don’t need to carry water. No part of the walk could be classed as a climb. Good shoes or boots essential and waterproofs as the helm wind can change suddenly and bring rain over the tops.

  3. Jackie says:

    Is this walk suitable for dogs?

  4. Jonathan says:

    Probably but I have not completed it with Debbie North yet. My memory says the route up to High Cup Noick from Dufton is fine but I cant be sure. Will update soon once we have done it. There is a nice bridleway circular to the south as well. Could be perfect!

  5. Steve Byrne says:

    Would this walk be doable in my terrain hopper?

  6. Harry says:

    Mostly signposted very well, and as it is on the Pennine Way it has a clear track. Fantastic walk though.

  7. Jean says:

    Not for the faint hearted but well worth it if you have good knees as the rough stoned roads and some of the grassland are a challenge especially if a novice walker. A lovely climb to meet and greet other walkers

  8. Jonathan says:

    Yes it is as it follows the route of the Pennine Way

  9. Steve Warren says:

    Is this clearly signposted and a track to follow for novices

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