37. High Cup Nick
Meeting Point: Public Car park, Dufton, Appleby-in-Westmorland, CA16 6DB
We begin one of the more spectacular stages of The Big Smile at Dufton - climbing up between Dufton Pike and Bluethwaite Hill, before continuing up towards Great Rundale Tarn. We turn and cross over the hills passing between Seamore Tarn and Little Rundale Tarn.
From here we curve around towards High Cup Nick at the head of an almost geometrically perfect U-shaped chasm, deeply incised into the Pennine scar - thought to be glacial in origin.
In his book ‘Pennine Way Companion’, Alfred Wainwright memorably described seeing it as, “a great moment in the journey”.
We then follow the Narrowgate path back along the valley, enjoying the view much as Wainwright did, before dropping down towards Dufton. A demanding but memorable stage in the Pennines.
Distance: 18.5 km (11.5 miles)
Difficulty Rating: ★★★★☆