This is perhaps not the absolute best route to High Cup Nick, but County Durham guided walks guidance for guided walks leaders leading guided walks is that a guided walk should start at a car park in County Durham, which this one does, although most of this guided walk is in Cumbria.
High Cup Nick is, of course, one of the England’s most impressive sights – a huge scree-filled valley enclosed by steep dolerite crags. As if you didn’t know.
Me and Lucky The Dog (LTD) did the reccy for this walk on 30 May in perishingly cold but sunny conditions.
The reccy went swimmingly well and we met hardly anybody and on the day (last Wednesday as it happens) 13 walkers including me, Neville the Steward assisted by Barbara and Sheila turned up at Cow Green in similarly chilly but grey weather. Lucky is not allowed to accompany a walk leader, so he stayed home. Where it was warm.
I’ll just let the pics do most of the talking here. For those interested in such things – the route follows the Nature trail/road to Cow Green dam from Cow Green car park, visits Cauldron Snout and then follows the Pennine Way to High Cup Nick, returning the same way except for a bit of a loop around the old foul weather/flood route via the Maize Beck limestone gorge.
It’s 14 miles or so of fairly easy walking.
Some would claim that they final mile or so from the Dam back to the cars is a bit of a trial.
The best bit is the dreary approach to the Nick which is revealed quite suddenly and impressively. It’s the contrast, see?
And then there’s the flowers by the nature trail.
And Cauldron Snout.
I also found two small groups of remembrance poppy crosses – one group of two and one of five, both quite close to the Pennine Way footbridge. There are records of five air military air accidents in the immediate locality and these include 5 fatalities in a Hudson aircraft in September 1942 and 2 more in a Meteor in 1954. I am assuming that the crosses have a link to these incidents, although I have no direct proof at the moment.
Note that walkers without a dog visiting when Dufton Fell is not closed at the land manager’s discretion and who have lots of energy could return to Cow Green Dam via the summit of Meldon Hill