One of the many reasons people visit the Eden Valley is for the peace and tranquility away from the crowded Lake District. Whether walking or cycling you will find the lanes and footpaths much less trodden in this part of Cumbria.
The walking may not be quite so high, but that doesn’t make it any less spectacular. Probably the most famous example is the renowned High Cup Nick, nicknamed the Grand Canyon of the North of England with its magnificent bowl shape carved out of the Pennines by ancient glaziers. It’s also on the Pennine Way and is a wonderful sight after a long trudge across from Middleton in Teesdale, and signifies that a well earned pint at the Stag in Dufton is soon to be enjoyed.
However, the beauty of staying in Dufton is that the 4 mile walk to the Nick is easily accessible from Shepherds View without taking the car, as the route up to High Cup starts in the village. It is a popular but not crowded walk, particularly in the summer, and it is well worth the effort as the view, which you only get near the end, is stunning.
As an alternative our favoured approach is from Murton, the next village on from Dufton. You can park in the village car park and follow a well marked route up the edge of Murton Pike before eventually bursting out on to High Cup itself. Returning back down the eastern shoulder the overall route is a lot easier and less trodden than the Pennine Way and you enjoy stunning views of High Cup and the Eden Valley seemingly for far longer. Round trip of c.8 miles in less than 4 hours including plenty of time to rest and enjoy lunch and the views!