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The Beautiful Village of Dufton in the Eden Valley

Driving into Dufton you immediately feel the appeal of this sleepy fellside village. The village is dominated by views of the impressive Pennine range including Cross Fell, Great Dun Fell with the radar station, and Dufton Pike. Whilst in the village itself the distinctive sandstone buildings flank the village green with the iconic fountain and the pub in the centre of the village. Dufton is on the Pennine Way and is the key staging post between Alston and Middleton in Teesdale, so if you like walking or just looking at beautiful scenery then you will be perfectly at home here. However, there are several other features of the area that make this such a unique place to visit.

Food & Drink and Events
The Stag InnAt one time there were several pubs in the village to support the many miners working in the area. Now there is only one, the Stag Inn, but with an excellent range of food and drink available Dufton is none the worse for this reduction in choice. For alternative refreshment the Post Box Pantry café offers a variety of food and drink choices from 10am to 4.30pm from Easter through to October. Additionally, the village hall also puts on occasional events for the benefit of locals and visitors alike, including Art in the Hills in July and the High Cup Nick fell race in late February. Visiting the village on the last Saturday in August gives the treat of the Fellside Royal Show which showcases all that is great about this beautiful rural area.

Industrial Heritage
Much of the recent history of the village centres around lead mining and the London Lead Company, the Quaker run philanthropic mining company, controlled the mines in this area. They were responsible in developing the cottages and layout of the village and also introduced a water supply system with supply points including the central fountain/trough at the heart of the village, which was built c.1858.

Dufton fountain

Geology & Walks

Resting on High Cup Within a short distance of the village green it is possible to see the impact of many of the geological events that have created the scenery of the British Isles. Dufton Pike, Knock Pike and Murton Pike are the result of volcanic activity, with the valley of High Cup a magnificent example of glacial and river erosion. More information of what can be seen can be found here, and what better way to enjoy them than to take one of the many local footpaths up or around these features. Running behind the village is the serene Dufton Ghyll, a stream that flows through a river cut sandstone valley, the perfect place to see red squirrels playing at any time, and bluebells in May.


Helm Wind

Dufton is famous for it’s Helm Wind, which is the only named wind in the British Isles. It blows down from the Cross Fell escarpment and is a fierce easterly wind, sometimes lasting for days, and strong enough to blow sheep off their feet. It is caused due to the particular combination of circumstances in the area and can appear all of sudden at any of time of the year, with a cap of cloud called the Helm Bar forming across the fells above the village and often accompanied with the sound as if of a jet engine. Bizarrely you can drive 5 or 6 miles either side of the village or downinto Appleby and not even feel the effects of the wind!Helm Bar

4 great reasons to make Shepherds View the base for your next staycation

As we all get used to the new norms of a post lockdown world there has been a massive surge in people looking for staycations in the UK. Many have turned to the standard honey-pots of Devon and Cornwall or the Lakes, which can only lead to an increase in these areas of visitor numbers and indeed prices. It’s time to think again and look a little further afield at an area of equal beauty, but far less crowded, the Eden Valley on the eastern edge of Cumbria.

Shepherds View could be just what you are looking for and here are 4 great reasons why:-

1. Stay In!

You don’t have to be big on the outdoors to come here. We’ve got the Visit England 5 star gold award for a reason. If your idea of a good holiday is finishing off some books in peace and quiet then why not sit in our feature window with a glorious view changing in front of you by the hour. We are complimented on our well-equipped kitchen so you won’t have to remember to bring with you any of your essential kitchen utensils. Take a well-earned soak in our jacuzzi bath and enjoy one of the hydrotherapy programmes, or binge watch a couple of series on Netflix with the log burner keeping you toasty. Whenever the weather allows then we have a private garden for you to sit and relax in as well.

Did we mention the bed? The superking with Hypnos mattress is frequently mentioned by guests and is designed to give you a great nights sleep ready for tomorrows adventures (or relaxation)!

2. Leave the Car!

You don’t have to drive anywhere if you don’t want to. There are numerous walks from the door of differing lengths and ability, and we’ve written them up for you so that you get a flavour of our beautiful area. Of course, you might want to walk up the jewel of the Pennines, High Cup, but we’ve got you covered on this one as well, even suggesting a quieter alternative route to the more popular way. If cycling is your thing then we have safe storage for you, and we’ve drawn out some of our favourite cycle routes for you along the quiet lanes linking the pretty fellside villages.

3. Take the Car!

If you want to explore then Dufton is such a great location to drive out from. Ullswater, with all it has to offer is only 25 minutes drive away, and Keswick on Derwent Water only 45 minutes. Similarly, if you want to go to High Force in Teesdale then you are only 45 minutes drive as well, and the Eden is also on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Other than travelling into the Lakes many of these routes are less busy and so you can expect a much more pleasant journey. Finally if you want to get your eyes tested then Barnard Castle is only a short trip east along the A66!

4. Eat Out!

We are lucky enough to have a great pub, the Stag, in Dufton. Only a 2 minute walk from the cottage if you don’t feel like cooking then you can’t go wrong here. The pub has a great reputation for good wholesome food and great beer, and what could be better after a long walk or bike ride!

Grand Canyon of the North

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!

High Cup Nick