High Cup Nick

High Cup known as the Grand Canyon of the Pennines is deep chasm on the Pennine fellside, this famous nick, a dramatic geological formation at the top of High Cup Gill is part of the well-known Whin Sill (which also forms part of Hadrian’s Wall), it overlooks the best glaciated valley in Northern England.

Ever since I first saw a picture of this feature I’ve wanted to see it for myself and stand at the end overlooking it. So as I was up in the area doing the Fred Whitton cycle Challenge and it was a stonking day with not a cloud in the sky I decided there no time like the present.

I did a simple there and back route from Dufton along the Pennine Way. I was lucky enough to get the last space in the free car park next to the public toilets. To pick up the Pennine way from here you walk back along the Appleby road until a dip in the road where you pick up the Pennine Way on the left, it is clearly signposted. As expected being on a National Trail and in clear conditions the navigation on this walk was very simple. The first section takes you up along a farm track passing fields of new lambs looking very cute. You do gain height quickly along this section but it is nothing too strenuous and it wasn’t long before I passed through some gates onto the open moor land. The ground was looking very dry and parched.

After a short while the first sight of the far flanks of High Cup comes into view. Then a cracking walk along the Narrow Gate Path towards the Nick follows until eventually you reach High Cup Nick and wow, what a view, standing at the Nick looking down the glacial valley is an awesome sight which lived up to my expectations.  I sat there eating my lunch just looking out over it for a good while, I could have easily stayed there a lot longer but I had a long drive back home to do, so I reluctantly dragged myself away and retraced my walk back down to Dufton, my car and then home .


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