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This walk explores the magnificent U-shaped glacial valley of High Cup Nick in the Northern Pennines from the picturesque village of Dufton.
Carpark: High Force Waterfall Car Park
Barnard Castle, Forest-in-Teesdale, Barnard Castle DL12 0XH
Often dubbed ‘The Grand Canyon of the Pennines’, High Cup Nick is one of those places that has to be seen to be believed.
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In stark contrast to the rounded, sweeping hills that surround it, this spectacular gorge looks like it’s been carved out of the landscape by a giant ice cream scoop.
The distinctive ring of dark crags around the rim of the valley is formed from a layer of tough grey-blue dolerite, which gives the whole place a dramatic and almost otherworldly feel. The best viewpoint is found at the head of the canyon, above the jumble of rocks that spill down to the valley floor.
If you’re feeling adventurous you can scramble down the rocks into the valley, or follow this route past High Scald Fell and Dufton Pike back to your start point.
This route was voted 30th in a 2017 ITV poll to find Britain’s Favourite Walk.
TOG VERDICT: High Cup Nick is a place that must be seen to be believed – they don’t call it the Grand Canyon of the Pennines for nothing!