Warning: mysqli_fetch_array() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, null given in /var/www/vhosts/walkingbritain.co.uk/httpdocs/walk-description.php on line 91
High Cup Nick from Cow Green Reservoir - North Pennines Walk
logo Walking Britain

North Pennines Walk
High Cup Nick from Cow Green Reservoir

Region - North Pennines

County/Area - Durham & - PW North Pennines

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 12.8 miles / 20.8 km    Ascent - 600 feet / 182 metres

Time - 7 hours 0 minutes    Grade - moderate

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

Ordnance Survey Explorer OL19Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL19Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Explorer OL31Sheet Map1:25kBUY
Anquet OS Explorer OL31Digital Map1:25kBUY
Ordnance Survey Landranger 91Sheet Map1:50kBUY
Anquet OS Landranger 91Digital Map1:50kBUY

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - High Cup Nick from Cow Green Reservoir
Click image to see photo description.

The North Pennines offer some wonderful walking through often wild and windswept landscapes. This walk uses a lengthy section of the Pennine Way which makes route finding much easier yet it still retains the natural characteristics of the area. The route is, in effect, an out and back walk something I'm not usually in favour of but in this case I feel the choice is justified. The walk is not demanding with little ascent yet the length and remoteness does mean you should be well prepared and carry food and drink. If you have the benefit of two cars then the walk could be extended to the village of Dufton making it a one-way walk.

The start is the small car park above Cow Green Reservoir (grid ref. NY810309) where you immediately get a feeling of the wild country you are about to traverse. From the car park walk back up the road and take the first path on the right (grid ref. NY812307) heading roughly south east. Reaching a cross track, turn left and continue to a tarmac track. Turn right and follow this access road to the dam to join the Pennine Way. Drop down to cross the river bridge, keeping left at the junction just over the river and continue to Birkdale (grid ref. NY804278).

At grid ref. NY768267 you reach a bridge over Maize Beck. The westbound Pennine Way offers a choice of route from here, with a path on both the northern and southern sides of the Beck. For the purposes of this walk cross the Beck and follow the southern route of the Pennine Way. This will lead you without any further navigational problems to High Cup Nick. When approaching from this direction High Cup Nick is seen unfolding in a dramatic fashion and it is not until you have reached the crags at the edge of the glacial valley that you can fully appreciate this natural wonder.

Until this point you are unlikely to have seen many walkers but the "Nick" is a popular destination from the village of Dufton so you are unlikely to be able to enjoy the scenery in solitude. The return route follows the outward route. However a visit to Cauldron Snout close to the dame across the outlet to Cow Green Reservoir should not be missed. After crossing the bridge below the dam, turn right and follow the Pennine Way for a short distance. The wonderful waterfall of Cauldron Snout will soon be reached. After enjoying the spectacle, retrace your steps back to the dam, bear right along the access track and you will soon be back at the start.


Other walks nearby

Walk 3274 Cronkley Scar & Cauldron Snout from Cow Greenmoderate8.0 miles
Walk 3336 Cauldron Snout from Cow Green Reservoir easy3.6 miles
Walk 3593 Meldon Hill from Cow Green Reservoirmoderate9.2 miles
Walk 3424 Cronkley Fell from Hanging Shaw easy/mod7.0 miles
Walk 3526 Hanging Shaw, Cronkley Scar, Low Force & High Forcemoderate12.7 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

The Pennine Way - the Path, the People, the Journey

The Pennine Way - the Path, the People, the JourneyA portrait of the The Pennine Way, Britain's oldest and best known long-distance footpath, stretching 268 miles from the Peak District to the Scottish Borders. This personal, thoughtful and often humorous story of the path's remarkable history, includes the experiences of walkers and local characters on this exhilarating and complex path.
More information

Walking in the North Pennines

Walking in the North PenninesThis guidebook describes 50 day walks across the North Pennines, England's remotest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty taking in parts of Cumbria, County Durham and Northumberland. Most of the routes are circular and they range from 5 to 14 miles, with something to suit all abilities. Route descriptions are accompanied by 1:50K OS mapping.
More information

Outdoor Photography

Outdoor PhotographyThis practical handbook covers digital outdoor photography and the whole range of outdoor activities including walking, running, cycling, water sports (in and on the water), as participant or spectator. Covers basic concepts, equipment and processing and optimising your images back at base.
More information

Further Information

Walk Location Map

Walk location map

North Pennines Walking

This AONB, the second largest in area, covers some wild and remote landscapes in northern England. The area is dominated by the Pennine hills and includes large areas of undulating heather moors and peat. More Information

Walk grading - Learn how each walk is assessed and select a walk to suit your ability and experience by going to Walk Grading Details.

Accommodation Nearby

Milburn Grange Holiday Cottages
Appleby-in-Westmorland
8.8 miles / 14.1 km away
* Featured Supplier
Appleby Manor Country House Hotel
Appleby-in-Westmorland
9.8 miles / 15.6 km away
The Hollies
Appleby-in-Westmorland
9.8 miles / 15.7 km away
Eden Holidays
Appleby-in-Westmorland
10.2 miles / 16.3 km away
Sycamore Barn
Reagill, Penrith
15.3 miles / 24.5 km away

Self Catering & Cottage Holidays - Properties throughout the UK & Europe

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news. Facebook Twitter

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains with detailed weather forecasts - for iOS devices or for Android devices.