logo Walking Britain

North Pennines Walk
Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland

Region - North Pennines

County/Area - Cumbria - North Pennines

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 12.0 miles / 19.5 km    Ascent - 3100 feet / 939 metres

Time - 9 hours 10 minutes    Grade - mod/hard

Start - OS grid reference NY646324
Lat 54.685397 // Long -2.550615
Postcode CA10 1RN (approx. location only)
what3words start elevates.crank.tinned

Maps Ordnance Survey Logo Anquet Maps Logo

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

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Photo from the walk - Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Photo from the walk - Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Photo from the walk - Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Photo from the walk - Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Photo from the walk - Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The Pennine Hills form the backbone of England and Cross Fell is their highest point. This walk includes some wild country and it is recommended that a fine day is chosen before setting out. Even in fine weather Cross fell can attract a covering of cloud so it is essential that you have good navigational skills, an appropriate map and suitable equipment.

Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland Cross Fell & Great Dun Fell from Kirkland 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The start is the small village of Kirkland (Grid ref. NY646324) where a number of roadside parking opportunities exist. Having parked continue up the lane past Kirkland Hall onto a clear track. Ahead lies the massive bulk of Cross Fell rising in layers to the summit plateau (893 m). The track rises gently at first but steepens after Kirkland Beck. Where the gradient becomes more taxing, the track loops up the hillside before the gradient eases. Where the track goes sharp left (Grid ref. NY 671 348) continue ahead on a clear path past the decaying corrugated iron bothy to reach the Pennine Way (Grid ref. NY 684 352).

Turn right and continue climbing to reach Cross Fell's summit plateau. There are a number of cairns indicating the path with the summit occupied by a trig column with a large wind-shelter close to hand. The view is superb with the Vale of Eden below and the Lakeland Fells occupying the horizon with Blencathra easily identified.

Leave the summit in a southeasterly direction following the Pennine Way south. You descend through rough scree to Tees Head (the source of the River Tees) to where you will return after visiting the next two summits. The Pennine Way in this area is well maintained and progress onto Little Dun Fell and Great Dun Fell (with its radar station) is fast.

The views from Great Dun Fell are much the same as those from Cross Fell but you do get a better look at the rough moorland to the southeast that stretched into Teesdale. Turning north, retrace your steps to Tees Head (Grid ref. NY 696 338) and locate the indistinct path back into the Vale of Eden. Close to it is hard to see but from 50 metres away you can see a distinct line in the moorland.

Having located this path descend southwest across the southern flank of Cross Fell. In places the going is a little wet underfoot but in general the path is easy to follow and distinct. Descend steeply over Wildboar Scar and continue past Grumply Hill to reach sheep pens after crossing to the north side of Crowdundle Beck (Grid ref. NY 661 317). Continue between wall to reach Wythwaite. Turn right here and follow the track towards Ranbeck Farm. Just before reaching the latter turn left along the track to exit on the road in Kirkland.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1715 Dufton Pike and Dufton from Knock - easy - 5.0 miles/8.1 km

Walk 1339 High Cup Nick from Dufton - moderate - 10.5 miles/17.1 km

Walk 3011 Dufton Pike from Dufton - easy/mod - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Walk 3070 Knock Fell & High Cup Nick from Dufton - mod/hard - 12.0 miles/19.5 km

Walk 3421 High Cup Nick from Dufton via Middle Tongue - moderate - 9.3 miles/15.1 km

Walk 1784 Rutter Force & Hoff Beck from Appleby - easy/mod - 8.0 miles/13 km

Walk 3758 Tynehead and Ashgill Force from near Garrigill - easy/mod - 8.2 miles/13.3 km

Walk 1084 Garrigill to Alston & back via Nenthead - moderate - 13.1 miles/21.3 km

Walk 3274 Cronkley Scar & Cauldron Snout from Cow Green - moderate - 8.0 miles/13 km

Walk 1683 High Cup Nick from Cow Green Reservoir - moderate - 12.8 miles/20.8 km

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking in Cumbria's Eden Valley

Walking in Cumbria's Eden ValleyGuidebook to 30 graded walks in Cumbria's Eden Valley. The routes, which range from 3 to 15 miles and are best from bases such as Kirkby Stephen and Appleby, explore the region's diverse landscapes and offer dramatic views, either of the Pennines, Lake District or the Scottish hills. Linear routes link with the Settle-Carlisle railway.
More information

Walking the Lake District Fells - Buttermere

Walking the Lake District Fells - ButtermerePart of the Walking the Lake District Fells series, this guidebook covers a wide range of routes to 32 Lakeland summits that can be climbed from the Buttermere, Lorton and Newlands valleys, with highlights including Haystacks, High Stile, Grasmoor and the fells of the Coledale Round. Suggestions for longer ridge routes are also included.
More information

Map and Compass

Map and CompassAn instructive guidebook explaining map and compass techniques, to help readers enhance their outdoor experiences. Whether you are experienced in map-reading, or have never used a compass before, this guidebook will sharpen your skills and have you exploring new areas in no time. There are also tips for GPS and digital mapping technologies.
More information

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

Facebook Twitter

CBD For Walking & Hiking

Discover the benefits of CBD for walkers and hikers. More info.

Mountain Weather

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

Digital Mapping Guide

Digital Mapping Guide - a simple guide of how to start using digital mapping. Includes advice and useful links.