Dufton Pike – Little Hill With Miles Of Beauty
It was a nice day, was sat drinking a coffee in the garden. I looked around and saw my boots, I looked up and towards the Pennines and put both together on a whim… as I do One of the great benefits of now living in the Eden Valley, Cumbria is that (when home) I am spoilt for choice. This gorgeous landscape of a wide valley is surrounded by outstanding beauty in all directions. The Lake District a few miles west, the Northern Pennines rising in the East, The Howgills appear when looking South, giving way to the Yorkshire Dales and of course Scotland’s border not far North. Alas I digress, this fine day I had a few hours daylight to enjoy, so I followed my nose to Dufton Pike.
When thinking of Cumbria, many only think of The Lake District. Of course the mountains and lakes are incredible and a favourite haunt. But this side of Cumbria, on the other side of the M6, gives rise to views, nature and lanscapes that would give any area of beauty a run for its money.. Maybe thanks to the fact so many tourists turn left from up the motorway to the Lakes then those that know this side of Cumbria have the calm and beauty to ourselves.
Just a couple miles North of Appleby I had reached the small car park in the picturesque and historic village of Dufton. Quiet and colourful like stepping back in time. A great village green surrounded by buildings dating back to the 17th Century. One thing you cannot miss is the cone shape of Dufton Pike rising up behind.
The circular route from the village centre is perfect for those with only a couple/few hours or if you like to wander there are so many ways to go here and for variety too. The path soon has you heading towards one side of the pike, the steep southern side. Now then, here is where the geological anomalies show themselves up close in the views. Behind the Pike sits the high Pennines stretching way North and South, all granite and limestone. Dufton Pike sits at the bottom edge in the dramatic cone shape, it is not alone. If you look in the North/South Line you will see a couple more coned pikes all lined up. This is not granite or limestone, this is very ancient volcanic rock a la central Lake District type. An ancient fault in the earth is the small dell of a gap between these unique peaks and the Pennines themselves.
Up and up the steep side you go, legs getting a good little workout, the Autumn fresh air getting the lungs going, before you know it you are at the top! And, wow, the view was more spectacular than I thought it would be. A place to sit, a place to look out in wonder. The Eden Valley stretches out below, a great wide green valley of rolling fields. Its backdrop, the Lake District. I actually sat there longer than normal even for me. Savoured every minute.
Even the hounds came along on this, they enjoyed the rest too. However their backdrop here in the distance of Blencathra would be quite a bit too much for them
So, it was time to head down, but down the other side. It leads into a gorgeous dell of fruit trees and streams. Plus the occasional mud bath for the dogs. We all loved it though. Down the streams, through the woods and back to Dufton Village.
What a whim, what a day.. Refreshed for a new week. Thank you nature.