Sunday 11 August 2013

Short walk

Tuesday saw me once more heading north. It was Appleby this time. Arriving early afternoon, no time was wasted in heading over to Dufton. Footpaths in that direction are quite abysmal and I arrived in the village hot and bothered. A quick visit to the tea shop for some much needed refreshments and then I was underway again. My goal for the afternoon was High Cup Nick.

A long, steady plod up, warm work. My actual aim was for Maize Beck Scar. A lovely spot for a wild camp. Arrived fairly late and was tired. The midges where out in force which was a tad tedious.

 Wednesday was another warm day, overcast at times though. There is a path marked on the map from the bridge at The Scar, however, it is a vague affair. Basically I picked my own way across to the second bridge which in turn links up with the main Pennine Way path.

Unfortunately I was having an off day. Nothing specific, just moving slow and unable to pick up any pace. Despite leaving quite early, time was running on by the time I made it down to Cow Green.

Pushing on down toward Middy Bank farm, I stopped to take stock of the situation. What to do? Carrying on to where I really wanted to be, would mean a long day and probably a late stop. Stop early and push on over Thursday and Friday would more than likely mean two fairly extensive days. There was nothing to prove, no hard and fast deadlines to meet. Mind, it was disappointing not to have done what I set out to do. Turning back a bit I found spot out of the way for the tent and pitched camp.

Thursday morning the midges where bad, swarms of them. Packing up was done in a hurry. With all previous plans scrapped, I now headed back up toward Cow Green. Then it was a wander on toward Maize beck. Doing a loop I came by Maize Beck Scar and camped. The tent was pitched in a slightly exposed position so that the strong breeze kept the midges at bay. The day had been overcast and grey but brightened up late afternoon.

During the night the wind rose and it began to rain. Soon the tent was being strongly buffeted and torrential rain hammered off the flysheet. Unfortunately I had to get out of the tent in a hurry a few times over the course of the night. Just another bout of ongoing illness. It meant getting very wet and cold which was unpleasant.
Friday saw my plans for the day, which involved heading over toward Great Rundale tarn,  abandoned. It was late morning before the weather cleared. Around midday I packed up and headed across High Cup plain and took a slow stroll back down to Dufton. Booked in to the youth hostel for the night.

Saturday was a walk back to Appleby with thin, misty rain drifting in. Not a very productive few days but it was good to get out.


  1. This seems to be a particularly bad year for midges - they've deterred me from taking myself off to the wilder places.

    Isn't High Cup Nick spectacular? Your photos are brill!


  2. Thank you John. Have been badly mauled by the midges. High Cup Nick is certainly breath taking.

  3. The midges in the North Pennines are probably the worst that I have ever come across, vicious buggers.

    I used to walk in from Appleby when I did not have a car, although I just pounded the lanes to get it all over and done quickly!

  4. Very vicious indeed James.

  5. Good to see you are out and about after your recent issues. Hope all is now sorted.
    Great pics of the HCN.

  6. Thank you Alan. Issues continue, just have to work around them.

  7. High Cup Nick looks spectacular, have to go and visit at some stage! As for the midges, "Don't let the b******ds grind you down!

  8. Hi Howellsey, yes indeed, High Cup Nick is worth a visit