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Walking in Cumbria and Beyond

The Pennines in Cumbria

The Pennines in Cumbria

It now seems an age ago – Christmas – but I am rather behind on blogs and walks and so must remember.  A couple of posts back I commented on all the long distance walks going through Cumbria.  One being the Pennine way which hugs the eastern periphery.  From either railway or road the mass of the Pennines defines transport links ancient and new, but far from being a solid mass I was surprised by how small peaks, or ‘pikes’ are littered along the edges as if carelessly broken off the main massif.

So East Cumbria has opened up the delights of the Pennine Way.  Firstly with my walk up Cross Fell.  I think this was the last day of summer 2012.  Then touching on it again with a hike up Pen y Ghent.  A distinctly un summers day with somewhat soggy conditions.  But I was introduced to the Settle to Carlisle Railway.  A delight in itself as it winds through the Eden Valley with its viaducts and stations still wearing Victorian splendour.   Restored as may be.  So while exploring some of the Pennine Way it is worth adding in the Eden Valley. Especially if you want a break from hills.


Duffton Pike from Brownber

So back, via a rather circuitous route, to Christmas Day and Dufton.  Dufton Village is apparently, one of the village stop off points on the Pennine Way.  On Christmas Day it was our rather dull starting point and the pictures were grasped between breaks in the clouds. 

North  East Hills

North Eastern Hills from Brownber

Our highest point and appropriate place for a rather unusual Christmas lunch of mulled wine and flapjack, was Brownber Hill, from which we dropped down to the Pennine way, following it to our return in the village.  Not before navigating a great deal of water eager to escape from overflowing streams and becks.  The celebrations became a little more traditional in front of the fire in The Stag pub.


In that suspended time between Christmas and New Year Murton Pike was a convenient place to shed the odd calorie and exercise the dog, with a short walk up a little bit of a hill.  Though there has been little sign of clear sky this winter when the clouds did deign to part, these Pennine tops send you over to the east as well as the Lakes, with names of the dales and other far flung places dotted within eyesight.    Even the houses are different from the west of Cumbria.  Lakeland homes are defined by the grey slate.  Kendal’s old name of the ‘auld grey town’, coming from more than the weather, the Eden Valley in particular has much softer stone and is quite strikingly red.


The best light of the day

I admire anyone who sets off on any long distance walk, be it in the UK or otherwise. Even my recent walking holiday in Bhutan was in the somewhat luxurious style of day walks with local lodges, as opposed to the long hikes taking several days. I digress. My point is, I hope to show that it is possible to enjoy these National Trails without having to commit to the ‘whole hog’, though I have filed ‘must do one some day…’ away in that every growing bucket list.

Dufton walk from: N&690 251


and Murton Pike from NY 728 218


Try this book for walks on those smaller hills in the UK

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