Route: The Stag, Dufton - Pennine Way - St Cuthbert's
Church - Knock - Great Rundale Beck - Pus Gill - The Stag, Dufton
here for Map
Start: The Stag, Dufton. The inn is at the centre
of the village, which is several miles north of Appleby-in-Westmorland
and is signposted off the A66.
1 From the front of the inn bear left and walk
along the road beside the green. Dufton Pike soars skyward immediately
behind the village; further away to the north, on the horizon,
are the high tops of Cross Fell and Dun Fell, with the distinctive
white globe of its radar station standing out as a useful directional
landmark. Follow the road round the left bend and then as it swings
right by Dufton and Knock Methodist church, go straight on to
join a track signposted High Scald Fell. Follow the route of the
Pennine Way down the slope and after about 120 yards, at the first
intersection, veer left thought a gate - a sign requests you to
keep it closed.
2 Follow the path and soon you pass through two
gates in quick succession. Continue between fences and fields
and go through several more gates. Cross Eller Beck and go on
through another gate. Avoid a track running off sharply to the
left and begin to approach a bungalow at Coatsike Farm. Just before
it, take the path heading obliquely left (signposted Knock). In
high summer it is quite overgrown here, with banks of undergrowth
threatening to engulf the path. However, the route is not impenetrable!
Cross a stile, then a beck and follow the path between ancient
stones and deadwood. Enter a field via a gate and follow its left
hand edge towards St Cuthbert's Church. Pass through the squeeze
stile into the churchyard and take the permitted path round the
side of the building to a gate in the far boundary.
St Cuthbert's Church
The present church is late 18th century and
replaces an earlier stone building dating back to 1293. Many of
the miners who worked in the area are buried in the churchyard,
their corpses carried on horseback across the fells. The church
is named after St Cuthbert whose body was carried across the North
Pennines by monks from Lindisfarne attempting to flee the Vikings
in 875 AD.
3 Cross the field, pass over a beck and make
for a stile in the next wall. Continue across the next field until
you reach a wooden footbridge over a beck. In the next field keep
to the right-hand boundary, cross the stone stile and then turn
right to follow the lane to Knock. When it bends sharp left in
the village, go straight on to join a track (signposted Cross
4 Follow the track until you reach a stile and
footpath sign to Dufton on the right. Keep to the track as it
bends left and runs up a slope to another stile in the right-hand
fence. Descend to the corner of the field, cross into the field
on the left and then follow the path about Knock Gill, a striking
wooded ravine. Follow the path down to the water's edge and cross
the stepping stones. Pass through the stone stile in the wall and
follow the narrow path as it traverses the slopes of Great Rundale
Beck. Go up to a stile and then head across the open moorland
with the tree-lined beck down to your right. Keep going until
you reach the next wall where there is a stone stile. Turn right,
briefly rejoining the route of the Pennine Way, and cross the
ancient clapper bridge over the Great Rundale Beck.
5 Once through the stone stile beyond it, turn
left to follow the track along the lower flanks of Dufton Pike.
At the next gate go over the adjoining stile. Glancing away to
the left reveals a view of the drystone wall running in a neat
line up the fellside. Go over a stone stile in the next boundary
wall and continue along the open moorland path until it merges
with a clear track. The walk crosses an isolated, primitive landscape
of limestone shale and bleak fells. Lime was once quarried in
this area. At the next junction bear right to join a bridleway
running down towards Dufton. A magnificent view of Dufton and
the Eden Valley opens up before you now.
6 Pass through several gates and continue.
The Pus Gill runs parallel to the track. Cross Eller Beck and
soon you rejoin the Pennine Way on the approach to Dufton
village. Retrace your steps to the road, turn right and walk back
to the Inn for a well deserved drink!