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Explore the Pennines from the quiet solitude of the Eden Valley

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  • Duration

    2 Nights
  • Accommodation

  • Food

    Some provided. Details below
  • Difficulty Levels

    Multiple options available
    2 - 3

Towards the very top of England, where the Lake District shoots off to the west and the vast and beautiful moors of the Pennines run along the spine, lies the Eden Valley. This area of lowland hosts sparkling streams, quiet villages and breath-taking views of the surrounding hills. It’s the perfect place to explore on a sociable weekend away!

We’ll be staying in Dufton, right on the Pennine Way and beneath the great slopes that lead up to the hills surrounding the famous Cross Fell, the highest hill in England outside the Lake District. On this weekend of guided walking we’ll most likely spend one day exploring the hills, especially the dramatic viewpoint from High Cup Nick, before having a gentler Sunday stroll in the valley itself.

In a nutshell:

  • Explore the Eden Valley and the North Pennines over two days of sociable guided walks, where the aim is to explore the countryside and have a great day out.
  • Relax in our exclusive hostel, where the peace and quiet of the village will ease away the stresses of the working week.
  • Meet a friendly bunch of people and enjoy the evenings with endless hot drinks, freshly prepared food, and perhaps a glass of wine.
  • See a new part of the UK, where the sun-dappled woodlands of the valley lie right beneath the fantastic sight of the great North Pennines.


About the Area

Eden Valley and North Pennines

In the north-west of England, the mountains of the Lake District and the spine of the North Pennines are two opposing, and utterly different landscapes. Whereas Lakeland rises up as rocky mountains, flowing down to the east as rounded and grassy hills, the Pennines are giant raised moors, the western scarp like a great wave rearing up over the lowlands. In-between these two ranges of hills lies the Eden Valley, stretching from the Howgill Fells and Tebay in the south all the way up to the Scottish border, where the River Eden flows into the Solway Firth and then the Irish Sea. Here you’ll find woodlands, acres of lush green fields, the many tributaries of the Eden, and of course the timeless villages and towns that create the atmosphere in this northerly region. For walkers there are a vast array of paths criss-crossing the area, meaning it’s easy to see the valley and the hills in one weekend, or even one day!

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You’re welcome to arrive at any time after 5pm where your Large Outdoors host will be there ready to help you settle in. Hot drinks are always available and until dinner is served at 8pm the evening is yours to get to know your fellow walking companions and relax in the lounge!

After dinner we’ll run through the plans for the weekend, and make a final decision on the walks!


After an 8am breakfast and time to make packed lunches we’ll head out on the day’s walk. There are quite a few options running straight from the door, and we’ll always adapt the walk to the ability of the group. One of the best options could be:

A wander up to High Cup Nick starting from the door of the hostel. We’ll journey up along farm tracks before heading out into the open hills, following a well-used path that leads to High Cup Nick, the top of a glacially formed valley with fantastic views out over the Eden Valley. After admiring the surrounding crags, we’ll return back down into the valley via a different route, finishing with trails that lead alongside streams and woodlands back to the hostel.


Once we return to the hostel there will be plenty of time to shower and freshen up before your host prepares the evening meal, which we usually serve around 7.30pm. During the evening the place is yours; perhaps relax with a cup of tea or head down to the local pub!


After breakfast it’s time to pack up and leave the hostel. Today we head out for a morning walk of around 3 hours before finishing somewhere we can get lunch before heading home. As with Saturday’s walk there are a number of options, but one nearby possibility is the following:

Starting from the nearby town of Appleby-in-Westmorland, we’ll head out along the River Eden, which gives the valley its name. At the village of Great Ormside we’ll cross farmland to join the trail that runs alongside Hoff Beck, with the chance of seeing the waterfall of Rutter Force. This trail leads us gently back into Appleby for lunch!

We’re convinced that this weekend is the perfect introduction to the area, where you’ll see the hills, valleys and rivers that make the Eden Valley a real hidden gem of the north.

Our Base:

Right in the heart of the picturesque village of Dufton you will find Dufton YHa.

Venue Address:

YHA Dufton
CA16 6DB

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YHA Dufton
CA16 6DB
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What our members have to say...

  • I have been joining Large Outdoors on their outdoor adventures for many years now. I wasn’t always an active person and as a self-confessed city dweller I never thought I would appreciate so much of what is on offer when you leave the suburbs behind you. Large Outdoors has not only made me appreciate what natural beauty is on our door step, it has also given me the confidence to challenge myself and see things differently.
    Shad Everett
    Member since 2009
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