Stage 11: Dufton to Alston — Pennine Way
komoot planned a hike.
May 28, 2019
This stage is one of the most challenging on the entire trail. Taking you to the highest point in the Pennines, Cross Fell, get ready for wind, weather and paths that disappear in the heather.
Before you attempt this stage, check the weather forecast and make sure you have adequate clothing, compass, map and charge on your device. England’s strongest wind gust and coldest temperature have been recorded along this stage, so preparation is essential.
It is also worth noting that the fells on this stage were mined. As such, venturing too far off the path could be dangerous, making good navigation doubly important.
It is a long climb out of Dufton to start the day. After six miles of climbing, you reach Great Dun Fell, the second-highest point in the Pennines and home to the Civil Aviation Authority’s air traffic control radar domes.
The trail undulates, climbing slightly, to reach Cross Fell, the highest point in the Pennines. From the summit, you are afforded breathtaking views of the Lake District, the west coast and also the east coast. On a clear day, the southern uplands of Scotland and the Cheviots can also be seen.
Around one mile (one-and-a-half kilometers) later, you arrive at England’s highest bothy, Greg’s Hut. The free-to-use cottage is situated in a remote part of the hills that are prone to bad weather. There are basic facilities at the bothy and it makes for a good emergency overnight stop if the weather closes in.
Navigation around this area can be difficult, even when the weather is good. Make sure you are vigilant and prepared with numerous methods of navigation.
From there, it is a long but gradual descent to Garrigil. Whilst the never-ending Corpse Road miners’ track can be a little monotonous, at least navigation is simple.
The trail is mainly flat for the rest of the hike; passing through patchwork fields all the way to Alston, which has a good range of places to eat, drink, and stay.
Hiking Collection by Alex Foxfield
Hiking Collection by Dan Hobson
Hiking Collection by Adventurer Nic
Hiking Collection by komoot
Bike Touring Collection by komoot
Bike Touring Collection by The Racing Collective
Bike Touring Collection by Mark Beaumont
Collection by ORBIT 360