Friday, 18 June 2021

Pennine Way Day 10 - 17 June 2021

Middleton in Teesdale to High Cup
Walking 8.50am to 7.00pm
Distance walked 17 miles
Distance remaining 112 miles

I'd planned a later start with a view to buying one or two of the local butcher's celebrated pies. However, as I walked in that direction, I visualised them getting mangled in my pack and I didn't really fancy a meat pie for breakfast. So, as I came to the PW sign, I turned off. 

The path followed alongside the Tees for several miles, sometimes above it and sometimes at the same level, passing through wild flower meadows and narrow wooded paths, all quite delightful.


I saw nobody else until the path approached Low Force, quite a tourist attraction, although not nearly as impressive as High Force, a mile further on. Once I'd left the sightseers behind, I found some shade beneath some young trees by the river to brew a late coffee. The outlook was marred somewhat by the working stone quarry on the other side. 

Walking on, I came to Sayer Hill Farm, where camping is available. I went up to the house and was met, not by the owner, Hayley, but Hayley's mum, Jo. I was wanting to get up to date information about the camping and facilities for the Backpackers Club directory as the entry hadn't been updated since 2016. The charge is now £5. I was offered a welcome mug of tea and we chatted for a while before I had to be on my way. 

A couple of miles on and the high banks of the Tees began to close in. The path became rocky although the rocks below Falcon Clints were potential ankle breakers and required extreme care. Reaching the base of Cauldron Snout, I stowed my poles so as to have both hands free for the strenuous scramble upwards alongside the rushing torrent. 

At the top, and below the dam of Cow Green Reservoir, I followed the stony vehicle track for about two miles of gradual ascent before the PW left it for a grassy path with, after a while, Maize Beck appearing on the left. After a further two miles I reached High Cup which comes into view right at the last minute. It really is stunning. I pitched but unfortunately not getting the view from my doorway due to the wind. 

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