Day Eight on the Pennine Way – Dufton to Slaggyford

We started from Dufton, leaving the hostel a bit before 7am. It was blue skies, a gentle breeze and the longest and highest days walk so far. We walked starting gently but the route soon stepped with a sharp pull on Green Fell before climbing Great Dun Fell noted more than anything for the golf ball shaped antennas situated at the top.

Next was Little Dun Fell, for a final pull up to the highest point on the Pennine Way, Cross Fell. We sat on the summit, uninhabited moorland to the east as far as you could see and the peaks of the Lake District to the west. This was our harvest pale height spot. Not just for today but for all 11 days.

The descent was a gentle one, past Greg’s Hut (one of the few bothies on the route) and then onto what seemed like a never ending crushed rock estate road. One of the more uncomfortable surfaces to walk on. 3/4 quarters of the way down, it became obvious why the roads where there. We came across a procession 4x4s, farming quads and trucks transporting and accompanied by beaters, game keepers, gun dogs and shooters. the fashion seemed right out of Downtown Abbey.

After 16 miles we made it into Garigill, were we met up with the camper. Food, new socks and coffee only 10 miles to go.

Then we set of following the river down to Alston and from Alston we meandered up and down dale, alongside the steam railway line the river and eventually the road until exhausted we walked into Slaggyford at 6pm.

Eleven hours of walking was our longest day so far.