Moor House National Nature Reserve
Extending over the backbone of the Pennines, this is one of England's largest nature reserves with a diverse range of upland habitats from hay meadows, rough grazing and juniper wood to limestone grassland, blanket bogs and summit heaths. Of special interest are the rare alpine plants such as yellow marsh saxifrage and spring gentian that colonised this area after the last Ice Age. There are also spectacular waterfalls, limestone outcrops and the Great Whin Sill. Although the scenery can be enjoyed all year round, the best time to see the alpine flora and the breeding birds is between April and July. Access by public footpaths from Dufton and Milburn. For car drivers, a nature trail can be followed from Widdybank Fell.
Warcop Training Area
Is an army training area and Site of Special Scientific Interest for its blanket bogs, limestone pavements, calcareous grasslands and alpine heaths. The area also has 16 scheduled ancient monuments ranging from Neolithic burial mounds to lost medieval villages. Public access is permitted on Sunday afternoons and on designated weekends.
High Cup Nick
A spectacular natural amphitheatre created by glacial meltwaters. The steep sides are formed of basalt belonging to the Great Whin Sill. This igneous intrusion produced high levels of mineralisation in the region - creating deposits of lead, zinc and other ores that have been extensively mined in the past.
Dufton Ghyll Wood
The steep wooded ravine of Dufton Ghyll has a rich and varied ground flora under mature broadleaved trees with a spectacular bluebell carpet in the spring. Stone from the red sandstone quarries at the eastern end was used to build many of the houses in Dufton. Partly accessible by wheelchair. Open to the public at all times. Access by footpath from Dufton.
Acorn Bank Garden
A horticultural haven that contains the largest collection of culinary and medicinal plants in the north of England and a traditional orchard with many regional varieties of apple, pear and damson trees. A woodland walk leads to a partially restored watermill originally built to grind corn for the Acorn Bank estate and later adapted to power an aerial haulage system from a nearby gypsum mine. Regular events are held every year including Apple Day in October (see ‘Events'). Tearoom. Mostly accessible for the disabled, with wheelchairs available for use.
Dowpitts Wood Nature Trail
A short walk from the town centre leads to Dowpitts Wood - a County Wildlife Site. The woodland is rich in wild flowers and attracts many species of bird.
After a period of rain, the waterfall has been described as a ‘white sheet of water tumbling over a bold ledge of . . . rock' and regarded as one of the finest in Cumbria. The head of water once powered a corn mill that stands next to the falls. In 1928 a turbine was installed that generated electricity for the neighbouring village of Great Asby for 23 years until mains electricity arrived in 1952.