Explorer Map OLS31, - North Pennines (Teesdale & Weardale)
There are two ways of walking from the Bowlees Visitor Centre (near
Low Force) to High Force, - the "easy" way and the "difficult"
way. This particular walk falls into the second category.
The route described below heads North from the Visitor Centre to Broadley's
Gate Farm. Initially the footpath is straightforward and pleasant
as it passes through woodland. However, on leaving the woodland the
footpath crosses both rough pasture and the Wester Beck (on two
occasions). The rough pasture makes for heavy going and slow progress.
When crossing the pasture it is essential to use a compass or sat
nav in order to maintain your bearing. There is no path, as such,
across this pasture.
Crossing the Wester Beck involves balancing on rocks, which may
Once at High Force waterfall, the remaining part of the walk is very
straightforward and very pleasant, - with the superb scenery of Teesdale
and the river itself.
For a Memory Map overlay of the walk described, please select the above
(Overlay made with Version 5 of Memory Map)
Some new mapping software is now available which you may
want to try, - QUO mapping. You can download the software for free from
the link below, complete with demonstration maps. Having installed QUO,
you can import and export Memory Map overlays. Thus YOU DON'T NEED Memory
Map to use any of the overlays provided on the Grey Panthers web site,
- just use QUO!!
Start from the car park at the Bowlees Visitor Centre.
Before starting on the "walk proper", there is an enjoyable,
- and easy, hike up the trail that runs alongside the Bow Lee Beck to
Gibson's Cave. At the end of this trail is the waterfall that tumbles
down above the actual cave.
FRom the Visitor Centre there is a footpath that heads due North through
Follow this footpath until it emerges at a field wall.
The footpath then continues Northwards to Broadley's Gate Farm.
Initially the footpath is faint but discernible as it crosses rough pasture,
but past the Wester Beck the footpath is not discernible.
The Wester Beck has to be crossed twice. Neither crossing is straightforward
and involves balancing on wet and slippery rocks.
Once at Broadley's Gate Farm, pass through the farmyard and then turn
left. Just past the farm buildings is a field gate that marks the start
of the footpath to Ashdub Farm.
This footpath, again, is over rough pasture and it is essential to use
a compass or sat nav in order to maintain your bearing.
Once at Ash Dub Farm, take the track to Dirt Pit, and then the footpath
to the High Force car park.
From the car park, cross the road (CARE, - the road can be busy) then
take the footpath that heads downhill and Eastwards, - soon bringing you
to the bridge that crosses the River Tees.
Cross over the River, then turn right and follow the footpath (about 1/2
mile) to the view points over High Force waterfall.
From the veiwpoints, retrace your steps than follow the footpath beside
the River Tees to Low Force.
At Low Force, cross the river by the Wych suspension bridge then take
the footpath back to the Bowlees Visitor Centre.