The Grey Panthers
9 August 2017, - Bowlees & High Force

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7.5 miles

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 be slippery.
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.

Memory Map
For a Memory Map overlay of the walk described, please select the above link.
(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!!

Quo logo

Start from the car park at the Bowlees Visitor Centre. (NY908 203).
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 woodland.
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.

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