To round off a very sunny Bank Holiday weekend, we checked out the route for the Low and High Force walk, on 7th July.
The weather was a little overcast at home but the forecast was good for Upper Teesdale. Once we got there it turned out that Monday was to be the best day of the weekend.
We had a route planned for an 8 mile circuit around Low and High Force. However, we’d only walked a little part of it before. The southern half of the route was along the Pennine Way, so should be pretty easy to follow, but the rest was unknown.
Tea for two
It’s always nice to have a cuppa before a walk and today was no exception. Why not throw in a piece of cake to boot. The Ford Kitchen at The Bowlees Visitor Centre had both and the cakes were delicious.
Hunting high and low
Off we went, following the well trodden path down to Low Force. It’s a very popular spot and you’d be very lucky to have it to yourself. Today was no different. There were plenty of people enjoying the view and the sun.
From Low Force we followed the Pennine Way up the river towards High Force. It gradually climbs higher over the next mile. It’s hardly noticeable, but on reaching High Force the extra height provided us with a spectacular view of the Force, from the view point. This is a completely different aspect than from the more popular North path across the river. A little further along we found ourselves metres above the falls, not good for anyone with a fear of heights. If you can stand it, it’s worth a look.
Show me the way to go home
After High Force, we followed the river further up towards the Pennines, using the Pennine Way. With the Forces behind us the rest of the walk was much quieter and peaceful. We could admire the scenery and flora of the area. There were some pretty yellow flowers that we later found out were Globe Flowers. There were also Wild Pansies and Wild Orchids in abundance.
Walk right back
The last few miles were along bridleways, fields and minor roads. There were lots of Lapwings who obviously had nests in the area. In one of the fields there were some big buttercups. These turned out to be Persian Buttercups. All the way along here we had amazing views of the valley, making for a relaxing stroll back. As a little reward we took a diversion off to the High Force Hotel for refreshments. Even though the sun was blazing outside we chose to sit in, as we were a little warm.
Backtracking to the planned route, we set off for the final leg. Arriving back to Bowlees we found the Ford Kitchen still open. Luckily we had arrived just before closing time and were able to get a pot of tea to finish off the day.
This was a wonderful walk and with the beautiful scenery certainly didn’t seem like 8 miles. We hope to see you there (Low and High Force walk).