High Force and the Green Trod

Start and Finish

Bowlees Visitor Centre car-park, a few miles up from Middleton in Teesdale on the B6277. Grid Reference NY 90773 28277


A classic walk in Teesdale with the tourist attraction of High Force along with the relative solitude of moorland walking, It can be boggy at times at places along the moor depending on the time of year but the stretch from Low Force to High Force is along a well walked path although it has a couple of high stiles which may prove tricky for the less agile dog. Before setting off, you may wish to follow the path up to Gibsons Cave which is only a short way from the car park.


The Walk

Leave the car park at the left side and cross the stream using the footbridge, ascend the steps and go past the Bowlees Visitor Centre. Take the road down which leads to the main road (B6277) , at this road turn right and on the opposite side of the road a few yards down, there is a public footpath leading down through a field.

Go through the kissing gate and follow the path down to a a gap stile which leads to apiece of woodland which embraces Low Force. Good views of Low Force can be had if you turn right in the woodland and walk towards the River Tees.

Low Force

Go over the narrow Wynch Bridge (suspension bridge) and take the obvious path to the right. This path follow the River Tees upstream. Keep on this one and only path, crossing any stiles and gates as the come.

Eventually you will arrive at High Force , and no doubt will not be alone.

High Force upstreamHigh Force downstream

Continue on past High Force again following the obvious path to the left of the River Tees, passing a quarry on the opposite bank of the Tees. The path now changes from a stony track to a soft green grass path which still follows the path of the Tees.

Cross two footbridges over two small streams and ascend the stepped pathway as it goes over Bracken Rigg.

Looking back to the Tees and High Force

Go past an old solitary shed and you will see two stone marker posts. the one on the left has an arrow on it pointing to the left and is marked 'GT' for Green Trod. Take this path down to the corner of the field and go through the kissing gate. This part is usually wet but there are stones to stand on. Go through and follow the path which meets a path heading roughly East to West. The way right leads up and over Cronkley Fell but our route goes the opposite way and down the Green Trod. At the time of writing (July 2006), this junction of paths is marked with an 'National Nature Reserve' information board.

National Nature Reserve Sign

Follow the Green Trod down, crossing a small stream (Noon Hill Spring), follow the path as it gets a little more stony and follows the wall to the left, this wall soon bears sharp left but our path is straight on towards a cairn . Keep on this obvious path as it goes between 2 shooting huts and head towards the next cairn. From this cairn, a gate further along the path can be seen-go to this gate after crossing a high stile on the way. This section can be boggy in places

This leads onto a vehicle track, turn left and go down this track.

On the track approaching Holwick Scar

Cross a stile or go through the smaller gate to the right. Keep on this track as it approaches Holwick Scar. There is a wide track leading down to a mansion, ignore this and take the stile or gate which is guarded by 2 stone sheep statues.

Go through the gate

Keep on the obvious path, it will soon fork-take the left path and follow it down to a house on the right. Go past this house and through the gate, take the road which leads down the hillside and follow it until just after a cattle grid on a bend in the road. There is a footpath on the right leading down through a meadow, go on the path through a gap stile and then another one in the bottom left corner of the field. This path now leads to the Wynch Bridge and all you have to do is retrace your route back to the car.

Holwick Scar