Unveiling the Majestic Beauty of North Pennines: High Force Waterfall, Low Force, and Beyond

Embark on a journey to the heart of nature’s magnificence as we take you to the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Brace yourself for a captivating adventure filled with awe-inspiring waterfalls, picturesque landscapes, and a rich tapestry of history. Prepare to witness the power and beauty of High Force, one of England’s tallest waterfalls, as it cascades into an ethereal plunge pool. Explore the free and scenic High Force Waterfall walk, immersing yourself in the wonders of Teesdale woodlands and discovering the breathtaking Low Force waterfall. But that’s not all – the North Pennines AONB has even more to offer, from historical castles to coastal wonders. Get ready to be enthralled as we unveil the hidden treasures of this remarkable region.

High Force Waterfall: A Natural Wonder Worth Exploring

Located near Middleton in Teesdale, County Durham, High Force waterfall stands as an awe-inspiring natural wonder that captivates visitors with its stunning beauty and powerful display of nature’s forces. Soaring at a height of 70 feet (21 meters), High Force is often regarded as one of the tallest waterfalls in England, attracting tourists from far and wide.

Formed over 300 million years ago through the relentless erosive power of the River Tees, High Force showcases the remarkable resilience of Whin Sill, an ancient dolerite rock. As visitors venture towards this magnificent cascade, they are treated to panoramic views of Teesdale’s picturesque landscape, creating a sense of anticipation and wonder.

The allure of High Force lies not only in its grandeur but also in its accessibility. Tourists can conveniently park their vehicles at the High Force Hotel car park for a nominal fee of £3, providing ample space for exploration. From there, a gentle walk awaits, leading visitors to the falls.

Upon reaching High Force, the true spectacle begins. The sound of rushing water fills the air, creating a symphony of nature’s symphony. The immense power of the cascading water as it plummets into a plunge pool below never fails to leave spectators in awe. The proximity to the waterfall allows visitors to witness the sheer force and energy, making it a truly immersive experience.

High Force exemplifies the delicate harmony between nature’s raw power and its serene beauty. The combination of lush greenery, the thunderous sound of water, and the cool mist enveloping the surroundings create an atmosphere that embraces visitors in a sensory embrace. It is a place to disconnect from the noise of the world and immerse oneself in the raw majesty of nature.

Whether gazing at the falls from a comfortable viewpoint or venturing closer to feel the refreshing mist, High Force offers a captivating experience for all who visit. It serves as a reminder of the extraordinary wonders that our planet possesses and a testament to the enduring power of nature.

High Force Waterfall Key Points:

– Height of 70 feet (21 meters)

– Formation over 300 million years ago from Whin Sill, an ancient dolerite rock

– Easy accessibility from High Force Hotel car park

– Proximity to the waterfall allows for an immersive experience

– A place of serene beauty and raw power, inspiring awe in visitors

High Force Waterfall Walk: A Free and Scenic Trail


Embarking on the High Force Waterfall walk offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and witness the captivating scenery surrounding the waterfall. This trail provides a fantastic opportunity to explore the breathtaking landscapes and experience the power of nature firsthand.

Starting at the Bowlees Visitor Centre car park, the High Force Waterfall walk takes you on a picturesque journey through the Teesdale woodlands. The trail encompasses both natural beauty and historical significance, offering a well-rounded experience for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

As you set foot on the trail, you are greeted by gently undulating paths that lead you through fields and gates. The flat and well-maintained gravel and grassy paths make it accessible for all, ensuring the walk is enjoyable for individuals of varying fitness levels.

Along the way, the trail guides you past viewpoints where you can catch glimpses of Low Force waterfall, a mesmerizing cascade that cascades through a dolerite rock gorge. The power and beauty of Low Force perfectly set the stage for the awe-inspiring spectacle that awaits at High Force.

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the diverse flora lining the trail, with bursts of color provided by vibrant wildflowers and bracken. These natural accents, combined with the peaceful sound of birdsong, create an immersive experience that allows visitors to reconnect with the tranquility of the natural world.

After approximately 1.7 kilometers (just over a mile) of walking, you’ll come across the Holwick Head Bridge. As you cross this charming bridge, be sure to pause and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Arriving at High Force, the trail takes a slight detour toward the main viewing platform. From this vantage point, visitors can marvel at the sheer power of the waterfall as it plunges into the swirling pool below. The mist rises, enveloping you and creating a sense of serenity amidst the thunderous sound of rushing water.

For those seeking an even closer encounter with High Force, a separate path allows you to venture to the top of the falls. However, exercise caution as this unpaved trail leads to an unfenced cliff edge. The reward awaits as you experience the full force and majesty of the waterfall from a unique perspective.

Exploring the High Force Waterfall walk leaves visitors with a profound appreciation for the extraordinary forces of nature and the magnificent landscapes that define the North Pennines AONB. It is a free and accessible experience that invites everyone to witness and connect with the wonders of the natural world.

High Force Waterfall Walk Key Points:

– Starting point at Bowlees Visitor Centre car park

– Picturesque journey through Teesdale woodlands

– Flat and well-maintained gravel and grassy paths

– Glimpses of Low Force waterfall along the way

– Diverse flora and calming sounds of nature

– Holwick Head Bridge offers breathtaking views

– Main viewing platform for an up-close experience

– Separate path for a closer encounter with High Force

Exploring Low Force: A Stunning Part of the River Tees

Nestled along the path of the High Force Waterfall walk lies the breathtaking Low Force. This captivating cascade on the River Tees enchants visitors with its natural beauty and the exhilarating energy of rushing water. A visit to Low Force provides a unique perspective on the power and majesty of the river.

Accessible from the free walking route or as a separate visit, Low Force unveils itself as a series of two small yet powerful cascades flowing through a remarkable dolerite rock gorge. This geological wonder, formed over millions of years, showcases nature’s sculpting prowess.

As you approach Low Force, you’ll be greeted by the impressive Wynch Bridge, a suspension bridge that offers panoramic views of the gorge. Crossing the bridge, you’ll find yourself captivated by the sight and sound of water crashing against the rugged rocks, and the air becomes charged with anticipation.


Venturing closer to the falls, you’ll discover numerous viewpoints that allow you to appreciate the raw power and beauty of Low Force. The water cascades down the gorge, creating mesmerizing patterns and infusing the surroundings with a refreshing mist. It’s a perfect spot to pause, reflect, and connect with the natural world.

It is worth noting that after heavy rainfall, the water at Low Force may be discolored due to the presence of tannins. This natural occurrence should not diminish the experience, as it adds a unique character to the cascade and creates an ethereal ambiance.

Low Force has not only captured the imagination of nature enthusiasts but has also found its place in pop culture. Fans of the popular Netflix series “The Witcher” may recognize Low Force as one of the filming locations for the second season. It’s a testament to the captivating allure and cinematic charm that this natural wonder possesses.

While admiring the beauty of Low Force, it’s important to exercise caution. The currents can be strong, and venturing into the water is not recommended. However, there are safer spots along the river for those seeking a refreshing swim away from the powerful currents of the falls.

A visit to Low Force offers a glimpse into the sheer power and timeless beauty of nature. It is a place to revel in the symphony of rushing water, witness the intricate dance between land and river, and be humbled by the transformative forces that have shaped our world.

Exploring Low Force Key Points:

– Part of the High Force Waterfall walk or accessible as a separate visit

– Magnificent cascade of two small yet powerful falls

– Flow through a dolerite rock gorge with impressive geological formations

– Wynch Bridge provides stunning views of the gorge and falls

– Opportunity to experience the refreshing mist and patterns created by the water

– Discoloration of water due to tannins, adding a unique charm

– Filming location for the series “The Witcher”

– Caution advised due to strong currents; safer swimming spots are available nearby

Further Adventures in the North Pennines AONB

The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) offers visitors a multitude of captivating attractions and activities beyond the High Force Waterfall. Exploring the region provides the opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich history, natural wonders, and cultural heritage that define this remarkable area.

For those seeking to delve deeper into the natural beauty of the North Pennines, a visit to Cow Green Reservoir is highly recommended. Located nearby, this scenic reservoir is home to the mesmerizing Cauldron Snout waterfall. As water cascades over the rocky outcrop, it creates a captivating spectacle that reflects the raw power of nature.


History enthusiasts will be delighted to discover the abundance of castles within the region. Barnard Castle, with its imposing structure and centuries of history, stands as a testament to the region’s historical significance. Raby Castle, another notable landmark, offers a glimpse into the opulence and grandeur of a bygone era. These impressive fortifications provide a chance to step back in time and explore the rich heritage of the North Pennines.

For those seeking coastal adventures, a trip to the Durham Heritage Coast is a must. Delight in the rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and picturesque coves that grace this stunning coastline. Pay a visit to Seaham and Blast Beach, known for their natural beauty and cultural significance. Blast Beach holds a renowned reputation as the “Alien Beach” due to the abundance of uniquely shaped pebbles found there. It’s a haven for beachcombers and nature enthusiasts alike.

No visit to the region would be complete without experiencing the historical city of Durham. Renowned for its iconic Durham Cathedral, which boasts over a thousand years of history, the city offers a wealth of cultural and architectural treasures. Marvel at the stunning Gothic architecture, explore the charming cobbled streets, and immerse yourself in the vibrant ambiance of this enchanting city.

The North Pennines AONB promises endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, with an array of walking trails and hiking routes. Admire the sweeping vistas, rolling hills, and diverse wildlife as you traverse the region’s picturesque landscapes. The North Pennines offers a true escape into nature, with an abundance of flora and fauna awaiting discovery.

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders, historic landmarks, and captivating beauty of the North Pennines AONB. Whether you choose to further explore the High Force Waterfall walk, visit nearby attractions, or embark on new adventures, the region promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you with cherished memories.

Further Adventures in the North Pennines AONB Key Points:

– Visit Cow Green Reservoir and witness the captivating Cauldron Snout waterfall

– Explore the historical significance of Barnard Castle and Raby Castle

– Discover the stunning Durham Heritage Coast, including Seaham and Blast Beach

– Experience the rich cultural heritage of Durham and its iconic Cathedral

– Engage in outdoor activities and hiking trails throughout the North Pennines

– Immerse yourself in the diverse flora and fauna of the region

– Embrace the natural beauty and serenity of the North Pennines AONB

Discover the Wonders of the North Pennines

Immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of the North Pennines AONB, where nature’s forces have crafted breathtaking landscapes and captivating waterfalls. From the raw power of High Force to the tranquility of Low Force, each step along the High Force Waterfall walk reveals the wonders of Teesdale woodlands. As you explore the historical castles, stroll along the Durham Heritage Coast, and venture into the vibrant city of Durham, the region’s rich heritage will leave an indelible mark on your soul. So, embrace the natural splendor, immerse yourself in the stories of the past, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the North Pennines, where nature and history converge in a spectacular display of beauty and wonder.