Thursday, 28 July 2011

High Force

Whilst on our way to show visiting relatives some hot spots of the Dales we decided on the spur of the moment to shift our attention to the North Pennines and headed over through Middleton-in-Teesdale over to High Force. This is always a spectacular spot especially combined with joining the Pennine Way for a mile or two of pleasant walking.

Having parked up at the High Force hotel, we avoided the tourist route to the viewing platform, following a steep footpath down through the woods that brings you out onto a pasture on the banks of the Tees. The scent of wild garlic was still there at a couple of spots, last time I was there the woodland floor was covered.

This is a little paradise for rabbits, we saw large groups of them playing in the grass. We crossed the river at the footbridge to join the Pennine Way on the other side of the river.

This is a lovely walk in itself, the well maintained path flanked by numerous juniper and blackberry bushes. As the path climbed, the sound of the falls got louder and after a short climb we found our way to the viewing area. High Force is always a bit of a showstopper and even when you know what to expect it is still a spectacular sight. We paused here for a while to take pictures and enjoy the atmosphere.

From here it is a short walk upwards until you reach the top of the falls, and can see the water cascading down past you over the layers of rock that make up the unique rock face.

The river above the falls is rugged and it is a great view looking upstream towards Cronkley Fell. It isn't too far from here up to Cauldron Snout and Cow Green reservoir which i visited early in the year.

With the usual time constraints we headed back the way we came, leaving the other walks to be had in the area for another time.

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