GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

High Force Waterfall Walk

7 miles (11 km)

Visit the spectacular Low Force and High Force waterfalls on this waterside circular walk in the North PenninesArea of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The walk runs for about 6.5 miles with some moderate climbs along the way.
You start off from the Bowlees Visitor Centre, where car parking is available. A short walk from here takes you to the River Tees and the 18 foot (5.5m)Low Force Waterfall. Here you cross a bridge over the river and pick up the Pennine Way, following it west through riverside woodland to High Force Waterfall. It's one of the biggest waterfalls in England and a spectacular sight with the water dropping 70 feet (21m) into a plunge pool below.The site also includes ancient rocks formed over 300 million years ago.
From here you can return to the start point the same way but this route climbs to the hills to the south of the river. You'll reach a height of over 1300ft around Whiteholm Bank, with splendid views over the area to enjoy. The walk then descends back to the river and the car park.
This walk takes you along the free southern bank of the river but if you would like to visit the northern bank then access is via a private footpath on theRaby estatefor which a fee is charged. See the link below for more details.
If you'd like to extend your walk you could continue west along the Pennine Way to Cow Green Reservoir and Cauldron Snout waterfall. The waterfall is another spectacular sight and at 200 yards (180m) long, it is reckoned to be the longest waterfall in England. Heading east along the waymarked river trail will take you to Middleton-in-Teesdale.


DL12 0XF - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

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High Force Waterfall OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

High Force Waterfall Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


The Bowlees Visitor Centre at the start of the walk has a nice cafe with a good choice of snacks and meals. They also have lots of information about the area with booklets for self-guided walks, bike rides and nature-spotting.
The High Force Hotel is also conveniently located for some post walk refreshments. They do very good food which you can enjoy in two cosy little bars, in the tearoom or outdoors on the patio, in the courtyard or in the garden. It's a lovely place to relax in after your exercise.
The Strathmore Armsis another good choice. The pub is located in Holwick (Postcode: DL12 0NJ) and was named Country Cider Pub of the Year2016, 17& 18. It's a traditional English countrypub with a nice coal log fire and a good selection of meals and ales. The pub is also dog friendly.
High Force Hotel 7150 Strathmore Arms, Holwick - - 21784
Pictured above the very fine High Force Hotel and the Strathmore Arms pub in Holwick. Both are worthy of some investigation if you have time after your walk.
You could also follow the Tees North and visit Landgdon Beck. Here you'll find the Langdon Beck Hotel which is a popular place to stay in the area. The hotel has a good menu and a cosy interior with roaring fires and a friendly atmosphere. It's in a wonderfully remote location, with lovely views and a whole host of other walks to try around the hotel. You can find the hotel to the east of the reservoir at a postcode of DL12 0XP for your sat navs.

Langdon Beck - - 135283 Ford Over the Harwood Beck near Intake Farm - - 74036
Pictured above: Langdon Beck Hotel and Langdon Beck Bridge to the north of the falls. Langdon Beck has been adopted as the name of the hamlet.

Dog Walking

On the High Force paths dogs are welcome but to protect the sensitive plants and wildlife you are advised to keep them on leads.The High Force hotel mentioned above is also dog friendly whether you're staying over or just eating.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

This area is excellent for bird watching so be sure to bring your binoculars with you. For example the fields around Langdon Beck are some of the best in the North Pennines for seeing the rare Black Grouse.About 80% of Britain’s Black Grouse population live within the North Pennines.The lekking displays, which are at their peak in early Spring are quite spectacular. Lapwings, Curlew, Redshank and Snipe all breed in the surrounding pastures too.
Just north of the visitor centre you can also visit Summerhill Force waterfall and Gibson's Cave. You can reach the site with a nice little stroll through woodland along the Bow Lee Beck to the pretty waterfall.
Gibson's cave - - 1168996 Summerhill Force - - 1295193
Pictured above the Summerhill Force waterfall and Gibson's Cave. Located close to High Force the site is a very worthy addition to your outing.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby


High Force Tourists 7209

The whole of the River Tees plunges 21.5 metres (71 ft) over a precipice (cliff edge which is almost vertical). High Force was formed where the River Tees crosses theWhin Sill. The waterfall was painted by JMW Turner in 1816

High Force 3 (1151669367)

High Force and rock formations. The waterfall is part of the historic county boundary between theNorth Riding of Yorkshireon the south bank, andCounty Durhamon the north bank. In harsh winters the falls have been known to freeze, creating cathedral-like ice formations.

High Force Access 7153

View of the Access path from the car park to the falls.

High Force Tourists 7198

A couple sit on the rocks next to the falls and enjoy the view

Low Force - - 1392421

Low Force

River Tees between High and Low Force - - 1301832

River Tees between High and Low Force

Holwick Head Bridge - - 1715909

Holwick Head Bridge

Small Waterfall on the River Tees - - 3689287

Small Waterfall on the River Tees


GPS Files

GPX File

High Force Waterfall.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

High Force Waterfall.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)