Durham and Weardale AONB

Yesterday after a night of storms they sun came out and we went for a road trip to the countryside we are lucky to live just over an hours drive from and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and dark skies. so firstly we headed to bowlees an area we love its not level but the walks are pretty easy to navigate with the majority being paths, a little downhill walk from Bowlees Visitors Centre to Low Force is grassy and if very wet can be slippy but once into the woodland there are paths, although caution and good boots or shoes recommended. Low Force is and 18foot high set of falls on the River Tees, fed from further upstream by High Force Waterfall both in the North Penines.


Before heading off we stopped for a snack at the Bowlees Visitors Centre where there is something for every taste.

Then a quick trip further up the road to High Force Waterfall. Parking is payable but surrounded by lovely walks and picnic spot or there is the High Force Hotel, there is also a little shop on sight where you pay to visit the falls. £1.50 and well worth it to see this stunning fall in all its glory accessed by crossing the road and following the footpath slightly downhill but and easy walk along a well maintained footpath, which takes about 10-15 minutes at a steady pace. The waterfall itself is from from rocks over 300 million years old and 21 metres high, it falls into the rock pools below. There are steps leading down to the rock pools but obviously care must be taken  especially with children and dogs., but its an ideal viewpoint to see the wonderful sight.


Thirdly on the way home I decided to visit Balderhead Reservoir, not your usual beauty spot but a place ive only ever been at night as we use it regularly during the winter months for Astrophotography. With it being a Dark Sky area its ideal for star spotting and the Milky Way.  Still a beautiful sight and with countryside walks I would err on the side of caution as we drove along the road to the entrance I managed to go past it and drove along the road that runs along the top of the reservoir, nothing much here except sheep and a couple of farmhouses, but we came across a wall that had been hit by the previous weeks storms and the road was considerably damaged. As its a very rural location with no phone signal I don’t advise going alone. But that lone tree looks amazing by day or night.


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