Up the Creek Without a Boat

(I don’t often make the same post in multiple places… but I am today!)

Last weekend saw me through another course with Ken Hughes. White Water Safety and Rescue – I’m sure I’ve said I’m not interested in paddling on white water… I think that’s a fight I’m losing.

Getting up at 6am to climb into water that I wouldn’t dream of putting a boat on, let’s just say I was grateful for my dry suit… The course was valuable, as I regularly paddle with my children it’s vital that I know what to do if they end up in the river and the basics covered in this course will be useful if/when one of the Small’s ends up in a river. The more technical parts of the course will be valuable if I find myself needing to be rescued or part of a paddling group carrying out a rescue. And if nothing else building my confidence in flowing water can only be a good thing.

Bobba Fetch, not really relishing the rain. 

Of course, when I plan to spend a day in the river I leave my camera at home. Which is why I trekked back to the same spot yesterday, with the camera and my trusty four-legged companion, Bobba Fetch.

Parking in the lay-by just passed the Bowlees visitors centre we followed a public footpath down to Low Force, I think this is signposted Wynch Bridge, but to be honest the rain was a little heavy for me to be paying full attention to the sign. The lightly wooded are next to the falls provides a sheltered spot for photographing the series of drops that make up Low Force.

The river can be crossed via Wynch Bridge (our White Water Safety course took place directly below the bridge). Built in 1830 Wynch Bridge allows walkers to access the Pennine Way which runs along the south bank of this stretch of the Tees.

Link to the OS map route.

Low Force

Turning right and following the Pennine Way for about a mile and a half brings you to High Force. If you don’t fancy the walk from Low Force you can follow the B6277 to High Force, where for a small fee you can park and view the falls.

High Force, as viewed from the Pennine Way

At this point on our walk the rain had increased and poor Bobba Fetch was starting to feel the cold, hence only one rather rain spotted photograph. An about turn and gentle stroll back to the car, with a little more stopping to snap the lower falls.

I’ve been advised the Bowlees Visitor Centre is worth a look round and Bow Lees Beck is worth an explore, so Bobba and I will be back when the weather takes a turn for the drier.



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