High Force, Hagworm Hill, Bink Moss, Low Force.

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Walking on the southern side of the River Tees, heading west on the Pennine Way, entering Moor House Upper Teesdale, and towards High Force at attack point 3. Noon hill is in the distance.

THIS ROUTE IS NOT A WALK, IT IS A NAVIGATIONAL EXERCISE HIKE. MAP AND COMPASS SKILLS REQUIRED.

Hike video: https://youtu.be/DdZML3F0cTc

GET THE ROUTE HERE!

Start/finish: The High Force Hotel car park (£2 all day) NY 8857 2862
OS Explorer Maps OL 19 & OL 31
Sat Nav: The High Force Hotel (DL12 0XH)

Public transport: Please see the following website for times for the 73 bus from Barnard Castle or Langdon beck to the High Force Hotel: https://bustimes.org.uk/services/NE_130_PB2009_73

Accurate distances and grid bearings can be downloaded as a 2 sided route card PDF (front.pdf and high_force.pdf): https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8yyjut6h1oysxno/AACIquF0OL0w5rtWiOvyGDWha?dl=0

This hike is hard, and the views are not fabulous, it is a navigational practice recommended only for those who would like to extensively practice their grid bearings. The hike starts at the High Force Hotel and begins with an excursion to High Force waterfall, then follows the Pennine Way and River Tees west passing Dine Holm Scar and Calf holm on the northern banks of the River Tees. At Fell Dike Sike, north of Noon Hill a grid bearing is taken that partly ascends and traverses Noon Hill. Three grid bearings are then taken across Howden Moss, before continuing to ascend Hagworm Hill on path. The hike then handrails a fence off track up to Bink Moss. Three grid bearings are then taken across Lune Moor via two sheepfolds. The rest of the hike is on path, descending through fields back into Teesdale to visit Low Force, before heading west on the Pennine Way back to the High Force Hotel. The nature of the terrain is more like high plains.

This hike crosses a lot of trackless open access land, hence, map and compass skills are required. You should also know your pace count. Recommended for experienced hikers.

Moor House-Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve (NNR) encompasses an extensive area of the North Pennines in northern England, and is England’s highest and largest NNR.

High Force is a waterfall on the River Tees, near Middleton-in-Teesdale in County Durham. High Force is not the highest waterfall in England, despite popullar belief, it is 71 feet (22 m), and other waterfalls have a longer drop. In full spate, High Force has the largest volume of water falling over a drop, the whole of the River Tees plunges over a precipice in two stages.

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Fig 1. High Force.

Lune Forest is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) encompassing a large area of moorland in Teesdale in west Durham. It ranges from Mickle Fell eastward to near Harter Fell, above the hamlet called Thringarth. Its southern boundary is the River Balder and Balderhead Reservoir.

Lune Forest is the habitiat for several important breeding populations of birds, including merlin, short-eared owl and Eurasian golden plover. Lune Forest is also inhabited by black grouse, red grouse, dunlin, Northern lapwing, ring ouzel and twite.

Low Force is a much smaller set of waterfalls further down the River Tees from High Force, at 18-foot (5.5m) high. Wynch Bridge, completed in 1830 is also situated at Low Force, (see attack point 21).

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Fig 2. Low Force.

Directions

(Images under waypoints tab on ViewRanger).

1. Attack point 2 is 550 m away; leave The High Force Hotel car park, turn left and cross the main road to a public footpath on the other side, leading down some steps to the River Tees. Follow along the banks of the River Tees heading south east to the footbridge at attack point 2.

2. Attack point 3 is 950 m away; cross the footbridge at attack point 2 (see image) to the southern side of the River Tees, then head west on the Pennine Way, entering Moor House Upper Teesdale, and continue towards High Force at attack point 3.

3. Attack point 4 is 2 km away; here there is a good view of High Force (see image). Continue west on the path towards Noon Hill, passing a stone quarry on the northern side of the River Tees and 3 footbridges. Continue west on the path passing Dine Holm Scar and Calf Holm on your right, to attack point 4.

4. Attack point 5 is 285 m away; at attack point 4 on Bracken Rigg (see image) head south west across the field on the path to a gate in the corner of the field, crossing Fell Dyke Sike, then head south to a junction in the path with a bridle way at attack point 5.

5. Attack point 6 is 1.075 km away; at the junction in the path north of Noon Hill (see image), take a grid bearing of the path at attack point 6, which should be about 170°, convert to a magnetic bearing, and march on that bearing, across trackless open access land, over the eastern slope of Noon Hill. Continue over Noon Hill towards some Grouse Butts and a path at attack point 6.

6. Attack point 7 is 175 m away; on the path at attack point 6 (see image), facing south you can see Hagworm hill in the distance. Take a grid bearing of attack point 7, which should be about 179°, convert to magnetic bearing and march on that bearing, counting your paces to Dry Beck at attack point 7.

7. Attack point 8 is 385 m away; at Dry Beck (see image) take a grid bearing of a bend in Crake Sike at attack point 8, which should be about 169°, convert to a magnetic bearing, cross Dry Beck and march on that bearing, counting your paces to the bend in Crake Sike at attack point 8.

8. Attack point 9 is 790 m away; at the bend in Crake Sike (see image), take a grid bearing of attack point 9, which should be about 167°, convert to a magnetic bearing, cross Crake Sike and march on that bearing, counting your paces, over Howden Moss to Blea Beck at attack point 9. Note: there are 4 posts in the ground which you can follow on that bearing to attack point 9.

9. Attack point 10 is 1.1 km away; at attack point 9, cross Blea Beck (see image) to find a path beside a fence heading south and up hill to the top of Hagworm Hill. Follow the path and fence up hill passing two cairns near the top to the top of Hagworm Hill at attack point 10.

10. Attack point 11 is 1.085 km away; at the top of Hagworm Hill there are two gates, one facing east and one facing south. Cross the style to the right of the southern facing gate (see image), then handrail the fence heading east to the summit of Bink Moss at attack point 11.

11. Attack point 12 is 1.1 km away; on the top of Bink Moss, the highest point of the walk, the fence turns north and east (see image). Stop at this point and take a grid bearing to the sheepfold at attack point 12, which should be about 125°, convert to a magnetic bearing and march on that bearing, counting your paces, across trackless open access land to the sheepfold at attack point 12.

12. Attack point 13 is 950 m away; at the sheepfold at attack point 12 (see image), take a grid bearing of the sheepfold ruins at attack point 13, which should be about 75°, convert to magnetic bearing and march on that bearing, counting your paces, across trackless open access land and crossing Wemmergill Beck, to the sheepfold ruins on Lune Moor at attack point 13.

13. Attack point 14 is 985 m away; at the sheepfold ruins on Lune moor (see image), aim off by taking a grid bearing at the wall at attack point 14, which should be about 47°, convert to magnetic bearing, march on that bearing, counting your paces, up hill and over Lune Moor to hit the wall at attack point 14.

14. Attack point 15 is 250 m away; at the wall (see image), turn right and handrail the wall south east to the gate at attack point 15.

15. Attack point 16 is 1.15 km away; at the gate near Crooks O’ Green Fell (see image), take a grid bearing to attack point 16, which should be about 357°, convert to magnetic bearing and march on that bearing, counting your paces, over the field to the gate at attack point 16.

16. Attack point 17 is 475 m away; at the gate (see image), continue north on the path crossing the field to another gate at attack point 17.

17. Attack point 18 is 600 m away; at the gate (see image), continue on the path to another gate at attack point 18. Be aware that the wall or fence marked on the map just south of attack point 18 is not on the ground, hence continue passed some sheepfold ruins to the fence and gate at Holwick Scars at attack point 18.

18. Attack point 19 is 425 m away; go through the gate (see image) and turn left following the path down Holwick Scars, over and down some rocky steps to Scar Beck. Cross Scar Beck and go up the bank on the other side to reach the path at attack point 19.

19. Attack point 20 is 640 m away; head east on the path from attack point 19 towards West Farm, at which point turn north on the road and head towards the entrance of Holwick Lodge at attack point 20.

20. Attack point 21 is 455 m away; at attack point 20 (see image) you can take a grid bearing of attack point 21, which should be about 358°, convert to a magnetic bearing and march on that bearing over the field, however you will see an opening in the first wall you hit on that bearing, with a right of way sign through it and a path, at which point you can follow the path towards Low Force and Wynche Bridge at attack point 21.

21. Attack point 22 is 200 m away; from Wynche Bridge at attack point 21 (see image), turn left and go up some steps and head north west on the path to Low Force at attack point 22.

22. Attack point 23 is 1.45 km away; at Low Force at attack point 22 (see image) continue on the path following the River Tees west to the footbridge at attack point 23.

23. Attack point 24 is 625 m away; meet the footbridge (see image) crossed at the beginning of the hike at attack point 2, go over it, turn left and follow the River Tees back to the steps which take you back up to The High Force Hotel car park at attack point 24.