Low Force in Durham

Rory Calland
This Is Durham, Low Force Waterfall

Upper Teesdale in Durham is a haven for nature lovers, significant for its flora, geology and natural water features. An ancient layer of dolerite forms the ‘Whin Sill’, and outcrops of the erosion-resistant rock along the Tees river are responsible for some spectacular waterfalls. High Force is the highest waterfall in England and possesses awesome power. Swimming there is not an option, but hold fire, a stroll through the wooded upland will soon lead you to Low Force, another (slightly smaller) cascade of silty water. Here you may spot some kayakers flying over the ledge. The Pennine Way will lead you downstream along the bank from here, and you’ll find a calm pool off to the side away from the roil of the waterfall itself. There are plenty of walkers along this path, including guided tours, but amongst the foliage it’s possible to find a little spot of your own to wade in.

Warm water is a scarcity in England as it is, but the further North you go the icier it becomes. This area in the North Pennines is classified as a sub-arctic, it’s this climate and the legacy of the ice age on the land that allow some of Britain’s rarest flowers to grow here. It also means the water is at times perilously cold. If you can brave it and bathe here in the tees you’ll be rewarded with an arresting sense of history. Some of the trees around you are 250 years old, the rock is over 300 million. Nearby you may spot a sculpture by a local artist called Keith Alexander, two limestone sheep on a drystone wall, the inscription below reads “it reverts to scrub, once it’s gone it’s lost.” Another inscription is a quote from a walker, “it’s a wonderful place to be.”

BowleesBarnard CastleDL12 0XF View map
Telephone: 03000262626 Visit Now

Culture Guides


We go all in on festivals, with a round-up of everything from city-spanning giants to grassroots gems you may not know about.


There's no rest for the art lover - this month brings outdoor sculpture, musings on water, political drawings and Liverpool Biennial 2023!

Classical Music

Summer's classical music calendar is filling up nicely! Read our top picks of concerts happening in Manchester and the North.

Winnie the Pooh at Manchester Opera House

The sun has finally got his hat on! Enjoy our top picks of family-friendly events and activities, both indoors and outdoors.

Gerry Potter (credit Lee Baxter)

Books are big this summer, with festival readings, poetry slams, creative writing activities and famous faces all putting in an appearance.

Food and Drink

All signs point toward June being a scorcher of a month, so let’s take a look at all things summery food and drink.

Tours and Activities

From literary activities to brilliant independent shops, keep your minds and homes filled with the good stuff this month.

Theatre in Manchester

Check out our updated guide for lively theatre festivals, rip-roaring rooftop circus and dreamy outdoor shows.