Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Pennine Moorland and Cauldron Snout

The last time me n Peter got out for a walk was in Norway. I've got a few days holiday over Christmas, the weather is glorious and we've done all the family visits n stuff so it's time to get out and enjoy the glorious sunshine. Except Peter has to work. My fault to be honest, if I hadn't had a brilliant idea about eBay.............

Anyway, finally I managed to persuade him out of his studio and we set off for somewhere I'd wanted to see since Mike Knipe posted a "Where is this?" photo on the WalkersForum
Cow Green Reservoir
After an hour plus drive (stuck behind a big pile of hay!) we reached Cow Green Reservoir. I never realised it was so big. It's surrounded by the Moor House-Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve and is known as an area of outstanding natural beauty. I'd certainly agree with that statement. The area really is stunningly gorgeous, especially in the winter sun we were lucky to have today. Apparently Cow Green Reservoir is full of brown trout...... interesting if your interested in fishing I suppose.

The wind was bitter though, so well wrapped up, we set off along towards Cow Green Dam and Cauldron Snout Waterfall.  I dunno what I was expecting, but the dam looked really modern and concrete. Impressive though.
Cow Green Dam
The River Tees just before it tumbles over Cauldron Snout
Still feeling the cold through the layers of clothes we started down the Pennine Way over the boulders and rocks that line the sides of the waterfall as it drops 200 ft. Certainly not an easy clamber, because everything was covered in slippery melting ice. I had to "not look" once or twice, as I carefully made my way down, avoiding the ice for grass, mud, the odd bare stone, or anything that looked remotely firm. All that effort had its rewards. We were toasty warm when we got to the bottom, and we got to see the waterfall at it's best. 
Cauldron Snout - at the top
Cauldron Snout on the way down
Cauldron Snout at the bottom - and a video to give you the whole scene. 

After that, we followed the Pennine Way and the River Tees past Falcon Clints, It's hard to put into words how truly lovely it was to walk along valley in the December sun. Almost dream like.
The River Tees with Falcon Clints on the left
We passed Widdy Bank and Raven Scar
Looking back, Falcon Clints on the right now
Raven Scar
and reached Widdy Bank Farm, At this point, a little niggly cold that I'd been fighting off took the advantage and suddenly drained me of all my energy. It didn't stop me appreciating the beauty of the white farm buildings in the winter light though.
Widdy Bank Farm.
But it did make the last few miles of the walk feel particularly hard, especially since we'd chosen to follow the road back to the car park. A nice easy (if you discount the climb down beside the waterfall) 7 1/2 miles in a beautiful area on a beautiful day.

What more could you ask for.


  1. Very nice and we were certainly lucky to have had a good few days where the weather had a proper crisp winter feel to it. All the best to you and Peter for 2015 and you never know, our paths may cross this year. 😀

    1. Yes, these lovely sunny days have been wonderful. All the best to you and Jill Andy. As you say, sooner or later we are going bump into each other, on the top of a hill no doubt. :-)

  2. I love that area. It's bleak but beautiful at the same time. And it's always cold. Great pictures.
    Cheers, Alen

  3. We've recently bought a static caravan holiday home near Appleby and am sure this is one place we could go that wouldn't be a long journey. Cauldron Snout looks wonderful - I love waterfalls!

    Best wishes - Paula