Teesdale Way Section 3 (Holwick Head to Middleton-in-Teesdale)

Section 3 of the Teesdale Way links Holwick Head Bridge with Middleton-in-Teesdale and is the final section of trail to be waymarked as the Pennine Way. For the first half of the journey the trail follows the river. Consequently, the going is fairly gentle until they part company, when there’s a short, rugged climb. Landscape is pastoral with a small amount of woodland along with a few stiles. The route lies wholly within the North Pennines AONB and Moor House – Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve as far as Low Force, as well as crossing lands belonging to Strathmore Estates. There is a GPS route file available for this section as a FREE DOWNLOAD from the shop.

Stats at a Glance

Distance 7.3 km (4.5 miles) | Height Gain 41 m/134 ft | Maximum Elevation 287 m/942 ft | Profile Gently undulating | Going Generally good – mainly over farmland on well-constructed trails and footpaths which are muddy in places. Generally sheltered with many stile crossings some of which are quite challenging | Supplies Middleton-in-Teesdale

Holwick Head Bridge to Scorberry Bridge

You start by heading downstream on the south side of the river on a well maintained footpath to Low Force. The trail’s a bit rockier where the River Tees meets the Whin Sill and is a popular spot for kayakers. Next, you’ll pass Keith Alexander’s sculpture Sheep at Low Force before arriving at Wynch Bridge. The Victorian chain-link suspension bridge provides access across a deep gorge in the Whin Sill to a popular picnic site. Many people people take the trail from that point to visit Bowlees Visitor Centre, Bowlees & Gibson’s Cave Nature Reserve and the impressive waterfall of Summerhill Force.

Back on the Teesdale Way, not far from the bridge, are the distinctive spoil heaps of Scorberry Mine. On the other side of the trail the river flows attractively past Wynch Bank Plantation where the Whin Sill finally disappears. A bit further downstream Scorberry Bridge links the Teesdale Way with the neatly white-washed village of Newbiggin.

Scorberry Bridge to Middleton Bridge

The landscape in now one of stone-walled pastures centred on the medieval village of Holwick. Consequently, you’ll spend much of what remains of the walk opening gates and climbing stiles. In spring these fields are filled with sheep and their lambs. The holes in the walls must be for access which the farmer controls using the corrugated sheets alongside.

The trail’s character changes abruptly to briefly ascend a rugged, wooded bank with the river passing well below. The subsequent descent past Park End Wood is more gentle and normal service is soon resumed although the river is more distant.

Across the fields to the right, you get a good view of the distinctive copse of Kirkcarrion. This is a defining Teesdale landmark visible for miles around. In front and below is Crossthwaite Quarry, one of several abandoned whinstone quarries on the Whin Sill along the road to Holwick.

The trail ends at the main road by the cattle market opposite a rare, half-buried, cast-iron milepost. To the left is Middleton Bridge which marks the end of the section and provides access to Middleton-in-Teesdale.

  • Holwick Head Bridge on the River Tees
  • Picture of a geological feature called Coldberry Gutter in Teesdale
  • Sculpture entitled 'Sheep at Low Force'
  • Wynch Bridge on the River Tees
  • Entrance to Scorberry Mine, Teesdale
  • Wynch Bank Plantation on the River Tees
  • Scorberry footbridge on the River Tees
  • Kirkcarrion & Crossthwaite Quarry, Teesdale
  • Old milestone near Middleton-in-Teesdale
  • Middleton Bridge over the River Tees, Middleton-in-Teesdale
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