City of York
West Yorkshire
Yorkshire Dales
South Yorkshire
North Yorkshire
Yorkshire Coast
Howardian Hills AONB
Nidderdale AONB
North York Moors
East Yorkshire


Barnard Castle
Barnard Castle Town
Bowes Castle
Bowes Museum
Bowlees Visitor

Cow Green

Egglestone Abbey
Eggleston Hall

Hannah's Meadow
Hamsterley Forest
High Force
Low Force

Methodist Chapel

Piercebridge Roman

Raby Castle
Raby Castle Gardens
Rokeby Park
St. Mary's Church,
Barnard Castle


Low Force

OS grid reference:- NY 908 280

Low Force, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in England, is situated on the River Tees, and lies within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), one of England's most special places offering a stunning landscape of open heather moors and peatlands, attractive dales and hay meadows and tumbling upland rivers.

The waterfall, which was once known as Salmon Leap, consists of an impresive eighteen feet (5.5 metres) high set of falls, further upstream is its larger sister, the spectacular High Force waterfall.

The word force (pronounced 'foss' locally) derives from 'fors' in the old Norse language used by Viking settlers in the area.

Low Force is the site of the Wynch Bridge, a chain suspension bridge which spans the ravine. That first bridge was of wood supported by iron chains. It was 70 feet in length, and ran across a chasm 60 feet deep and was originally built for the Holwick lead miners who used it to access the lead mine at Little Eggleshope in the fells to the north. The bridge was only 2 feet wide, and had only one hand rail. Contemporary descriptions show that it was a bridge not for the faint hearted with inadequate planking, and the bridge swayed alarmingly in use.

In 1802 a chain snapped, and the bridge collapsed under the weight of nine users. Two men fell onto the rocks below. One survived, and the other was drowned. The bridge was strengthened following this incident, but as late as 1833 it was described as 'a trap for human life'. In 1830 a new Wynch Bridge was built, upstream of the original site, on the orders of the Duke of Cleveland. This is the current bridge, which spans 21 metres and is built of wrought iron hangers with a timber deck.

The waterfall is easily accessible from Bowlees Visitor Centre and picnic centre which is situated around 3 miles northwest along the B6277 road from Middleton-in-Teesdale.

Low ForceLow Force

Images courtesy of Paul Johnson

Beauty Spots