The thundering falls of High Force are an irresistible draw on any drive through Teesdale, approached by a quite delightful short (third of a mile) woodland walk from the car park on the road. From high on the North Pennines, the River Tees rushes and gushes until it reaches a precipitous rock ledge, where it plunges 70 feet into the raging pool below. There are steps down onto the rocks in front of the falls, from where you'll be able to get some amazing photos, and there are also steps up to a viewing area at the top of the falls – though, fairly sensibly, there's no longer any access on to the rocks there. The falls are part of Lord Barnard's Raby Estate, and in summer a shop sells gifts, snacks and ice cream. But at any time of the year you can call into the High Force Hotel by the car park for a handpulled pint and a cheap homemade lunch. If you're up for more of a hike, you can also walk up to the falls from Bowlees Visitor Centre, a couple of miles back down the valley. Raby Castle itself is 20 miles back down the dale at Staindrop, and is well worth making part of the day out.
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Parking £2. Waterfall walk to the falls, adults £1.50, under 15s 50p.
The falls are 14 miles northwest of Barnard Castle on the B6277, and 4 miles on from Middleton-in-Teesdale. From Durham, it's 35 miles and about an hour's drive.
Open all year. Easter–Oct, buy tickets at the gift shop; Nov–Easter, honesty box operates.