Where is this walk?

Cow Green Reservoir

September 6, 2018

In Upper Teesdale the River Tees emerges dramatically at Cow Green Reservoir over the rocks of the spectacular Cauldron Spout. The walk follows the river to the reservoir returning on good tracks.

The Walk

The walk to Cow Green Reservoir provided one of those wow moments of a good walk. I had walked up the embryonic River Tees, a very pleasant walk in some very remote countryside. However the path is part of the 260 mile long Pennine Way so is generally in good condition. On turning to the north I was suddenly confronted with the dramatic site of Cauldron Spot. An enormous explosion of water tumbled down thirty feet of exposed rock. Although the weather had been wet recently I was not expecting such a dramatic sight. Very impressive.

At the top of Cauldron Spout is Cow Green Reservoir. The reservoir was built to supply the Teesside industries in the late 1960s. It is two miles long the sheer size and damage is certainly controversial. However for the walk is its an impressive sight. The path heads alongside the reservoir for a mile before meeting the access road and returning to the start over the moors. As a result the full walk is full of interest and variety, ever changing views set against the backdrop of wild moorland scenery which so characterises this part of the Pennines.


Approach the waterfalls from the river rather than the reservoir and I suggest starting the circular walk at Langdon Beck. In this case the surprise value of the waterfall followed by the tranquility of the reservoir is very satisfying.

Navigation Tips on Cow Green Reservoir

Whilst walking along the River Tees have a look at the steep land on the opposite bank. Then look at your contours on the map, it gives a good idea for future walks what is climbable and what is too steep.


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