Bowlees circular taking in he Pennine way via Kircarrion

A circular walk from Bowlees. Following the river Tees downstream to Middleton-in Teesdale before climbing out through open moorland via the mysterious corpse of ancient Kircarrion, with wonderful views over Lunedale before descending the dramatic Holwick scar back to base.

Technical sheet
No. 10802221
A Newbiggin walk posted on 20/06/21 by woody121. Update : 02/08/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h35[?]
Distance Distance : 16.27km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 329m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 330m
Highest point Highest point : 506m
Lowest point Lowest point : 220m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Newbiggin
Starting point Starting point : N 54.649374° / W 2.144597°
Download : -


Park behind the Bowlees visitor centre.

(D/A) From the car park take the footbridge and pass through the visitor centre, following the lane directly ahead to reach the B6277, crossing the road to a gate leading through a meadow is just to your right, pass through this gate and follow the well trop footpath to the Wynch Bridge.

(1) Cross the river Tees and take the Pennine way route to your left. Follow the well defined Pennine way route along the right hand bank of the river to come out at the cattle mart on the B627.

(2) Turning right on the road climb a few hundred to metres the junction of the road branching off to Holwick.

(3) Turn right via a beautiful cottage then immediately left through a gate to the right of a farm signposted
Pennine way.

(4) Climb the open fell ahead with the Kirkcarrion copse on your left (You can detour to the walled copse if you like) continue upward to a junction in of two walls with a gate.

(5) Pass through the gate, cross the field to another gate in the opposite wall pass through this gate and turn right following the wall past a ruined stone building to pass another gate in a wall before diagonally crossing a field, passing through another gate and keep on the diagonal track to a gate in a wall to your right, taking this continue through the fields via gates to a hardcore track, here the Pennine way turns left on the lane through a five bar gate.

(6) You continue directly ahead on the hardcore track keeping right at the junction to Cornset, follow this track
all the way through Rakes Gill to come to a hunting lodge on your left.

(7) Keeping to the track on leaving the hunting lodge reach a wall and take the climb up to the right, here pass
through another gate on your left at Brown Dodd.

(8) Follow the wide track for three hundred metres looking out for a footpath signpost low down in the grass to your right, take this path and contour the right hand side of Green fell, maintain this elevation until you reach a wall running from the summit above you directly down the fell ( the footpath on the map is showing dropping down the fellside prior to reaching the wall ) the actual on ground path takes you to the wall before cutting right downhill. Follow the wall down to come to a gate on the left at a junction to another wall.

(9) Pass through this gate, drop down and climb out of Rowton Beck following the well defined path through a further two gates in walls coming to the third gate taking you into Holwick scar.

(10) Passing this gate turn left and follow the rocky path down through the scar (taking care if wet). Drop down into the valley and climb back out at the side of a landfall site, cresting the ridge turn right and walk down to the road above Holwick village, passing a farm building to your right and a bench to your left, you reach a junction in the road.

(11) Take the left had branch dropping downhill on this road for three hundred metres, where the road swings left you to keep directly on into fields crossing two walls before a small footbridge over a stream, from here the path takes you directly down to the Wynch Bridge from where you return to the car park at the visitors centre.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 283m - Car Park at Bowlees visitors centre
1 : km 0.61 - alt. 267m - Wynch Bridge crossing the river Tees
2 : km 6.04 - alt. 220m - Cattle Mart at Middleton Teesdale
3 : km 6.35 - alt. 241m - Road junction to Holwick village
4 : km 8.13 - alt. 422m - Kirkcarrion
5 : km 9.25 - alt. 414m - Farm lane
6 : km 9.65 - alt. 429m - Track junction to Cornset
7 : km 11.01 - alt. 496m - Brown Dodd
8 : km 13.2 - alt. 399m - Rowton Beck
9 : km 14.48 - alt. 343m - Holwick Scar
10 : km 14.91 - alt. 294m - Road junction in Holwick Village
11 : km 15.28 - alt. 286m - Footpath across field to river Tees
D/A : km 16.27 - alt. 282m - Car Park at Bowlees visitors centre

Useful Information

Bowlees Visitors center has an excellent cafe and lots of local history.

If you have time after your walk the short walk via the waterfalls to Gibsons cave is well recommended.

On reaching the Cattle mart, Middleton Teesdale village is a 5 minute walk to your left, full amenities are available here.

The hunting lodge offers an excellent rest place to either shelter or take lunch.
Ignore the pub sign on the farm wall as you enter Holwick, it has been closed for over 12 months.

The route across green Fell and down to Holwick scar can be boggy in rainy periods.

Full day walking equipment is recommended.

Perhaps best to avoid this walk from the 12th August for few weeks as grouse hunting season will be in full swing.

Though all the route is a right of way walk you are crossing grouse shooting moors.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Bowlees Visitors Centre is excellent.
Low force at the Wynch Bridge is very photogenic.
Varied water life in ample abundance along the river Tees.
A visit to the walled ancient copse of Kirkcarrion is worth the effort.
Views over Lunedale as you cross the summit ridge of the Pennine way are very good.
Look up the unique history of Holwick scar :
Holwick house visible from the route above the village is a royal residence, often frequented by the late Queen mother.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.