Travel: Discovering the great outdoors in Durham – Day Two

Bowlees north Pennines AONB Durham

Exploring the Durham countryside

After day one in Durham what would be on the agenda today?

Well first, of course, is breakfast.  I was still full after steak the night before so just eggs and soldiers for me, and some tea.

Rose and crown Durham

It was far too soon to pack up and say goodbye to Mabel the dog and The Rose & Crown at Romaldkirk.

Rose and crown Durham

A couple of days relaxing would have been better than one but we were now off to Bowlees Visitor Centre for some outdoor activities and to see North Pennines AONB.

The visitor centre is the starting point to discovering the North Pennines in Teesdale, a rugged and remote landscape is mere footsteps away from the centre.

Bowlees north Pennines AONB Durham

Low Force Waterfall is a short walk, over the lovely bridge you can see above. The River Tees cascades over the low rock, which reminded me of the Giant’s Causeway.

Bowlees north Pennines AONB Durham

Further up the river is the more impressive High Force Waterfall which has a 71 feet (22 m) drop and is stunning. It might not be the highest waterfall in England but it does have the largest volume of water falling over an unbroken drop when in full spate!

High force waterfall Durham north Pennines AONB

Then it was back to Bowlees Visitor Centre for a look at their exhibition on….Bowlees Visitor Centre north Pennines

…a famous map. Not just any map but the first nationwide geological map. There’s even a book about it.

Bowlees Visitor Centre north Pennines

In fact Mr Foodie has a copy of The map that changed the world, I’ll have to give it a read now!

Bowlees Visitor Centre north Pennines

then we had some tea and cake – it’s an Earl Grey, lavender and chocolate chiffon cake 😍 delicious and well worth swinging by for, think of it as a reward for after a days hiking!

Next stop Derwent Reservoir.

Derwent reservoir Durham

Here we had a quick lesson on how to fly fish. It  wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, but I still just caught air! I’ll maybe leave this to the professionals!

Derwent reservoir Durham

If long walks aren’t your thing but you would still like to get close to nature then Derwent reservoir is the place for you.  It’s a short walk from the cafe/shop/parking with an easy to walk path around most of the reservoir.   Either walk around the water or just admire the view.

Derwent reservoir Durham

For more information on County Durham and the surrounding area, please visit This is Durham website for inspiration.




I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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