High Force is a waterfall located in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on the River Tees, County Durham. Not quite the highest waterfall in the country (beaten by Cumbria's Howgill Fells), High Force is still one of the most impressive - and is well worth visiting if you're staying in any nearby Durham hotels. The waterfalls are open all year round, although the High Force gift shop is only open between Easter and October.
Discover a Fascinating Geological Site from Durham Hotels
High Force is much more than a torrent of water, and is an area of great geological significance. Way back in the Carboniferous Period - over 300 million years ago - this region of the Pennines was actually submerged under a tropical sea rich with corals and shellfish. After the sea dried up, these shells hardened into limestone, and even after all this time you might be able to spot some very old fossils. The limestone layer is but one of the fascinating geological layers at High Force, and if you're local to the area you may have heard of Whin Sill, a dark rock called Dolerite that gives much of the regional landscape its unique character. The waterfall itself is aptly named, and has been carved out of the rich geological surroundings by millennia of water erosion, beginning at the last ice age and still continuing to this day. The water erodes the soft sandstone and limestone layers, but the Dolerite is tougher, so forms a lip over which the River Tees tumbles.
A Great Family Day Out from Hotels in Durham
High Force is one of the region's most popular tourist attractions, and as well as the waterfall, you'll find a number of visitor facilities - such as picnic areas, toilets and cycle racks and a cark park, which charges a small parking fee per car. There is also a modest admission fee to the waterfalls. During off season, admission is paid via an honesty box. High Force is a great place to visit for family groups and is best reached by car, with many top quality Durham Hotels guesthouses and bed and breakfasts located nearby, such as Melbourne Place Bed and Breakfast located on the edge of the North Pennies Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.