TV presenter, outdoors enthusiast and adventurer Ben Fogle visited Durham last month to film the latest episode of his 'Great British Adventure' series. The video will be online soon, but here's a preview of where we visited with Ben.
First stop: Low Force Waterfalls
We met Ben and the film crew at the Kingsway Adventure Centre in Middleton-in-Teesdale where we were welcomed by Rob and Abi who helped get Ben kitted up and ready for his first adventure. We made the short drive to Low Force waterfalls and Ben was eager to get started.
It was a very hot summer's morning and the water was very calm. After a spot of gorge walking (and once Ben had posed for some selfies) Ben got in the water for some white water swimming before jumping off the waterfall into the River Tees under the expert guidance of the guys from Kingsway. (please don't try this without an activity provider)
Next up: High force
Next up we headed along the B6277 to High Force - Ben could hear the sound of the falls long before he saw them and was impressed when we got down to do some filming. You can walk to High Force from Low Force but we were tight on time so took the car - there is a car park on the opposite side of the road should you want to park and walk as we did.
And then... Hamsterley Forest
After a quick stop for lunch we headed to Hamsterley Forest (around a 45 minute drive from High Force) where Ben took on a mountain bike challenge with volunteer trailblazer Olly Graham.
The forest offers endless opportunities to get outdoors and active, from gentle walks and nature trails to some of the best off-road cycling in the UK. There are over 2,000 hectares of woodland to explore on 33 miles of waymarked trails, ranginf from modetate to hard and severe.
And finally... Durham Heritage Coast
Ben went to check out the views out to sea from Nose's Point in Seaham before trying his hand at paddle boarding at Seaham Marina where Colin Burn showed Ben the ropes and explained that the new watersports centre will be open in 2017 when you will be able to try your hand at kayaking, canoeing, coasteering and much more.
Stay tuned for the full video coming soon...