From the car park at Bowes (1) walk up through the village. Turn left down a narrow lane just past the churchyard (2), and at the bend in the lane is the entrance to Bowes Castle. Continue along the lane, past the graveyard on the right, and soon go right through a stone stile on a sign-posted footpath which goes diagonally left across a field. Go through another stile in the middle of the stone wall and continue ahead in the same general direction, into the woods above the River Greta. The path leads downhill to a track, where you turn left and soon meet a lane close to Gilmonby Bridge (3). Turn right along the lane through Gilmonby to a sign-posted Tjunction (4).
Turn left along the lane where you will get extensive views over the surrounding countryside. The Stang Forest is in the distance over to your right. Where the surfaced lane ends after about a mile go straight on through a gate, along between dry stone walls, then through another gate. You are now in an area known as The Rigg, which is part of Scargill Low Moor. Bear left through the rushes and heather on a track which can be very wet in places. Aim for the right hand edge of the plantation of pine trees in the distance.
Just past the plantation you will see a stone building and a barn on your left. Go over the stone stile next to the gate and keep straight ahead across a muddy area to the wall ahead of you. Climb the stile in the corner and bear left across the wet field to join a farm track.(5) Turn left along the track where you will get good views ahead which include the village and castle of Bowes, and beyond to the summit of Mickle Fell, at 2591 feet the highest point in County Durham. On reaching the next farm, Plover Hall, keep to the left of the buildings and leave the track to go right and over a stile in the stone wall by the trees. This will take you into a small wooded enclosure and through another stile into a large field.
Keep straight ahead past a way-marked telegraph pole to another stile. Go straight through the next smaller field, and bear right onto the drive to Howlow Gill Farm. Go through the field at the right of the buildings, and then take care crossing over electric fences which are in this area. Look out for rubber tubing over the wire, and cross at this point. Head diagonally left across the sloping field and down to a track. Turn left along the track to the next field where you turn right, over another electric fence- take care again here. Head diagonally across the field, to a stile into the wood. Over this stile the path leads down to a small bridge and out of the trees by a stile on the edge of a large field.
Cross the field, aiming for the far corner of the plantation. Go over the stile next to the stone wall, and keep straight ahead across three more fields to join the road by an iron kissing gate. Turn right and follow the lane, over Gilmonby Bridge and up the hill, to the car park where your walk started.
- Distance (0-5 Km)
- Grade (Easy)
- Time (1-2 hours)
- Walk Distance - 3.5 miles.