Cow Green reservoir is a large reservoir at the top of Teesdale which was built to provide water for industrial Teesside. It is at the centre of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Beauty and reached by a three mile drive off the B6277.
Miles from the nearest habitation, surrounded by bare moorland at about 1600’, this can be one of the bleakest areas in Britain on a cold wet and windy day. On a sunny day it is some of the best scenery in Britain.
We drove down to the car park at the end of the road with information boards and a view across the reservoir with views across to Great Dun Fell and Cross Fell in the west. There is a waymarked nature trail along the side of the reservoir to the waterfall at Cauldron Snout. This is on a well made tarmac path suitable for wheelchairs except for the last 100 yards with a rock scramble up to Cauldron Snout. There are three steep sections with a climb of 1in 20. There is a large kissing gate which is suitable for a wheelchair but not large mobility scooter. This is a lovely walk out in the wilds of some of the most magnificent scenery in Britain. Unless there are other walkers around, there will be only you and may be a skylark or curlew for company.
We also explored the well made footpath which runs north along the reservoir. This again was an easy walk although there is a locked gate a short distance from the car park which would be difficult for wheelchair users to get round.
There are no facilities at the car park, just a portaloo. Langdon Beck Hotel where the road leaves the B6277 is open all day and serves meals.
A word of advice:
Go prepared with waterproofs and an extra sweater and weather can change suddenly up here.
There is information about the nature trail (numbers 1-5) here