South out of Bowes via Gilmonby Bridge, and across farmland and moorland to Spanham Scar. Then it’s south-west to the disused lead mines on Faggergill Moor, before heading in a north-westerly direction to Sleightholme Farm. The final part of the route follows the Pennine Way (and the course of Sleightholme Beck and the River Greta) to Bowes Castle and the starting point. A 13-mile walk in the North Pennines.
The best map to use on this walk is the Ordnance Survey map of the North Pennines, reference OS Explorer OL31, scale 1:25,000. It clearly displays footpaths, rights of way, open access land and vegetation on the ground, making it ideal for walking, running and hiking. The map can be purchased from Amazon in either a standard, paper version or a weatherproof, laminated version, as shown below.
Not a good start. I need to cross a busy cow field at Howlugill.
The track across Scargill Low Moor.
Eller Beck on Scargill Low Moor.
Spanham Scar on the eastern edge of Scargill High Moor.
Quarry on Spanham East Hill.
Track across Faggergill Moor.
The view south across Faggergill Moor towards Arkengarthdale.
Shooting lodge near Brown Knot, Faggergill Moor.
Spoil heaps near the disused Faggergill Lead Mine.
The view south-east from Baxton Knab towards Arkengarthdale.
The view south across the head of the Arkengarthdale valley from Baxton Knab.
Heading down to Sleightholme Farm.
Intake Bridge over Sleightholme Beck, with Bog Scar in the background.
Sleightholme Beck meandering through the valley.
Farm buildings at East Mellwaters.
Cardwell Bridge across Sleightholme Beck.
River Greta footbridge and weir.
The castle stands within the north-west corner of a Roman fort which commanded the approach to Stainmore Pass over the Pennines, on the road from York to Carlisle.
It lay in the area controlled by Richmond and came into the possession of the crown in 1171. The present keep was probably built between 1171 and 1187.
When Scottish invasions took place in the 1170s, the castle was of significance; it was besieged by the Scots in 1174.
Devastating raids from Scotland by Robert the Bruce between 1314 and 1322 caused great disorder in Yorkshire. In 1322, Bowes was besieged and captured by neighbouring lords and the governor of the castle was expelled.
By 1341, the castle was reported to be badly in need of repair and of little use. It is thought to have been dismantled and stripped of much of its stone facing in the 17th century.
St Giles Church, Bowes.