God’s Bridge, A bridge too far? Never!

The other day I was out in the North Pennines giving my all in my role as a Pennine Champion.

You will recall that I have been entrusted with the task of keeping my eye on a small stretch of the Pennine Way in the north Pennines. From God’s Bridge NY956125 to Blackton Bridge NY932182, I’m making sure that the signs are pointing the right way, reporting damage to gates and fences etc etc.

Generally doing my very small bit will, I hope, begin to repay a debt of huge pleasure the PW has given me over the years.

My last post on the subject reported the results of my OS map survey. I listed various ‘features in the landscape’ that I felt I should keep an eye on whilst out and about on the trail.

Today my mission was to walk the PW from Gods Bridge up to the A66 underpass and then out onto the wild and spectacular Bowes Moor.

I was intent on keeping my eye on God’s Bridge. An SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), I feel it important to get to know it well.

I won’t be going into the geology, the geography, the eco-environment about and around the bridge in any detail. There are plenty of books and papers written by experts that you should have fun seeking out of you want to bone up on the subject, and I recommend that you do, it is fascinating.

But here is my quick guide:

God’s Bridge is a Site of Special Scientific Interest in the Teesdale district of south-west County Durham, England. It is a natural limestone bridge over the River Greta, just over 3 km upstream from the village of Bowes.

The bridge was formed by a process of cave development in the limestone beneath the river bed and is the best example in Britain of a natural bridge formed in this way. The SSSI covers a portion of the river above and below the bridge where shallow cave development by solutional activity is still taking place. – Got it!

The Pennine Way crosses the River Greta at God’s Bridge, which is where I come in.

I’m pleased to report that Gods Bridge in still there and is in a fully working condition!

There was some damage to a sign which I’ve reported, but apart from that it’s all fine. A great spot to sit and think, take in the scenery, have a rest and a brew, or a wander around and try and work out how the bridge was formed was formed.

I’m always a little in awe of this structure and of the River Greta. It’s a bit like playing a game with the river water of ’now you see it, now you don’t. The water appears, disappears and then re-appears over and over like magic.

River Greta upstream of God’s Bridge

River Greta down stream ’now you see it, now you don’t’

Go and have a look for yourself. If you’re walking the PW do spend a bit of time at the bridge. If you fancy it as a day walk there are some really goods riverside footpaths in the area with splendid map/information boards around. It makes a nice day out. I parked the car in Bowes , had a look at Bowes Castle then followed the PW and the other well marked footpaths to God’s Bridge.

I did get further that day but I will save that for another post.

There’s always an audience in these parts!


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