VISITORS to High and Low Force may need to find an alternative route to see the landmarks, following the temporary closure of a historic bridge.

Following routine inspections, Durham County Council engineers identified that Wynch Bridge, in Teesdale, required some urgent repair work.

From Monday, October 7, the almost 200-year-old Grade II listed bridge will be closed to the public to allow the work to take place.

The scheme is expected to take eight weeks to complete and will see the replacement of the timber deck, and suspension joints, as well as cleaning and re-painting of the iron works.

Brian Buckley, Durham County Council strategic highways manager, said: "This structure is not only of historic importance, but it also provides a vital link across the River Tees, connecting walkers to the Pennine Way and High Force.

"We appreciate that for visitors walking between Bowlees visitor centre and High and Low Force waterfalls this may be an inconvenience. In the meantime, there are alternative paths and footbridges across the river.

"We thank everyone affected for their patience and understanding."

A signed diversion will be in place and visitors to the area can find out more information about the diversion from the Bowlees Visitors Centre, where diversion maps will be available.

The bridge was built for the Duke of Cleveland in 1820 as a replacement for what was said to be the earliest suspension bridge in Europe.