Jo’s Monday walk : Sheepwash and the Moors

Got any sheep you want washing? Here's the place!

Got any sheep you need washing? This is the place!

And now, as they say, for something completely different.  In more senses than one because some of you will know that this isn’t the walk I originally intended taking you on this week. Fortunately, I have walks to spare!  I’ll tell you the story first, before we head to Sheepwash.

Last Monday I was at Carlton-in-Cleveland with my walking friends.  The area is pretty steep and, as it half-promised to be a warm day, I decided to take water with me in my newly acquired, hands-free, sling over the shoulder, cool bag.  Foolishly I slipped my camera inside, without any cover or protection.  When I came to extract it an hour later, it felt a little moist.  Keen to get snapping, I gave it a swift rub with a tissue and off I went.  The brave and obedient camera performed as usual for the first few shots, then suddenly it ‘locked up’.  When I looked at it properly, the screen was all misted.  The poor soul had drowned!

In these kind of circumstances (yes, I am pretty careless!) I normally hand the camera to Michael, and with a bit of ‘tutting’ he resuscitates it.  Not this time!  We took turns at snuggling it in our pockets, hoping to dry it out and breathe new life into it.  Quite understandably, the camera refused to respond.  I have to say that it ruined my walk, through magnificent countryside, but just maybe I’ve been taught a lesson.  With love and affection (and a warm seat on the radiator) the camera finally came back to life the following day.  Will I ever learn!

I hope you like my substitute walk, from Sheepwash.  I haven’t ever actually seen a sheep being washed in the stream, but that is where the name derives from.  Cod Beck is a small tributary of the River Swale and the picturesque area known as Sheepwash is a popular picnic spot.

The National Trust has its priorities right in this area!

The National Trust has its priorities right in this area!

As the walkers set off, I crouched in the grass to inspect this little beauty

As the walkers set off, I crouched in the grass to inspect this little beauty

Soon we are climbing up the hillside, away from the road

Soon we are climbing up the hillside, away from the road

The countryside drops away below us

The countryside falls away below us

And we're walking on the Cleveland Way

And we’re walking on the Cleveland Way

Sheepwash is situated just outside the pretty North Yorkshire village of Osmotherley.  From the village centre, take North End and continue on to Quarry Lane, passing Cod Beck reservoir on the way.  There are a couple of parking bays, just beyond Sheepwash.

North Yorkshire is a superb place for walking.  The Lyke Wake Walk starts on the moors above Osmotherley and ends down the coast at Ravenscar.  Bill Cowley, a local farmer, claimed that you could walk these 40 miles on heather all the way, except for crossing a couple of roads.  For me, there is no finer sight than the vast sweep of purple heather in Summer.  Osmotherley is also on the 110 mile long Cleveland Way, from Helmsley to Filey, just skirting the Moors.

A solitary sheep keeps his distance across the field- no sheep wash for him!

A solitary sheep keeps his distance across the field- no sheep wash for him!

The waymarked trail leads off across the moors

The waymarked trail leads off across the moors

With runnels to help the rains to drain away

With runnels to help the rains to drain away

And interesting whorls beneath your feet

The grasses a tapestry of colours

A tree, braving the elements, alone

It’s a bit of a steep haul up the trail but you can always stop to admire the view.  A bench awaits for the weary, or you can continue on through the gate, and turn left.  It’s downhill from here.

The resting place

The gate at the top of the hill

The name says it all.  That’s Michael, caught on the phone, in the background

The path drops back down towards Quarry Lane, with views over Cod Beck reservoir, our next destination.  Cross straight over the road and take the path down to your right.  There’s a caravan park at the bottom which always looks inviting, but we continue over the bridge and then left through the trees, which brings you out at the reservoir.  But first, the waterfall!

I always pause to look at the waterfall on Cod Beck

Cod Beck chuckles as it races down the steps

Two shiny red canoes! A rarity at the reservoir

Two shiny red canoes! A rarity at the reservoir

Today they have company- it's a school trip

Today they have company- it’s a school trip

But the goslings don't mind

But the goslings don’t appear to mind

The gorse is plentiful too

The gorse is plentiful too

With just a few mallows at the water's edge

With just a few mallows at the water’s edge

Walking the length of the reservoir will bring you back to Sheepwash.  Maybe you’ll stop for a picnic, or return to Osmotherley for something more substantial at one of the village’s three pubs. It depends a little on the weather.  Today was perfect!

I hope you enjoyed walking with me.  I like a bit of company so if you have a walk you’d like to share, please do join in.  All you need to do is leave a link in the Comments below this post, or if you prefer, link to any of my walks from your own post.  Normally I will round all the links up and post them at the bottom of next week’s walk, so everyone gets a chance to see them.  Next Monday I’ll be in the Algarve and I won’t have any technical stuff with me (just the camera, if I’m lucky!) so there’ll be no walk posted.  Sorry!  I’ll try to add your links to this week’s post before I go, but any I miss I’ll add to the following week.

I already have a superb selection of walks from last week, so put the kettle on and let’s go armchair walking!  First we have Paula, at lovely Lake Lugano :

Then Sue, slightly crazy in Calgary! :

And Drake, in the serenity of Samso :

Cardinal is in Jerusalem- a place I’d love to visit! :

Beautiful and British, stately homes with Elaine :

Pauline takes us ‘down under’ :

And Jude, in leafy green Ludlow :

And from this week’s walkers, we have Paula again, feeling energetic in London, this time :

And Drake is taking me to the cemetery.  But don’t worry, it’s by a lovely route! :

If you’ve ever wanted to see the fabulous Lost gardens of Heligan, Jude has the shots!  :

I’m blessed this week.  My travelling Australian friend, Christine, has joined in from the Alpujarras in Spain  :

Yvette can tell you all about olive oil! :

And wow!  I am so honoured.  Madhu has been walking in Bologna, in the rain too!  :


Happy walking folks!  Take care till next time.


    1. Thank you so much! 🙂 Sorry I haven’t been over to visit you yet. You were waiting in my Inbox till I’d completed this week’s 6WS, but now I have no excuse. I’ll be right there 🙂

  1. Such a wonderful walk post! So happy to the growth of the weekly walk in short period of time. 🙂 Thanks for the great idea, Jo! For some reason, your post hasn’t come to my reader…

    1. Glad you liked it, Amy! I’m a little worried that people might not visit them all if there are too many posts, but I can’t exactly complain about people wanting to join in, can I? It’s wonderful! 🙂

  2. Moor, not anything I really have walked on – neither here or in UK. Moors have a bit scary effect on me … but your walk has changed my view completely. And you have got some fantastic walking company now – more and more for every week. Good on you.

    1. Hi Vivi! 🙂 I’m back but had just 4 hours sleep last night so not at my best. Managed the Nordic walking on the beach this morning and it was beautiful. No photos because it’s too difficult with walking poles. Will come looking for you this evening. A hug to be going along with 🙂

  3. What a beautiful place for a walk! I’m glad to hear your camera recovered from its bath. I’m always worried about putting my camera (it’s in a case, but still) and bottles of water in the same bag (I put them in a plastic bag).

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed your walk today…the pretty sky and the lovely stone path through the beautiful countryside. I’m glad that you didn’t kill your camera. Perhaps by posting about it, you will save someone else from having that happen to them.

    1. Thanks Karen 🙂 It seems a few people have had damp camera syndrome (and there I was thinking I was the only one 🙂 ) because the tips about what to do rolled in! Putting it in uncooked rice seems to be the favourite- would you have thought!

      1. I heard of that suggestion if you drop your phone in water. Hopefully none of us will need to use that advise. 🙂

  5. Jo, I’m so sorry about the mishap with your camera, but at least it seems to be working now!! The substitute walk was lovely though; I always think the heather on the moors is so romantic! I guess you are packed for the Algarve?? Bon Voyage. It was about this time last year I was preparing to leave Oman and head to Spain (June 28 was when I left Oman).

  6. How long did it take to do that walk? Our signs usually give a distance and the time it takes to do the walk. Not that time matters if you are enjoying yourself. 🙂

    1. I’m trying to remember, Ann 🙂 The age of the group is up to 80 and a few of them are ‘slowing up’ (me included 🙂 ). We usually only do about 4-5 miles and I think this one took around the 2 hour mark.

      1. I’m not sure Jo….the light was so grey, and the wild wind made it hard to stand still never mind find manual focus!! Atmospheric is probably the description….you’ve reminded me to go and have a look at the results 🙂

  7. LOL! Looks like that sheep had no intention of getting washed Jo. I don’t blame him. 🙂

    Stunning captures of the beautie there hon. I think the sheep and I will take a ride in one of those beautiful red canoes. Maybe you’ll see us there on the river on day. 😆

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful walk. 😀 ❤

    1. The thought of you and the sheep in one of those canoes has me falling about laughing too, Sonel 🙂 But if anyone could do it, you could! Hugs, darlin.

      1. Whahahahaha! Yeah, can you just imagine? The poor sheep! LOL!

        You bet! I might even bring a monkey with! hahahahaha

        ♥ Hugs ♥ sweetness. I am glad your camera is safe and sound. 😀 ❤

  8. Wonderful country, and wonderful photos. You keep on finding good places, presumably on your doorstep. Today, for me, a city walk around Budapest with my 5W friend. I don’t photograph well in company, so I’ll have to try a verbal. Photos are so much better.

    1. Yes, the Moors are a 40 minute drive away (not the Andalucian variety!), and as you know I live near a beach in both homes so there’s plenty of beauty to find 🙂
      Oh, Budapest! Another one on my list!! Enjoy 🙂 I know what you mean about the photos. The number of times I’ve seen Michael with that resigned expression, or trying not to tap his toe waiting on a street corner.

  9. I dropped my camera (phone) in the creek a few weeks back, Jo, so I totally understand the ‘Nooo’ factor!

    I really enjoyed this walk today. The waymarked trail that leads across the moors would make a great book cover for a mystery novel! 😀

  10. I’m back – full of cow pie! Lovely walk in Yorkshire Jo. Loved the ice-cream van sign, my sort of quirky shot. I was last in Yorkshire in late Nov 2008 – in the snow! We didn’t do much walking except around Whitby Abbey in a howling gale, I have never been so cold! Next ‘up North’ holiday has to be North Yorkshire or maybe Northumberland – oh too many lovely places to visit! Enjoy Portugal – just a week? Have a good rest in the sunshine.

    Oh, and we have seen plenty of sheep here that could do with a washing 🙂

    1. Aside from that one day in Pooley Bridge late last year I haven’t been to our Lakes for years, Jude. I do miss the weekends we spent there. They are so lovely. Yorks/Northumberland is a hard choice. I don’t spend nearly enough time in Northumberland because Yorks is so much nearer. I have, however, agreed to meet Paula (Lost in Translation) at Hadrian’s Wall next July 🙂

      1. Hadrian’s Wall is lovely countryside – we spent time around there a few years ago. I have a draft post of that trip which I must publish!

      1. Well this was written for another web site, but I still need to publish it on WP. After the re-run of the South African posts I think 🙂

  11. I really enjoyed this walk, Jo, but am disappointed that the ice cream van wasn’t in residence in its appointed spot. 😦 So glad your camera revived. I can well imagine your frustration. What good is a walk without a camera, after all? 🙂

    1. My phone is an old Nokia that only does texts, Lucy 🙂 You know I’m out of the dark ages! Thank you. Huge thunderstorms here today so I’m rather looking forward to it.

    1. Thanks a lot, Amanda 🙂 It does make a walk more interesting when you know that you’ll probably share it. You look more closely for interesting shots.

  12. That is one beautiful area Jo, I must get myself out walking instead of just passing by in the car. Love those ancient walkways and of course, the sign for the obligatory ice cream van 🙂

  13. So glad you got your camera up and running again Jo! What a relief, not only for you but for us! Even just the name ‘Sheepwash’ got me looking forward to this walk and I was not disappointed, in fact, I enjoyed it immensely. The countryside up there is spectacular, I love the clouds too! Great sign for the ice cream van, don’t think I’ve ever seen that before! This year seems to be especially beautiful with the mild spring and all the rain…makes up for the awful storms….
    Have a lovely holiday Jo and look forward to more walks when you return 🙂

      1. Yes, I had a super weekend thanks Jo, it was lovely to spend time with my boys and get away. We had wonderful weather too down in Lewes and Brighton. You really are in a gorgeous part of the world.
        Bon voyage 🙂

  14. If the camera meets water again, open the compartment(s) up – battery/memory card, put it in a bowl of uncooked rice, ensuring it’s covered, and let it sit for 24 hours. That technique has recovered cellphones and cameras for us – including a camera that had a vase of water spilled over top of it. Lovely images once again Jo. I feel like I’m on your walk with you.
    – Suzan –

    1. Thanks a lot, Suzan 🙂 Sonel gave me this tip too, on the day it happened. It seemed amazing to me but she’s a camera expert so I’m sure it works.

  15. Really enticing with wonderful pictures to come back to (North) Yorkshire some day (soon). Not that I needed that reminder. It’s been on our bucket list since we were there [York actually] last spring – but didn’t have enough time to explore.
    Thanks for sharing the experience,

  16. Oh thank heavens the camera came to life! These learnings are painful rent they. What a beautiful substitute walk Jo. I can’t believe the number of goslings! Best wishes for a wonderful week ahead in the Algarve from ‘slightly crazy Sue in Calgary’ Thanks for sharing my ‘walk’. 🙂

      1. Well I guess we do have the term Crazy Canucks. 🙂
        It would be gentle speed this week Jo as I did a half marathon yesterday. I’ll meet for a walk in the Algarve.

  17. Loved walking on the moors with you Jo. But I’ll have to take leave of absence this week Naomi is back so we are socialising for a couple of days before leaving via bus to Perth on Thursday and another couch surf so internet is an unknown commodity for the next 4 weeks. Will grab it when I can…

    1. I’ve enjoyed your company, Pauline (and Jack’s) and I know there’ll be good things to look forward to when you’re back online again. Enjoy Perth! 🙂

      1. Sunshine, cloud, a bit of drizzle but a lovely evening. We are just setting out for dinner now. Had a great day walking around Grasmere. Tired feet though 🙂

  18. A top of the world kind of walk, Jo. Lovely. And I did so feel for you, too, over the camera, and so glad it survived. I killed my first one by having it in my bag with a pot of pickled herrings from the local deli. There was no way back from a dunking in sticky, fishy vinegar. The second one fell out of my bag in a taxi in Toronto. It’s the reason why I now have a very cheap Kodak Easyshare, which is actually rather good, though a little battered. I love your Monday walks page. Exercising vicariously.

    1. Thanks a lot, Tish! You sound even more accident prone than me 🙂 Mine is just a Canon digital- not expensive but I don’t want to have to replace it.

  19. It’s good that the camera came back to life! My camera once fell off a chair to the floor. It was in a bag, but it wasn’t an official, brand bag. It got ruined from that small fall and it cost me a lot to fix it. After that all my cameras are in real camera bags with lots of protection!

  20. What a resilient camera! I bet it’s looking forward to a holiday on the Algarve too – just don’t cover it with sun creme too 😉 I enjoyed this Monday morning walk, and I’ll bear it in mind next time I have a sheep to wash.

  21. No walking for me right now. Merely a hop to the loo my darling. But in the past I’ve done parts of both walks. We set off to do the Cleveland Way in its entirety but on the second day, Partner, in a rush for refreshments on a Sunday afternoon before 3am (before all day opening) – sprained his ankle. On another section of it one of our dogs helped himself to some walkers’ sandwiches. We beat a hasty retreat.

    Enjoy Portugal Jo. Should be very nice and warm for you. Don’t come to Gib – I won’t be able to meet you!

  22. This is just what I need to start my week Jo. You take us to most beautiful walks. Happy to hear you managed to resuscitate your camera. Btw, I would really like to see a sheep getting a wash :D. Now, I will link to you. xx

  23. Superb photos Joe and looks like a great walk too. I walked a bit around this area in the past – I remember doing the Lyke Wake Walk once – but after looking at your pics I will have to do some more.

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