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. One of these days I’ll take a walk, too. This is a great idea, the first I’ve heard of it. But I’ve always been a little slow. I love the photos of your walk!

    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 🙂

  2. 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! 🙂

  3. 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 🙂

  4. 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).

  5. 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. 🙂

  6. 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).

  7. 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 🙂

  8. 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. 😀 ❤

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