Jo’s Monday walk : Osmotherley and beyond

Shall we share some fresh moorland air today?  Many of you in the UK will be having one last summer jaunt over the Bank Holiday weekend.  I hope the weather holds fair.  It’s a week or two since I was up on the York Moors but the colours were those wonderful shades of rose and lilac that I love.  The village of Osmotherley is just a 40 minute drive from me, less with a tail wind.  You need only turn right at the crossroads and, a little way beyond the village, you can find some delightful walking.  Come to think of it, the same applies if you turn left, but then I cannot guarantee heather.

Follow the footpath sign opposite the cottage, where refreshments used to be provided in the summer.  Maybe business wasn’t so good, or maybe year on year of baking lost its charm.  It’s a shame because I know you would have appreciated a warm scone.  I hope you’ve got water and a little something in your backpack.  And don’t forget to close the gate!

In seconds you’re surrounded.  Leggy Rosebay Willowherb wafts on the breeze, while sturdy heather hugs the contours of these wild spaces.  Clouds sweep across, plunging the landscape into shadow.  Sunlight blazes ahead over the fields.

The path drops down towards woodland and I step aside to let a tractor trundle past.  The driver nods cheerfully.  My husband remarks that he was carrying a gun.  “Was he?” I ask.  “We’d best behave!”  Not that we wouldn’t.

We follow the path into the woods, through dappled shade.  As we start to climb back out again we encounter a group of lady dog walkers, perched on a bit of wall for a picnic.  We exchange the look that says ‘we forgot again!’ and carry on.  They had the perfect spot, overlooking the reservoir.

Over the bridge we go and up the other side, not too sure if this is the right direction.  ‘Of course it is- it’s upwards!’  We clamber up, glad of the stone slabs, and pausing often to admire far reaching views.  At our feet, tiny flowers nestle in crevices, ferns patterning the time-whorled stones.

A little puffing and panting later, and we’ve reached the top.  It strikes me that I would rather have come gently up than descend this footpath.  And then we’re back amongst the heather.  A curious sheep looks on as we rejoin the road and head back towards the cottage.

I’m starting to feel nostalgic for the beauty of the English countryside, and I haven’t even left it yet!  Thank you for joining me.  Link up any time here on Jo’s Monday walk.  I’m always glad of company.  Kettle on now, because it’s sharing time again.

I can always rely on Debs to lift my spirits, as well as my eye level :

Views over Nimes

Lady Lee shares another beautiful weekend away :

Our weekend in Das Kranzbach

Let’s finish off that lovely walk with Janet :

Monday walk…around the lake 2

What does Jackie do every morning?

Rise and Shine

Eunice likes to get out and about too- mostly in lovely countryside like this :

Firwood Fold’s hidden lake

Call me soft, if you like, but this one scares me!  No thanks, Alice!  🙂

Okefenokee Swamp, natures treasure chest

Much happier in Rupali’s tranquil garden :

A short visit to botanical garden

No better place to linger than a sunset with Irene :

A Walk at Sunset

But if you want a climb with stunning views, this is the one!

Hiking: Harry’s Ridge

Lisa shares 2000 years of history with us on a walk through the fascinating city of Acre :

The Port City of Acre 

Cathy has been keeping me company with some awesome walks this past few weeks.  This one is no exception.  Simply phenomenal!

The Grand View Overlook Trail in Canyonlands

Looking back to see what I’d posted about Osmotherley and surrounds, I came upon this walk, from the other side of the village.  Off to Guisborough with the group today.  Sunny, too!  Have a great week!

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.