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Osmotherley, North Yorkshire, 19th August, 2018

'A' Walk - 11 miles.  Leader - Alan Taylor.  Grade - Moderate +.  Ascent - 1660 feet.

Today's walk starts from the centre of Osmotherley, heading northwards at first and in a clockwise direction  so we will eventually and, hopefully, arrive back in the centre of the village at the end of the day !!

It would be true to say that this is a walk of two halves, we walk on the Cleveland Way for half the walk which is on the western side of the East/West median line and the other half is predominantly over open moorland.

Black Hambleton HillBlack Hambleton HillThe Cleveland Way side of the walk is primarily of grassy, rolling pastures and woodland whereas the other half consists of wild, open moor land - stark in it’s bareness but beautiful non-the-less. Views abound all around the walk - from Roseberry Topping and Tees-side to the north-east, 'Black Hambleton' hill to the south and the Yorkshire Dales to the west.

The paths are all very good underfoot and will be of no concern. The path over the Moor makes it a very sociable affair as it is mostly 2½ to 3 metres wide, of good condition and generously covered in sand for most of it's length making side by side conversations not only possible but pleasurable. Even on a bright and sunny day, there can be a brisk, cool breeze out on the open moor - be warned that if such weather is in evidence on the day then appropriate clothing will be required for protection.

I have categorised the walk as being Moderate +, generally, the route is fairly comfortable but there are a couple of places where a stiff climb is involved and then the route has a bit of a sting in it's tail when, very near to the end of the walk and just before re-entering the village, a tiring climb out of a small valley will perhaps test your stamina - just when you need it least.

We soon return to the centre of the village though with all it has to offer in close proximity - toilets, pubs and cafés for your convenience.

 A civilised walk with a bit on the wild side.

 'B' Walk - 8.25 miles.  Leader - Tony Marsh.  Grade - moderate.   Ascent 1200 feet.

Osmotherley is a lovely village on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, surrounded by wonderful countryside and a wide range of excellent walks. No surprise therefore, that this is our third visit to the area since 2012.

The village itself is small and compact but it still has three pubs and a tea room, all within less than 50 yards of each other! .... so it's not just a 'walkers' paradise !!

We begin the walk in sombre mood as we watch the 'C' party disappear Near OsmotherleyNear Osmotherleyeagerly into the superb Tea and Coffee Shop, which was once the village Post Office. The bacon sandwiches here are surely the best for many a mile. But life must go on and we head southwards through the village along a quiet road, soon to take a woodland track which follows Oak Dale Beck roughly northwards. A short steep ascent via Whitehouse Farm is followed by a short descent to the small reservoir at Oak Dale - described unfairly on a previous visit as a 'pond' -  before we begin the main climb of the day out of the dale to 'Chequers', once an old 'drovers' inn, but now a farm.

A quiet stretch of road walking follows before we turn into a large area of mixed woodland. We did have the option here of taking a risk and turning down 'Bad Lane', but it was well-named so we will follow the alternative through the wood. This is a lovely part of the walk and the various tracks eventually lead to Cod Beck Reservoir. We walk along the perimeter to its northern end where we climb up on to Pamperdale Ridge - sounds daunting, but it isn't - where we will take lunch.

After our break we head along a stony track for a short time before joining a quiet road which leads on to Scarth Wood Moor and eventually into Arncliffe Wood where we will follow the various paths downwards along its  eastern edge towards Osmotherley.

At just over 8 miles, with around 1100 feet of ascent - none of it too severe - this is a lovely varied 'B' walk in this excellent walking area. Perhaps familiar in parts to some of you who have been here previously, but still well worth this return visit.

You will not be disappointed in joining us.

'C' Walk - 5.5 miles.  Leader - Rosemarie Leetham. Grade - moderate .  Ascent -  690 feet.

After taking refreshments at the Tea & Coffee Shop in the village we walk up the lane for about 0.3 miles before turning onto Cod Beck ReservoirCod Beck Reservoirthe Cleveland Way up to the TV Station and the trig point.  By this time we will have walked almost 2 miles, mostly steadily ascending with some short steeper sections. But now all the hard work is done.

For the next mile we walk on a downhill track, still following the Cleveland Way.  We then have ¾ mile road-walking ahead of us to reach a car park, though there is a footpath alongside it for much of the way.  This area would be nice place for lunch with lovely views of the beck below, but we can stop sooner if you wish.

We then head for Cod Beck Reservoir and walk along the eastern side of it all the way to the dam. From here we walk towards, and past, the hostel along a wooded path and after one more short but steep hill we return to the village.

A lovely walk!  The paths are mostly good and there are no stiles, methinks.

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Forthcoming Walks

                     2018 ...    September 2nd - Howarth, West Yorkshire

                                    September 16th - Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire

                                    September 30th - Saltaire, West Yorkshire

                                    October 14th - Longnor, Staffordshire Peak District