The weatherman said the driest area in the north today would be the North Yorks Moors so we headed for Osmotherley on the edge of the moors just beyond Teeside. Easy to find from Newcastle, through the Tyne Tunnel and head south on the A19 until you spot the road to Osmotherley, the road is called Clack Lane. Osmotherley is a clearing belonging to Asmund if you are a Viking or Osmund if you are a Saxon. A pretty village with pubs, coffee shops, fish and chips and plenty of accommodation for walkers on the Cleveland Way or the Lyke Wake Walk. The village Church, St Peter's, has some Saxon foundations and Norman nave and tower. The whole of the walk is covered by OL26 North Yorks Moors, Western Area. It is a double sided map, most of the walk is on South Side 2 but a short part is on the North Side 1. Much better to photo copy and laminate, if you can stand the snorts from some people.
We parked on the side of the road in the village and made for the Coffee Shop which served a good looking bacon sandwich for those who indulged and the tea was fine, The coffee shop also sells boots, handy if you have forgotten yours (this has happened). Black coffee and a pair of Brashers please, size 10.
Car park and village street. Head up the street towards the village store.
We started by walking north up the village street, sensibly called North End and after a few hundred yards found Ruebury Lane on the left. This is on the Cleveland Way, a long distance footpath easily recognised by the markers which have a white acorn on a black background. Having crossed a couple of fields we diverted from the track to visit the chapel named "Our Lady of Mount Grace". Founded in 1397 or thereabouts it fell into disrepair after the reformation, although, as with other areas in the north of England, catholicism continued in secret until the 17th century when it came out, so to speak. The chapel was rebuilt in 1961 but retains a few ancient foundations.
Back on the Cleveland Way we walked along the east side of Arnecliffe Wood , across Scarth Wood Moor before descending and leaving the acorned path. We followed a minor road, there is a rough path on the side. There are a few picnic spots here and a small car park but there is a much larger one close to Cod Beck Reservoir. Before reaching the reservoir there is a set of stepping stones, last week's practise came in handy.
Stepping stones, no longer a problem.
About half way down the reservoir we declared a Herbie Spot near a fine bench dedicated to Albert Etherington. Today's treats were: Mrs A's coconut and lime cake, fruit cake left over from my birthday, Bakewell Tart from Mr Kipling and Ben's ginger biscuits. ( I have set the weight on my pedometer at 200 pounds, but this allows for clothing and a very heavy rucsac.
The lime flavour reminded me that at University my daughter had earned some money giving English conversation lessons to some Japanese students. One day she asked them if they knew what rhyme was and the answer came back "Yes, like lemon but green".
She asked me to send her a copy of Paul Simon;s "Fifty ways to leave your lover" to illustrate rhyme:
"Make a new plan Stan, slip out the back Jack, Let yourself go, Mo" etc.
This allowed the punmeister to explain that the Japanese had ruined the British car industry by finding "Fifty ways to lose your Rover" Good one.
Lunch over we continued down the side of the reservoir, glimpsed a small deer in the wood and families of Mallards on the water plus a distant flock of Greylags. Taking a path through the wood we came to a deer fence, turned left and followed it uphill before emerging into fields. At Rocky Plain we took the footpath marked around a farm and then walked up the straight farm track to the road and turned right onto a road that passes Solomon's Temple, a neolithic ruin marked by two standing stones, which we missed.
This road is an old drovers road and soon we came to "Chequers", (not that one) now a farm once a pub specifically for the refreshment of cattlemen on their way south.
Just beyond Chequers we came across a pair of gateposts very close together and a considerable amount of collapsed stone wall. Was this an overnight holding area for cattle or sheep?
Continuing on the road we soon came to Square Corner and turned right to walk down Oak Dale. The path was paved with old mill yard flags and the valley was well wooded with deciduous trees, presumably that's where the name comes from. We passed a reservoir which had been drained for some work and eventually came to a road. Crossing the road and taking a farm track towards Whitehouse Farm we stopped to admire the gentle hill before us when an elderly gent in a Land Rover asked if we needed help. As if gadgies need help! We had a pleasant chat, he said the farmhouse was 17th century and yes, the views were wonderful, on a clear day you could almost see Harrogate.
Near Whithouse Farm.
The footpath crossed a stream, climbed steeply and became a very narrow lane with some stone stiles:
The path became an alley and we were on the village street, next to the car. Above the alley a sign told us the Osmotherly Methodist Chapel was here. John Wesley preached here in 1761, as he did all over the north.
Changed we walked to the Queen Catherine pub in the village square. So called after Catherine of Aragon (Henry VIII's first wife in case you forgot) who used to pop in for a pint on her way to Edinburgh, apparently going to watch Hibs.
The pub offered Lancaster Bomber, Wainwright, Magic Sponge and Black Sheep and crisps.
LIDL3D 19404 9.11
ASDAPED 19487 9.15
Dave;s LIDL3D 18518 8.7
LIDLUSB 18173 9.17
My GPS 8.7
Total Gadgie distance 257 miles
Pretty consistent results
We saw red legged partridge, lapwings, sand martins, swallows, warblers, a heron and the bird of the blog: