THE picturesque village of Osmotherley lies in the western flank of the North York Moors with views over the Vale of York.

A short half day walk can include a great variety of scenery including the attractive Cod Beck Reservoir.

As well as being an attractive village Osmotherley is sometimes referred to as the walking centre of the North York Moors. The Coast to Coast and the Cleveland Way long distance paths pass nearby with many walkers staying in Osmotherley whilst the 43 mile Lyke Wake Walk starts close by. The location of Osmotherey also makes it easy to head up on to the high moors but this walk keeps closer to the village. Park as near the central square as possible (easier now, can be very busy in the summer holidays). Head south for 50metres from the central square and take a side road on the left which doubles back parallel heading north. After 50m the Cleveland Way heads east on a good path.

The path passes alongside some houses before dropping in to some woods and footbridge which crosses a small stream. Cross the footbridge and climb out of the woods to a junction of paths. Ignore paths to the left and right and continue to climb east with a farm on your right. After 300 metres the path meets Green Lane. Turn left and head north along the lane for one miles. It is easy walking. After roughly ¾ a mile the track enters some forestry land. I am not usually a great lover of forestry but this does not last for long and offers a good contrast to the earlier woodland.

Soon after entering the forest there is a meeting of paths, carry on 250 metres to a more obvious forestry track. Turn left on to the track and follow this to the dam which crosses the southern end of Cod Beck Reservoir. Cod Beck Reservoir is a popular walking spot, the whole reservoir being man made (previously just a stream) in 1948. This is enhanced by the nearby location of the popular Osmotherley Youth Hostel. It is perfectly possible to extend this walk by taking the permissive path that circles the reservoir. It adds 1 ½ miles to the days walk.

For those keen on returning to Osmotherley cross the dam and join the quiet road heading south towards the village. The youth hostel can be seen to the left as can a large caravan and camping site. From the reservoir the path does climb gradually before dropping as the village is approached. Many of the houses you pass before reaching the centre were built in the 19th century to house the workers from the growing textile industry and nearby quarries. Finish at at the impressive war memorial in the centre of Osmotherley.

n Jonathan Smith runs Where2walk, an outdoor business in the Yorkshire Dales. He has written his own book, the Dales 30, which describes the highest mountains in the Dales. He also runs one-day navigation courses for beginners and intermediates, and learn a skill, climb a hill weekends. To find out more details on any of the above and details of many more walks in the area visit

The Northern Echo:


Distance: Roughly 3 1/2 miles

Height to Climb: 120m (390 feet)

Start: SE 456972 Park next to the green in Arncliffe.

Difficulty: Easy. A short walk with good views over Osmotherley. It is an extra 1 1//2 miles around Cod Beck Reservoir.

Eat and Drink: There are 3 pubs surrounding the small centre of the village and an excellent café.

Be Prepared: The route description and sketch map only provide a guide to the walk. You must take out and be able to read a map (O/S Explorer OL26) and in cloudy/misty conditions a compass (essential on this walk). You must also wear the correct clothing and footwear for the outdoors. Whilst every effort is made to provide accurate information, walkers head out at their own risk.

Please observe the Countryside Code and park sensibly.