After a few frosty, bitterly cold mornings and afternoons in the beginning, April 2021 finally blessed us with a few days of blissful, decent weather; well, decent for Northern England, that is. With a blazing hot sky above, sunglasses and supplies in tow, and a relatively enthusiastic attitude, I set off for my first official Routes to Reverie adventure!
tl;dr - Routes to Reverie is my way of documenting adventures throughout the world, finding exciting places to visit, eat and just having a wonderful time.
For my first RtR adventure, I set off to a local hotspot; the beautiful village of Osmotherly, and the accompanying Cod Beck Resevoir.
Cod Beck Reservoir
North Yorkshire’s moors, dales and coastal areas are synonymous with beautiful. Year on year, tourists flock to the picturesque towns and villages in order escape from their daily lives, and Osmotherly is one of these places. As someone who lives relatively local it’s easy to forget that such beauty is really on your doorstep until you visit them, and Osmotherly is one of those places. To start off the afternoon, I headed straight up to the reservoir.
Heading up to the reservoir from Osmotherly, along Quarry Lane, there are two car parks. Although both being free, and only 200 metres apart, I would recommended vistors to park in the second larger car park, especially on a busier day, though if you have mobility issues you would be better off in the first, smaller, offering. There is also a single parking bay, closer to the dam itself, for those with blue disability badges. Once you’re parked up, you’re ready to go!
Walking over the slight hill from the car park to the lake, through the flurry of trees, you’re immediately greeted with a sense of peace and tranquillity. The air is quiet and still, as the wind travels over the nearby hills and not through the valley itself. On a heavily sunny day, the still water sparkles intensely across the top of the lake, providing a fantastic view from most places.
Walking around the reservoir you can get some great photographs, with some opportune panoramic moments too, if you’re into photography, that is. Towards the bottom of the reservoir, where the dam is situated, there are picnic benches for those who want to enjoy a pre-made lunch before continuing on with the walk. Traversing the reservoir takes about an hour at a slow relaxed pace, especially if you include time to enjoy the scenery and take a few images, before you end up back at the car park. For the adventurous, there are further trails starting at the car park that leads into the hills, but for today, I stuck with the basic path around the perimeter of the water. After getting back to the car, I set off to Osmotherly itself.
According to the 2011 census, a small population of 650 people live in the village, and that seems right given its very quiet nature. On this particular April day, the pub gardens were rumbling with life (as much as a remote village pub garden can be during COVID restrictions, at least). Admittedly, I didn’t spend too long in the village – just enough time to refuel with some drinks, and a delicious local ice cream treat.
From this pit stop, I set my sights a little higher, in altitude at least!
Locally, Roseberry Topping is a legend. Situated next to the town of Newton Under Roseberry, and once thought to be the highest hill of the North Yorkshire Moors, though now debunked fifteen times over, Roseberry remains an icon of the Tees Valley region, topping out at 1050ft above sea level.
On a warm Summer’s day, the walk up Roseberry is hard work, but most certainly worth it. Though, that depends on the way you choose to ascend. The first section is the same, but once you’re above the tree line you’re presented with two options – the easier, yet longer way; or the more difficult direct route to the top. If you’re not in particularly great cardiovascular shape, and haven’t been on long stretches of walking in a while, I would recommend following the easier route. Don’t make the same mistake that I did!
Alas, though, I made it to the summit, and whilst very out of breath, the walk up and down was a very enjoyable experience. With stopping for breaks along the way the whole walk took about 80 minutes, so it definitely won’t take a big dent out of your day.
In Newton Under Roseberry there are free car parking opportunities, so a venture up the huge hill will not cost you a penny! Bring along a picnic, sunglasses, sturdy shoes and you’re set for a welcome few hours away from the world.
Thank you for stumbling onto the first official post for Routes to Reverie. I’m excited to begin planning some of the exciting places I’ve got lined up for the rest of 2021, with some forays to the England’s Midlands, the South, and hopefully some overnight stays a little bit closer to home yet to come!