This is the fourth of our Looking Back posts and this time we will be looking back on Swainby to Osmotherley. A walk that was great mainly because it was a fabulous day, warm and sunny, and the views over North Yorkshire were spectacular.
We had checked out this walk in the autumn of 2017. For some reason we only got one photo of the whole walk. What we did get though was a huge amount of blackberries and some wild raspberries.
The start – Swainby
The starting point was originally going to be Osmotherley. However, when we went there we couldn’t get parked. The road out of Osmotherley led onto the moors and came out at Swainby. Luckily, there was plenty of parking here and it became the start.
We parked up alongside the Scugdale Beck, which runs from Scugdale Head, up on the moors. As we had arrived very early, we decided to go and look for breakfast. We found The Rusty Bike Cafe. Lovely bacon sandwiches. We’d visit here later.
After breakfast, we wandered back to the car to meet the others. We also met up with Maggie, who had been on one of our training sessions earlier in the year. She was very familiar with this area, as she had lived close by. She had invited her local Nordic Walking leader, Hanne.
Onto the moor
The first part of the walk was through the village. It’s a lovely Yorkshire village and the walk along the road was pleasant in itself. Eventually we reached the hill. This was inevitable, considering we were going to spend our day on the North York Moors. Everyone was feeling fit as we headed up through the woods. So, with no complaints, we joined the Cleveland Way.
Scarth Wood Moor
A short distance through the wood and we reached the cattle grid on the road across the moor. This is the point where John met someone that he knew, a ranger for the National Park. It’s a small world.
We continued on a little way and found the first incredible view awaiting us. Cue the first group shot.
At the top of Scarth Wood Moor, we decided to vary the walk a little and follow a route to Osmotherley via Swinestye Hill. On the way we got views of Cod Beck reservoir. This is a popular area as much of the moors is only accessible to walkers. The road between Swainby and Osmotherley passes the reservoir, so anyone with a vehicle can get here.
It was very busy in Osmotherley as, unbeknownst to us, Osmotherley Show was on. We all maanged to get fed and watered though. A visit to the loos and we were off on the way back.
Under Lady Chapel
On the way back, we took a different route, for part of it at least. This time we followed the Cleveland Way along the West side of the hill. This took us under Lady Chapel, or The Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Grace. Plainly this is linked to Mount Grace Priory further down the hill. Its location gives panoramic views of the surrounding area. I remember visiting this with my uncle in the 1970s, when he was the caretaker of Mount Grace.
Above Mount Grace
A little further along we passed above Mount Grace Priory. This is a lovely place to visit. The house is National Trust and the priory is English Heritage, so members of either can access them. It’s situated a distance from the A19, so can be very quiet and peaceful, when there aren’t too many people around.
South Wood and Arncliffe Wood
We went into South Wood and took a path up towards the old TV station at the top of the hill. On the way we decided that another group picture was called for.
Continuing on, we reached the top of the hill and skirted along the top of Arncliffe Wood. Through the kissing gate and we were back onto Scarth Wood Moor.
Back to Swainby
Heading back into Swainby, we were all looking forward to cake and tea. So, a visit back to the Rusty Bike Cafe was on the cards. A lovely end to the day and great food.
We hope you enjoyed looking back on Swainby to Osmotherley, why not take a look at the previous ones, “Looking back on Coldingham and St Abbs” or “Looking back on Ford and Ford Moss“. Stay safe and look out for the next one.
Julie and Martin x
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