A PRETTY village, a walk over high exposed but lovely moorland, and a final skirting of the North York Moors escarpment provides an excellent way to spend a long summer’s day.

Osmotherley is a pretty village set high above the Vale of York and easily accessed from the A19. The village itself is centred around a pretty square with 23 pubs, a café and an interesting walking shop but more importantly is the walking centre of the North York Moors.

Not only does the Cleveland Way pass through it, the Coast to Coast nearby, but also it is the start of the famous 42 mile Lyke Wake Walk which crosses the moors ending at Ravenscar.

However this walk is shorter! Form the centre of Osmotherley head to the south end of the village and where the road divides go left.

Climb up the road for nearly ½ a mile before taking the lane to your right. (Did you know all Public Rights of Way from a metalled road must have a finger signpost?). The lane ends at the first of two reservoirs (only one exists as a reservoir, the other is little more than a wildlife pond) and the spring of Jenny Brewster.

While pondering the origins of Jenny Brewster, climb steeply south east on the open moorland where a road takes a sharp easterly turn known as Square Corner.

The walk from here is in Open Access Land so no necessity to follow the public footpaths but it is grouse moors and if there is shooting (later in the year) there will be warning signs to keep away. It does not happen much.

Follow the quiet and open road for ¾ of a mile to the east before taking a wide shooting track north on to the moors.

This is wonderful walking with far-reaching views and a real feeling of space. You are unlikely to see anyone else. After heading north for two miles you will arrive at a Shooting House. Just after the lodge take the left fork in the track.

The Shooting House is a single room made of solid stone, a godsend on a windy day and a perfect place for lunch on a sunny one.

Two ancient stone posts (one ring marked Nelsons Stone) lie near the house and add to the timeless feel of this section of the walk.

Carry on up the left track to the northern escarpment of the North York Moors with ‘great’ views across countryside to the industrial landscape of Teesside.

The track drops in to some forestry so follow the track as it contours the escarpment. Initially heading north west it bends south west to the road at Scarth Nick, hidden as the name suggests at a V in the steep land. Cross the road and climb steadily west with the views changing from the industrial north east to the tranquil Vale of York. ¾ a mile from Scarth Nick the path meets woods to the west. The Cleveland Way crosses in to the woodland and drops a little before climbing back in to Osmotherley and is my preferred choice but there is also a lane which avoids the woods and return the 1½ miles directly in to Osmotherley.

Fact box:

Distance: Roughly ten miles.

Height to climb: 420m (1380 feet)

Start: SE 456972. Osmotherley can be busy but the best parking is at the northern end of the village.

Difficulty: Difficult. It is the length of the walk which makes it difficult and the potential exposure on the moors but it follows good tracks at all time.

Refreshments: Three pubs in the central square of Osmotherley and an excellent café at the small outdoor shop.

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. 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.

Jonathan Smith runs Where2walk, a walking company in the Yorkshire Dales:

• Jonathan has written his own book, the “Dales 30” which describes the highest mountains in the Dales

• He also runs 1 Day Navigation Courses for Beginners and Intermediates

• Join his Learn a Skill, Climb a Hill Weekend (one in June, one in October)

To find out more details on any of the above and details of many more walks in the area visit his popular website, Where2walk.co.uk