SE4597/04: Thimbleby Bank
The woods on Thimbleby Bank dominate the view south from the village of Osmotherley. This walk takes us from Osmotherley to the small village of Thimbleby, then climbs up through those woods, before returning to Osmotherley along the top of the bank.
On a good day the views from the top of Thimbleby Bank are extensive - the distant line of the Pennines can sometimes be seen in some detail, while the views towards Osmotherley are some of the best in the area.
Ascent: 920 feet/ 280 m
Length: 4.5 miles/ 7.2 km
Map: OS Explorer Map OL 26
Last Walked: 7 May 2007
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Park in Osmotherley.
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From the centre of Osmotherley head south (down the hill).
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At the edge of the village follow the road as it curves around to the right. Cross over Oakdale Beck on the footbridge and continue south along the road to Thimbleby.
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Continue through Thimbleby. Just past the last houses in Thimbleby (and before the road dips down into a small valley), turn left onto a signposted track heading uphill across the fields towards the edge of the woods.
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Pass through a gate into the woods. Once in the woods, follow the track that climbs up through the woods - it is signposted as a footpath. After about 200 meters, this track turns left and levels out. At this point leave it and continue to climb up the slope along the signposted footpath. This path follows what appears to be an old track up the hill towards abandoned quarries.
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At the top of the bank, our path emerges out into an abandoned quarry. From here there are impressive views west towards the Pennines - on a clear day it is possible to make out the entrance to Wensleydale (see picture, left).
At the far edge of the quarries, the path reaches an impressive hanging stone, perched at the top of the bank. Just beyond this stone, the path turns slightly to the left, and follows a route through the trees at the top of the slope. Follow this path through the woods for the next mile. Along the way the nature of the woods changes repeatedly, ranging from pine plantation to natural broadleaf, with what appear to be escapes from the gardens of Thimbleby Hall mixed in.
At one point our path emerges from the trees to cross a forest track. Ignore the track as it plunges down the slope to the left - instead turn very briefly right onto the track and then almost immediately left back onto a path between the trees.
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For most of our walk through the woods, we are heading almost directly back towards Osmotherley. At the entrance to Oak Dale, the path begins to curve around to the right. Soon after this, it descends down the side of the slope into Oak Dale - follow the signposted path down the slope.
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At the foot of the slope, the path turns left, and crosses Oakdale Beck. Once over the beck, the path climbs gently up towards an isolated house. Just before reaching the house, turn left onto a track. Follow this track as it climbs through trees, and then levels out. We are now on a portion of the Cleveland Way, which we will follow back into Osmotherley.
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When the track reaches a road, turn left, then quickly right, onto another track (still following the Cleveland Way).
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After 800 feet, turn left through a farm gate (signposted for Whitehouse Farm). If the gate is locked, continue on a few more feet to a gap in the wall. Just before the farm, the footpath takes a diversion to the right. Follow the path as it descends through the fields towards Cod Beck, running through a wooded valley between here and Osmotherley.
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At the base of this slope, the path crosses a farm track, and then enters the woods along the Cod Beck. Cross the beck on a footbridge, then follow the path as it climbs back up the other (steeper) side of the valley. At the top of this climb, the path runs between two lines of fences directly back towards Osmotherley. Once in the village, cross the first lane (Back Lane), and continue on down a narrow alleyway, returning to the central square.