The idea…

From our ‘Rough Stuff Fellowship’ correspondent.

Well, I had an idea. Wouldn’t it be fun to pick a youth hostel at random, stay overnight and ride the afternoon before and the morning after our stay.

I thought it was a good idea, but only had one taker (Mick Ely – fellow RSF member) we decided to give it a go anyway. Osmotherley was chosen and I said I would do the first afternoon ride and Mick the morning after.

1.pngWe stayed at this YHA…

2.pngThe route for the first afternoon was the one that I had planned (pretty simple and an RSF favourite).

Starting from the Youth Hostel we first went across Cod Beck Reservoir…

3.pngThen up through the forest and onto Square Corner. From here we followed the road to Hawnby, where we had a light lunch.

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We would need this as we ascended to Hesketh Dike before following an old drovers road, which provided absolutely stunning views and some great ‘grass up the middle’ photos, for many miles.

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At the end of the drovers road we were treated to some white knuckle down hill back to Square Corner and then on to Osmotherley where we enjoyed dinner (and a few cheeky pints in the pub) returning to the hostel for some well earned rest.

Route (Day 1) –

7.pngDay 2 was a bit more entertaining (read gruelling!) and so I didn’t take many photos, but the first one is up Black Share as the road turned into a grass track before we descended into Scarth Nick…

8.pngThe route through the woods after Scarth Nick was excellent, so much so that Mick swears one of the women we met at the hostel patted his bottom ? All went well until we got to Scugdale Hall. The push up through the bracken was horrendous but at the top we were rewarded with some great views (well actually it was cold and wet, so they were not that great!) We then descended Carlton Bank, by which time I was freezing (inappropriate clothing) and on to the pub at Carlton in Cleveland. The beer definitely perked me up as is evidenced by this photo…

9.pngFinally we followed some nice country lanes and bridleways back to the start. Some landowners (Sexhow Grange) appeared to have created impassable, unofficial diversions past their properties, but we managed…

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Route (Day 2) – 

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So all in all, it wasn’t a bad idea. And I reckon we will be repeating it soonish.

Words & pictures – Geoff Smith.

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