Osmotherley to Lady Chapel

I’m here to regale you of the latest episode of our little walking club.

You may recall that at the end of our last foray into the heart of North Yorkshire we resolved to do it again and Osmotherley was to be the target. To be more precise it was a walk from Osmotherley to Lady Chapel, a beautiful little church that surveys the Vale of York from a position of absolute delight about a mile and a half above the Cross in the village.

Peter, Hayden and Dave arrive at Olwog’s Villa ready for a quick jog to the bus stop outside the Buck. The weather is windy but sunny and crisp as we set off across the centre of our little Court exchanging insults with my neighbours but with no noticeable increase in our numbers. We arrive at the Buck and are confronted with three busses all reassuringly well patronised; however, none of them was ours. Abbotts’ of Leeming were serving our bus passes and, although a little late, the driver is wonderfully obliging and cheerful which enhances an already good mood. We are quorate in as much as all who said they would come are actually here and we all gathered around to watch Bri pay for his ticket as he doesn’t yet have an old farts pass.

Today we are seven with personal appearances from both Robin Wright (General Entertainment), Hayden Kirby (Drums and local guide), Dave Rider (Ex-Hangliding but in need of additional training on Landing Skills) and Pete Fleming (International Instrumentalist, Singer and Self Proclaimed Star), George Renwick (Gifted educator), Bri Roberts (Saxophonist) and me (Note-taking and photography). So, with our gifted heptet, we’re off!

The bus makes its ways to first stop at the hospital then out to Brompton. George hands out a few sweets and the noise becomes more intense as the ‘e’ numbers and sugar rush have their effect on this elderly crew. The journey from Northallerton to Osmotherley is a delight and is something that you don’t notice when driving so it’s good to take in the Vale of Mowbray to the left and the North Yorkshire Moors in silhouette to our front.

Our Abbotts’ Bus driver is magnificent and couldn’t be more helpful as George presses the stop button a little too early. In fairness, it’s the raucous sound of the assembled group that encourages him to press it but it doesn’t stop us putting him completely in the frame for blame and the possibility of subsequent chastisement. Obviously the driver is far more of a gentleman to reprimand him and probably appreciates that the rest of the elderly adolescents are truly to blame as he casts us a light-hearted smile as we disembark and breaths a sigh of relief as the electronic door quietly clunks shut!

Osmotherley is busy beyond description and the decision to go by bus is well vindicated. We head up North End towards Ruebury Lane planning ahead for the oxygen that will be required for Bri halfway up. There is a stiff breeze and Pete’s ramblings are drowned by the noise as it gusts through the trees and stings our ears.

Turn left on to Ruebury Lane and follow the mud and stone until we reach a fork. The walk is still ascending but the view to the left is stunning and the breeze is helping to suppress the mist so it’s even more clear and fabulously three dimensional than usual.

We reach the little church having passed each of the Stations of the Cross, whether you ‘believe’ or not, this is a wonderful preparation for such an enchanting tiny building that is Lady Chapel. We take in the view and I recommend that you make an effort to take this walk, it’s not difficult and is a jewel from start to finish. Pete believes the chapel to be open and we try the door. To all our delight, it is open and we all go in. It’s warm out of the wind and the little place has a huge atmosphere. It is simplistic in every sense with a few flowers on a tiny alter and candles burning. George and I light a candle apiece for people we knew.

We stay for a few minutes just to think; it’s definitely worth it.

Out we go and we’re off again exposing ourselves to the view looking south-west to pull in some of the Vale of York. The last two walks have been blessed with a blue sky that is beyond description and the Pennines today look nowhere near the 20 or so miles between us.

We turn right on to the Cleveland Way and follow the (sometimes poor) signs that take us through Chapel Wood and up to the highest point that we will reach. In horse racing terms I think the going could be considered soft and there were times when the moist squelching sounds took me back to my youth! All in all, the views and good companionship are well worth the effort.

We turn right adjacent to Deep Dale and join the metalled lane winding our way back to Osmotherley.

The Queen Catherine is a welcome site with sandwiches, all served with chips. Rob has to nudge them a bit as we still haven’t received our meals after a good 30 minutes and we’re left with just 15 minutes to catch the bus. Hayden decides to take it easy and stay for the next bus, that’s what Peroni does for you 🙂

When we explain the situation to the bus driver he pips his horn and slows down at the pub on the off chance; however, there is no face at the window or body at the door so home we are bound.

We’re in good time and the driver overhears us talking about where the bus stop is. He asks us where we need to be off and promptly drops us off where we need to be (still on his route so no time wasted) and we make our way back to the Villa to pick up the cars.

Abbotts’ bus service is a delight and if you are in a hurry the Queen Cath will respond quickly and efficiently, they certainly did that for us when we explained our dilemma.

The walk is 4 – 5 miles depending on your meandering, is stunningly beautiful, mostly straightforward although a little muddy after rain and the little chapel is so very much worthwhile.

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