A bench view at Codbeck Reservoir

Cod Beck Reservoir is nestled in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. The closest village is the tiny village of Osmotherley, a truly beautiful location that’s surrounded by moorland and ruggedness.

We discovered this stunning area by accident by taking a detour on the way home from Hartlepool on a spontaneous day trip.

This is a small reservoir covering about 10 hectares but with walking trails leading off it through woodland giving the visitor a variety of different walks to enjoy. 

The Codbeck reservoir is owned and maintained by Yorkshire Water. If you wondered where the unusual name came from, it derives its name from the little Cod Beck, a river that feeds into the reservoir keeping it filled. In Yorkshire a beck is a small river or brook. 

Social Wellness Walks
Autumn at Cod beck Reservoir

About Cod Beck Reservoir 

The reservoir opened in 1953 and is a wonderful hidden gem worth discovering. The woodland is made up of a variety of coniferous trees and is maintained by the woodland trust and has walking trials leading off from the reservoir.

The surrounding moorland is a special site of scientific interest. 

There is a circular route around the reservoir along a well-maintained path, the only part which is not as accessible is along the Cod Beck itself at one end of the reservoir where the path is narrow and in parts muddy.

This is easy to avoid and the path from each of the car parks goes directly to the main trail. There were plenty of families using the circular route with pushchairs and wheelchairs without any problems while I walked there. 

Northern end of Codbeck reservoir

Car Parking

At Codbeck reservoir there is a choice of car parking places, all free of charge to park. There is another carparking area at the top of the reservoir too which is also free of charge.

There are no facilities at the reservoir such as toilets. Be aware that the car park spaces are limited, and you should not park on the grass verges because of fines being issued.

The best postcode to use to find the car parking area at the North of Codbeck, is DL6 3AL.

Accessible trail at Codbeck

Is swimming allowed in the reservoir?

The answer to this question is simply, no. The reservoir is owned by Yorkshire Water who state that swimming in Codbeck reservoir is not safe due to moving machinery below the surface of the water and because it frequently has blue green algae on the surface of the body of water which is toxic if swallowed.

For the same reason it is not safe for dogs in the water. 

North York Moors National Park

Walking at Cod Beck Reservoir

The circular walk around the water is very easy and flat, the distance to do a full circuit is only about one and a half miles in total.

There are lots of other choices to make the day a longer adventure by taking a track up through the woods and up to the moorland for some amazing views and a much larger circular walk.

It only takes about forty to fifty minutes to walk fully around the circuit and that is if you are stopping to take in the views and snap photos, if doing a quick loop around it will take you less time.

The circuit does have some kissing gates which are difficult for a mobility scooter unless you have a RADAR key which you can use to unlock the gates for through access. 

I heard that fishing is not allowed at Cod Beck reservoir, and BBQ’s and camping is definitely not permitted. 

Yorshire Water Codbeck

Osmotherly Village and things to do

While visiting the area there are facilities available at the beautiful little Yorkshire village of Osmotherly, just a fifteen minute walk from the reservoir.

There are a few pubs and a café and a small shop to visit for refreshments and food. The village has public toilets available too which is always good to know when you are miles from home. 

This lovely little village has a variety of Bed and Breakfast accommodation and there is a good-sized camping and touring caravan site to accommodate those wishing to stay in the area in tents or caravans.

The Cote Ghyll caravan and camping site has a variety of holiday options including holidays apartments to rent and caravan rentals as well as a cottage that sleeps eight.

If you are looking for a youth hostel, there is The Mill Youth Hostel that has space for sixty one people, including groups and families. 

There are lots of activities in the area including hiking, climbing, and just a short drive away from some truly inspiring places. It is a nine-minute drive from Mount Grace Priory House and Gardens.

A twenty five minute drive away from Roseberry Topping if you love a nice hike with stunning views over Yorkshire. It is also just a twenty minute drive away from Rievaulx Abbey, or a fifty minute drive away from Brimham Rocks to mention just a few of the many options available from this locality. 

A vole beside the Codbeck reservoir


Our spontaneous day trip into the area was a real eye opener, we feel like we have discovered a true gem to make a base for lots more adventures in the future.

Not only is the reservoir a really relaxing place to walk, and along the Cod Beck that feeds into the reservoir, there are so many other, much longer walks to discover that will take us to more beauty and stunning Yorkshire views on the North Yorkshire Moors and through some new areas that we have yet to experience.

I hope my insight into the area and facilities have helped you plan a day out in the North York Moors National Park or a longer holiday in the area. I know for certain that we will be returning again with our family for more fun and adventures one day.

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One Comment

  1. It looks delightful. Thanks for sharing.

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