A bench view at Codbeck Reservoir

Cod Beck Reservoir: North Yorkshire

Cod Beck Reservoir is in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. The nearest village is the small village of Osmotherley, a truly beautiful location surrounded by moorland and ruggedness.

We discovered this beautiful area by accident taking a detour on our way home from Hartlepool on a spontaneous day out.

This is a small reservoir of about 10 hectares, but with footpaths leading through the woods, allowing the visitor to enjoy a variety of walks.

The Codbeck Reservoir is owned and maintained by Yorkshire Water. If you’re wondering where the unusual name comes from, it takes its name from the little Cod Beck, a river that flows into the reservoir and keeps it filled. In Yorkshire, a brook is a small river or stream.

Fall at Cod Beck Reservoir

About the Cod Beck Reservoir

Opened in 1953, the reservoir is a beautiful hidden gem worth exploring. Consisting of a variety of coniferous trees, the forest is maintained by the forest trust and has walking trails leading from the reservoir.

The surrounding heathland is a special place of scientific interest.

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

This is easy to avoid and the path from each of the car parks goes straight to the main path. There were plenty of families using the ring road with prams and wheelchairs without any problem as I walked there.

North side of the Codbeck Reservoir

Parking spot

At the Codbeck reservoir there is a choice of different parking spaces, all free to park. There is another parking lot at the top of the reservoir, which is also free.

There are no facilities such as toilets at the reservoir. Please note that parking spaces are limited and you are not allowed to park in the grass verges due to fines.

The best postcode to find the car park north of Codbeck is DL6 3AL.

Accessible path at Codbeck

Can you swim in the reservoir?

The answer to this question is simply no. The reservoir is owned by Yorkshire Water, who state that swimming in the Codbeck Reservoir is not safe due to moving machinery below the surface of the water and because there are often blue-green algae on the surface of the water which are toxic if ingested.

It is not safe for dogs in the water for the same reason.

North York Moors National Park

Hiking at Cod Beck Reservoir

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

There are plenty of other options to make the day a longer adventure by taking a track up through the woods and onto the moors for great views and a much larger circular walk.

It only takes about forty to fifty minutes to fully circumnavigate the circuit and that is if you stop to enjoy the view and take photos, if you do a quick loop around it 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 that unlocks the gates for passage.

I’m told no fishing is allowed at the Cod Beck Reservoir, and BBQ’s and camping are definitely not allowed.

Yorkshire Water Codbeck

Osmotherly Village and things to do

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

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

This pretty little village has a variety of bed and breakfast accommodation and there is a spacious camping and touring caravan site for 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 holiday apartments and caravan hire, as well as a cottage that sleeps eight.

If you are looking for a youth hostel, there is youth hostel The Mill which can accommodate sixty-one people, including groups and families.

There are plenty 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 to Mount Grace Priory House and Gardens.

A twenty five minute drive from Roseberry Topping if you like a nice walk with great views over Yorkshire. It is also just a twenty minute drive from Rievaulx Abbey, or a fifty minute drive from Brimham Rocks to name just a few of the many options available in this locality.

A field mouse next to the Codbeck Reservoir


Our impromptu day trip to the area was a real eye opener, we feel we discovered a real gem to make a base for many more adventures to come.

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

I hope my insight into the area and facilities has helped you plan a day out in the North York Moors National Park or a longer holiday in the area. I am sure one day we will return with our family for more fun and adventures.

You may also like:

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  • Harome to Nunnington – A walk through Ryedale North Yorkshire
  • Staying in a motorhome at Slingsby’s campground
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