Lealholm in the Esk Valley is the start for the walk over the moors to Scaling Reservoir and Beacon Hill. To the north are views over the sea, to the south the North York Moors.
Lealholm is one of many pretty villages in the Esk Valley, In addition I had driven past Scaling Dam on the A171 many times. Therefore it was surely logical (!!) to attempt to link them both on a single walk. It looked possible on the O/S map if not straightforward. I was a little suspicious that some of the paths on the ground would be difficult to follow (being rarely used) and this proved to be correct.
There is a steep climb on to the moors from my start at Lealholm. However from the moors to the reservoir involved some straightforward and enjoyable moorland walking. Before long Scaling Reservoir came in to view, a lovely patch of water owned by Northumbrian Water but open for fishermen and nature lovers alike. My plan on the return over the moors was to make a beeline for the Beacon. Unfortunately it was one of those occasions where you can see where you want to go but not easy to work out how to get there. As a result I headed too far to the east and encountered some rough ground. Finally I picked up a landrover track which saved the day. Beacon Hill was splendid as ever and the return walk back to Lealholm revealed great views of the Esk Valley.
Keep your eyes peeled on the return track from Beacon Hill. There are a number of archaeological remains of settlements from the ancient Britons.
Scaling Reservoir and Beacon hill lie in an area that is tricky to navigate on. The bridleways that are marked are intermittent at best and difficult to follow, there are plenty of landrover tracks though and with the Beacon as a landmark linking these tracks is the best way to cross the moor.
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