Life in the ‘prettiest village in Yorkshire’ which is frozen in time and the stuff of legend

Osmotherley is the prettiest village in the UK according to Google, located on the edge of the lush Yorkshire Dales.

With its Grade II listed buildings and structures surrounded by rural roads, it’s not hard to see why.

Steeped in legend, the name has a slightly darker reason, but it just makes the area more intriguing than ever.

According to local legend, Osmotherley was named after the mother of a villager named Oswald or Osmund, who would go out to collect firewood in the winter.

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When she did not return, her son became anxious and went out to find her.

He found her lying in the snow, dead or dying of cold, but he could not bring her home.

Instead, he lay down next to her and died himself.

So now this is the place where Oswald’s mother rests, hence Osmotherley.

The local school has existed since 1857, the current building dates from 1878.



The village shop

The village park even has a barter table, where the villagers of old will have traded or bartered their goods.

It is now another grade II classified structure.

With its unique history and appearance, it truly is a place that seems to have stood still in time.

From the ornate lettering and beautiful green exterior of the village store inside, where its employees know most of the people who come in and can offer them a hot drink, it could be a place straight out of a novel.

Osmotherley has three pubs, all clustered around the green in the center and don’t expect to see Wetherspoons here.

Instead, the Queen Catherine, the Three Tons, and the Golden Lion all offer outdoor seating where their patrons can watch the world go by.

Rarely will you see a car passing on the only main road.

Also on the edge of the greenery of the village is Osmotherley Fish and Chip, which was named the best of the north of England in 2019.

The original church, another listed building, still stands and part of the building is believed to date from Norman times.

For the community, which is clearly very united, the Osmotherley Friends Meeting House still functions, built in 1690.

However, apart from the buildings, there are many other parts that have earned it the title of prettiest village.



The green of the village
The green of the village

The village itself falls in the North Yorkshire Moors.

Cod Beck Reservoir is located just to the north and touches another idyllic spot named Sheepwash.

You can also complete the Lyke Wake Walk here, which will take you through the highest and widest part of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

If you do this walk in both directions, totaling 80 miles, the local club will reward you Master or Mistress of Misery, which will allow you to wear a black choker during vigils.



The three touns
The three touns

The rather sinister name comes from the various burial mounds that can be found on the promenade that once served to transport the coffins to their final destination.

This region is full of folk traditions surrounded by dark green trees, dramatic hills and magnificent flowers.

So, upon entering this time machine, for those who are visiting or have visited, the title of the most beautiful village in the UK takes on its full meaning.

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About Bernice D. Brewer

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