Friday, October 11, 2019


I've been to Lichfield in Staffordshire today. My friend Damo managed to get me a voucher for free return coach travel to anywhere in the country on National Express...well, I could only go where their network actually reaches, and that's a lot fewer places than it used to. I could start my journey from Doncaster, Sheffield, or Leeds and the only two places that I wanted to go and could realistically reach are Leicester and Lichfield. I've been to Leicester a few times, but never to I chose Lichfield.

It rained nearly all the time I was at Lichfield and so I sought cover wherever I could find it; I spent quite a bit of time inside the cathedral and the Erasmus Darwin House Museum.

I didn't just stay in the city centre, I walked over to the pretty suburb of Stowe, less than half a mile away along an attractive waterside walk. The parish church of St. Chad's was open and so I went inside - to escape from the rain again.

I had something hot to eat in a cafe and then took a few more photographs before heading back to the bus station.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Darfield, Edderthorpe, Cudworth, Royston, Ryhill, Wintersett, Walton, and Sandal

I wanted to catch as much of the sunny weather as possible this morning and so made an early start, catching the Barnsley bus to Darfield. Having just mentioned the weather though, the forecast was for it to start clouding over in the afternoon but as it was, apart from a couple of brief showers, the sun shone throughout.

I headed out to the northeast along the Dearne Way footpath to the hamlet of Edderthorpe and then along the road to Cudworth. The road is narrow with a lot of blind corners; a couple of drivers came far too close to me, coming within a few inches of my left elbow. Another two drivers were very careful and courteous and beeped their horns as they approached a blind corner or a hidden dip.

I was walking through Cudworth for quite a while before I reached the bridleway which leads to the road which goes to Royston. On the outskirts of Royston I joined the towpath of the disused Barnsley Canal for a couple of's not really suitable for cyclists though.

It's not much more suitable for horses either, but it is classed as a bridleway and so they can be ridden along here. Along a stretch that wasn't right next to the water a woman on horseback caught up with me. I commented on the unusual coloration of her horse, she told me that it was a leopard spot Appaloosa - here's a photograph I found online.

Appaloosa stallion.JPG

Another stretch of roadwalking followed, just to the edge of Ryhill before turning down the lane that goes alongside Wintersett Reservoir for part of its length.

This isn't anything to do with the reservoir...there's just been a lot of rain recently.

I continued to Anglers Country Park; there's also a reservoir there. It was then a lovely walk across the fields to Walton; none of my photographs was really any good...but this one of a pretty cottage at Walton is okay.

I needed to walk along the road to reach Sandal.

I was walking for at least a mile until I reached the castle. I arrived there at 2:20 and went over to the cafe to see when it closes. A sign on the door informed me that it closes at four o'clock but meals from the menu are only served until two thirty. Not wanting to miss out I went in and ordered a scone and a pot of tea; the scone was a flavour new to me - orange and chocolate chip.

I had plenty of time to explore the castle ruins in the sunshine and take plenty of photographs.

The walk to Sandal and Agbrigg railway station wasn't as far as I'd thought - I could have spent more time at the castle.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Dodworth, Hood Green, Hermit Hill, Bromley, Howbrook, and Oughtibridge

I didn't realise there isn't a 07:45 bus on a Saturday and so had to wait for forty five minutes at Doncaster Interchange this morning, but after catching the 08:15 departure and then the train from Barnsley I arrived at Dodworth, three miles west of Barnsley, at 09:10.

The church at Dodworth is rather unusual with its multitude of pinnacles.

For most of the walk today I was heading south; I found my first footpath and headed off across the fields to Hood Green and then the hamlet of Hermit Hill. I'd been passing through some quite nice countryside but the mist didn't clear until I reached Hermit Hill and so I didn't bother taking any more photographs until then.

As I was walking next to a field of sunflowers I was particularly attracted to one of the seed heads - I think it looks quite artistic and I'd love to have a large print of a better, more detailed image, framed and hanging on the wall in my front room.

I took this next photograph just before I reached the busy main road just north of Bromley.

It took me several minutes to get across the road; I was focused all the time, like a sprinter on starting blocks waiting for the starting pistol to be fired. 

I had to walk down a country road for the next section of the walk to Howbrook. The only thing that was interesting there was this sign -

I finished the walk by descending through Wheata Wood and Wharncliffe Wood to Oughtibridge. A pleasant enough walk today, but nothing of particular interest to photograph or write about.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Chatsworth House, Ashover, and Slack

Today's walk started at Chatsworth House. I immediately climbed up the steps to the hunting tower at the top of the ridge and walked through the woods, and then across Beeley Moor. It was drizzling and quite misty, and didn't brighten up until lunchtime.

I headed eastwards taking narrow country roads until I reached a track going across Harewood Moor.

About a mile further on I was back walking on the road again when I saw a sign for the tearooms at Highfield House Farm...and I couldn't resist - I ordered a cream tea. I knew there were some tearooms somewhere in the vicinity, and now I know exactly where they are.

There was an Afrikaner family sitting at the table opposite to me; the husband was gigantic, bearded with a ruddy face and looked exactly like the archetypal white South African Boer. Interestingly, when he spoke English to the staff it sounded like Afrikaans and when he spoke Afrikaans to his family it sounded like English. The two languages are quite similar in many ways - for example, the phrases 'My pen is in my hand' and 'My hand is in warm water' are written exactly the same, but pronounced slightly differently.

I crossed over the Chesterfield to Matlock road and was surprised to see the two locations on this milestone.

I now headed south and downhill to Ashover, passing through some lovely countryside. I turned right at the church and then headed back uphill to the Chesterfield to Matlock road again, this time about two and a half miles further south.

It looked like the church was open but I didn't go inside because my boots were quite muddy - I think the last time I was in the village I went inside and took some photographs.

I had to walk to the top of Slack Hill to reach the bus stop, fortunately it wasn't very far. It's in an exposed position though and the heaviest rain of the day fell whilst I was standing there waiting for the bus. The bus arrived on time and I got on, raucous German drinking songs were being sung upstairs and a noisy game of cards was being played downstairs by the rest of the Germans in the group.

German always sounds like German.