Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Steetley Quarry

Today's walk was to a specific location, Steetley Quarry in the Don Gorge near Conisbrough. I headed to Hexthorpe, went a slightly different route through the park and then continued along the riverbank as on previous walks.

Before I reached Mill Lane I took the lower path through the meadows which goes down by the river - it's much more open down there and I was able to take a few photographs.

I crossed over the road and continued on the same side of the river, looking out for footpaths leading up the hillside to the left and going underneath the railway line. A couple of these just meandered through the woods before returning to the main path at the bottom but eventually I found one that not only led up to the quarry, but went all the way to the top of the quarry, from where I was able to get some good photographs. It was quite an adventure finding all the viewpoints to take photographs; there are paths everywhere going in all directions, steep drops and sheer cliffs, overhanging branches I had to duck under, and the mottled shade on the ground made it difficult for me to work out where to put my feet.

Steetley Quarry is popular with mountainbikers and motorcycle scramblers, but not today...there were two other people walking, and that was it.

I pressed on towards Conisbrough Viaduct because there was nowhere else to go and then followed the track along the abandoned railway line to Warmsworth. I used the footbridge that goes over the motorway and walked the rest of the way home along the main road that brings traffic into town from Sheffield and Rotherham...and the motorway. 

I found another pretty cottage at Warmsworth to photograph.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Doncaster Lakeside, Balby, and Warmsworth

A local lockdown walk today covering as much distance as possible using abandoned railways which have been converted into cycle routes - of course, pedestrians are also able to use them.

I headed off to the Lakeside area and then continued alongside the dual carriageway for a few hundred yards until I reached my first section of old railway, near to Potteric Carr Nature Reserve.

This brick building at the Yorkshire Water pumping station is quite ornate.

I proceeded for about an hour heading towards the area where I was on Saturday, the place where my route was blocked by the motorway.

I needed to walk through a housing estate at Balby and then along the road for a short stretch. I should have walked down to the point where I could pick up the old railway line again, walking in the opposite direction I went on Saturday, but before I got there I saw someone turn down a well-used path that wasn't marked as an official footpath on the map. It looked interesting and so I followed them - it took me through some quite pleasant countryside to Warmsworth.

The old part of Warmsworth is quite attractive.

The parish church is located on the main road in a much less attractive location. The sun  wasn't at the right angle for a really good photograph though.

Balby church however was perfectly illuminated by the sunlight, I'm not so sure about the social distancing sign  though, it looks a bit dark.

The final mile and half, walking along the main road was rather tiresome, but it didn't spoil my morning out exploring new areas quite close to home .

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Hexthorpe, Warmsworth, and Balby

I'm getting out of the house as often as I can and going for the longest walks I can manage without using public transport whilst the social distancing regulations are in force. I'm arriving home and feeling quite tired and am therefore glad  to be getting back; because of this I'm seeing my house as a sanctuary rather than a prison as I previously did.

I had a bad day last week when my temporary support worker came to visit me; I ended up hyperventilating and getting quite distraught, distressed, and despondent because I'm not allowed to travel anyway or see my family and friends and told her that I didn't know if I was desperately trying to cry...or not to cry. I was feeling much better when she came on Thursday...and I feel much more positive about my attitude to the lockdown at the moment. I don't like the lockdown at all though and totally disagree with it.

Today for the first part of my walk I walked to Mill Lane on the edge of Warmsworth and then took a footpath I've not used before, one that I thought I would have been using last week but ended up taking another path  by mistake.

It's been very windy, a lot of the leaves have been blown off the trees and as I was walking through the park at Hexthorpe it was like an autumn day with the amount of debris on the ground.

I stayed on the right bank of the river all the way to Conisbrough Viaduct.

My route took me underneath the motorway bridge and two railway bridges going across the Don Gorge first though.

I didn't need to cross over the viaduct, I still needed to get up to the footpath and cycle route at the top though. There's not a gently sloping path up at this side of the gorge, only a choice of several steep dusty scrambles with a lot of loose soil and stones to contend with. I still went part of the way onto the viaduct though to take some photographs.

I started my return journey to Doncaster by following the route of the old railway line to a location called Warmsworth Halt - I was able to take some shots of the watertower from a different angle as I walked along this stretch.

I made my way over to Lord's Head Lane and walked down  to the old railway bridge - there's a path there going along this abandoned's a different one though to where I'd been walking previously. I hadn't brought a map, I thought I wouldn't need one, and so I didn't realise that the route was blocked up ahead by the A1(M) motorway, so I had to turn back adding a few hundred yards to my distance walked; I also tripped up twice over brambles and cut my it was a painful mistake.

Once I'd gotten back to the road I had to stay on tarmac for the rest of the way home, about three miles, but I was able to spend a few minutes chatting with a friend maintaining a safe distance in his front garden. He doesn't seem to be bothered by the lockdown at all.

I arrived home just as it was starting to rain, not something I was expecting. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Highfields Country Park and Brodsworth Community Woodlands

It's been the hottest day of the year so far and I needed to get out of the house...even though I can't get very far. I suppose this doorstep walk was about as far as I could comfortably reach in the hot conditions.

I walked through the town centre, over North Bridge and joined a footpath which goes along the route of an old railway, first heading northwest and then due north for about half a mile...and then northwest again along a wide track to the entrance to Highfields Country Park.

This was a pleasant green corridor in an urban area - the noise does spoil the illusion of being in the countryside though.

After about two miles I was out in the countryside - it wasn't very interesting though.

The lake at Highfields Country Park is quite attractive.

I continued to Brodsworth Community Woodlands and climbed to the summit of the landscaped former colliery tip. I then looped over to the south and found the footpath that goes along the Roman Ridge to Scawsby and finally headed back into town along the main road.   

Monday, May 18, 2020

Cusworth Hall, Sprotbrough, Warmsworth, and Balby

Another doorstep walk today because I'm not able to manage anything else at the moment.

I walked into the town centre, which was almost deserted apart from people queueing outside banks or scuttling between the half dozen or so food shops that are allowed to be open. 

I continued over North Bridge and headed towards Cusworth Hall Country Park by the quickest route. I did a circuit of the park and then headed across the fields to Sprotbrough, passing by the church in the village on my way down to the Don Gorge.

I took the path which goes up through the woods to the wildflower meadow and then came down to the TransPennine Trail which goes along the riverbank. The path goes up to the top of Conisbrough Viaduct, which I walked along and then climbed up to the main Sheffield road near to the water tower.

A few hundred yards nearer to Warmsworth I went along a path which passes near to some derelict farm buildings and later on skirts around the perimeter fence of the Dolomite quarry and comes out onto the main road right on the edge of Warmsworth - I made my way back home from there, taking about an hour.