Sunday, August 20, 2017

South Elmsall, Skelbrooke, Burghwallis, and Sutton

For the next few weeks there will be no early morning trains running to Sheffield on Sundays so I made alternative arrangements today -  another local walk, this time travelling on the other line on which I can use my travel pass, the Leeds line.

I got off the train at South Elmsall and walked up the hill towards the church, which isn't very old but seems to have its charm. I managed to get a decent, if boring, shot from across the road.

I struggled to locate the footpath at the far end of the housing estate and ended up walking across a field of stubble. After about a mile I reached the main Wakefield road, which I crossed as the path continued to Skelbrooke. 

The church at Skelbrooke is attractive, and dates mainly from the mediaeval period.

As I was walking at the edge of a field next to the church I saw a couple of metal detectorists busy at work, the first I've ever seen on a walk.

My quickest way to the next village, Burghwallis was by taking a footpath that led straight to the Great North Road; I would also be able to see Robin Hood's Well by going this way. I was hoping there might be footbridge or tunnel...but there wasn't. I was faced with the prospect of having to cross four lanes of busy traffic: after a few minutes I managed to get across the two lanes of traffic on the northbound carriageway but there was no way I would manage the southbound carriageway, which was far busier. So I took some photos from my position of safety standing on the small paved area on the central reservation and then spun round and waited for my opportunity to re-cross the northbound lanes...I needed to wait for another three minutes until a lorry driver flashed me with his headlights.

So I re-traced my footsteps back to Skelbrooke and then walked through the village and took the footpath towards the roundabout at Barnsdale Bar, where a road crosses over the busy trunk road. I took more pictures of the village. I popped in to the roadside cafe at Barnsdale Bar for a mug of tea and to check my new route ahead on the map.

This enforced change of plan added about two, or maybe even three miles, to my route. I first took the Campsall  road, walking past the entrance to vineyard [I didn't know Doncaster had one] and then turned right down the road which leads back to the dual carriageway. Somewhere in this area I saw several more men using metal detectors in a field.

The path across the fields to Burghwallis was trouble-free and easygoing underfoot.

There's another pretty, old church at Burghwallis.

The next path, to Sutton, was very overgrown in places, so I'm glad I was wearing my full hiking gear. When I reached the village it was forty minutes until the next bus back to Doncaster was due and so I popped over the road to the Anne Arms for a glass of Diet Pepsi which I enjoyed in the large beer garden.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Another Visit To Hull

I need to book my days out with Siobhan a couple of weeks in advance and so I'm always taking a chance with the weather. Today it was sunshine and showers, so I needed to go somewhere with plenty of indoor attractions - and Hull was my choice. The city has four free museums and the wonderful Ferens Art Gallery, and it's the UK City of Culture 2017.

As usual we stopped en route at a pretty village to eat our sandwiches; today it was Welton.

We spent most of our time at Hull exploring the Marina, the Waterside and the Old Town areas. We popped into the Streetlife Museum during a particularly heavy shower and visited the art gallery on our way back to the car park.

On the way home we called at the cafe at the California Gardens Garden Centre at Howden for tea and  scones.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Creswell, Creswell Crags, Holbeck, Holbeck Woodhouse, Norton, Clumber Park, and Worksop

The weather forecast mentioned better weather the further east I go today, so it was Nottinghamshire rather than the Peak District I chose...even though Creswell, where I started the walk, is actually just inside Derbyshire. This was my second visit to Creswell Crags, the first time I walked along the road past the main pedestrian entrance and missed most of the caves; I didn't make that mistake today though.

I caught the bus to Worksop and got off at the top end of the town and walked to the shops to buy a sandwich and then to visit the toilets. The lights in the public toilets weren't working and because they're located inside  converted shop premises there aren't any external windows to let any light in at all. It was pitch black inside; I had to use my headtorch - but at least there was plenty of room inside the cubicle...I needed it today.

The passengers had to wait a few minutes at the bus station before we were able to get on the number 77 bus because the ticket machine wasn't working. After the driver had fixed this we were delayed for even longer because he then couldn't close the doors and so had to phone up the depot for instructions...he was able to kick the correct panel in exactly the right place to pull off an excellent temporary repair job.

It was raining quite heavily when I reached Creswell Crags, but it did clear up later - becoming quite sunny and warm when I was at Clumber Park. I went inside the visitor centre, but there's not a lot to see for free. There aren't any urinals in the gents' toilets, that's something I've not experienced before...just the three cubicles.

I left the Crags and followed the Robin Hood Way most of the way to Clumber Park. There were some quite nice views as I climbed up to the fields above the crags, but it was too misty for me even to try to take any photographs.

Along this stretch of the walk, for about a couple of miles I kept noticing small red or blue flags planted in the corners of fields I was walking by, and later along the side of the path as I walked through woodland. These must have been waymarkers for some sort of organised event.

I walked along a gated road to reach Holbeck and then passed what I thought might be a private chapel since I couldn't gain access to the grounds which were surrounded by a high wall and large heavy wooden doors at the lychgate, which were locked and bolted. When I reached Holbeck Woodhouse I saw a sign which informed me that, in fact, it was the parish church...the most unwelcoming church I've ever come across on my walks.

This lodge was quite pretty; the best maintained of several similar lodges I saw today.

I ate my sandwiches at Norton, taking advantage of  the improving weather and then continued along the road, passing the monument built to commemorate the life of Lord George Bentinck, a nineteenth century politician.

After a few minutes walking along the footpath which started just beyond the monument I passed the third solar farm of the day. The only good thing I can say about them is that they're a useful navigation aid since the panels always point in an approximately southerly direction.

The next three miles were mainly through woods, until I reached Clumber Park. By now the sun was out and I spent a few minutes taking photographs of the chapel and the stables block.

I'd forgotten to check as I was approaching Clumber Park, but as I was leaving I kept regularly looking at my mobile phone to see if it was registering a signal. No mobile phones work in Clumber Park: I'm sure American conspiracy theorists would have a lot of fun trying to explain why this might be the case. There was no signal until I was only about a quater of a mile from the outskirts of Worksop.

I got lost in a large housing estate at Worksop and had to ask for directions twice. I ended up approaching the bus station from the east and so took some photographs of the priory and its gatehouse.