Monday, March 19, 2018

Baslow, Longshaw Estate, Fox House, Totley Bents, and Totley

The weather forecast for Bakewell today was for 'sunny intervals and breezy' - much better than I decided I'd risk having a day out in the Peak District, my first day walking there for nearly a month. And what a great day out it turned out to be; the weather was better than predicted - it was sunny all day, and there was still plenty of snow left for me to enjoy.

The day didn't start off too well though. The bus I had intended to catch at Sheffield didn't turn up and so I caught the 218 service to Baslow. There were only two other people who boarded the bus and they both stated their destination as being Chatsworth, but didn't pay. There must be some sort of offer or special promotion today; I just scanned my pass as usual though.

I got off at Baslow Nether End and walked towards the Golden Gates roundabout and took the footpath up through the woods to reach the top of Bar Lane, and then Froggatt Edge.

Towards the northern end of the edge I started looking for somewhere sheltered and warmed by the sun to sit down and eat my sandwiches. This wasn't easy because the wind seemed to be simultaneously blowing from all directions; I don't know how this might be possible.

I reached the road a few hundred yards before the Grouse Inn and left the same road to cross Big Moor a few hundred yards beyond the pub.

I soon hit difficult terrain; tussock grass and two feet deep snow. Walking through this was exhausting; I must have fallen over a dozen times and rolled about in the snow, but I really enjoyed being a polar bear.

I was glad to reach White Edge Lodge, one of the Longshaw Estate's holiday cottages. I knew it has vehicular access to the road...and therefore easy walking. 

I changed my socks in the public toilets at Longshaw and had a pot of tea and a scone with jam in the cafe - it was more expensive than my cream tea at York last week.

This pair of socks didn't stay clean and dry for very long; just past Fox House I was confronted with more deep snow.

My crossing of Totley Moor wasn't too difficult though. I took a route that I'd not used before into Totley Bents and then walked up the road and caught the bus back into the city centre at the Cross Scythes pub.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Pretty Doncaster Villages In The Snow...Plus Doncaster Town Centre

I woke up at six o'clock this morning and the first thing I did was to go downstairs and switch on the computer and look at the weather forecast and the live webcam feeds from the Peak District. The BBC forecast for Bakewell was for 'gusty winds and heavy snow showers.'  I didn't fancy any of that and so decided to do a local walk; my plan was to catch the Barnsley bus to Darfield, only about twelve miles away.

Things didn't go to plan though. The direct bus to Barnsley didn't turn up, but the one that usually goes around all the villages and the housing estates showed up on time ten minutes later. The driver explained that he'd only be going along the main roads, thus missing out several of the villages. Darfield wouldn't be one of them, but the driver would still be keeping to timetable, and so he would be waiting for several minutes at Goldthorpe, meaning that it would take over an hour to reach the intended start of my walk.

So...a change of plan; I re-folded my map, although I probably wouldn't need it since I know the area well, and got off at Hickleton, a village not usually served by the number 219 bus - fortunately the driver had agreed to let me off there; not all bus drivers are quite so accommodating though.

I walked down the road towards Barnburgh for a while before crossing the fields and taking the footpath that goes along the bottom of Barnburgh Cliff. The strong swirling wind was causing the snow to blow across the road, creating quite deep drifts in places; these were safe enough for me to walk through but a couple of cars did turn back...two also proceeded ahead  as walking pace.

I ate my sandwiches sitting inside the bus shelter at High Melton and then explored the churchyard.

A footpath provides a shortcut to Cadeby, although for part of the way I still needed to use the road. The small church here is no longer used for worship.

I was saved from having to walk all the way along the road to Sprotbrough by being able to use a fairly recently established footpath that's still not marked on the Ordnance Survey maps. It runs parallel to the road, only a few yards away, but separated by trees, which makes the walk much more pleasant...and safer.

After I'd finished taking my photographs of Sprotbrough church I noticed the bus going back to Doncaster was just approaching the bus stop so I crossed over the road and caught it.

The strong cold easterly wind ruined it for me today; my hands were so cold when I took my gloves off to unwrap my sandwiches or take photographs my fingers wouldn't work properly. I had to use a key to rip the packing open of my flapjack and I struggled to grab, hold, and point the camera in the right direction...likewise when I was having a pee. Towards the end of the walk [as it turned out to be] I realised that I might have one of the chemical hand warming pads left. I rummaged in my rucksack and eventually found it; it was a couple of years beyond its use-by date and probably a bit damp, but it did work... it wasn't that effective, but it helped.

I arrived back in Doncaster at one o'clock and so to extend my day out by a bit decided to take some photographs of various town centre buildings.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Visit To York

A visit to York today with my support worker. I concentrated on looking at the parish churches; there are so many, too many to mention by name - and of course there's also the minster and the ruins of St. Mary's Abbey. It was quite overwhelming at times...and we probably didn't even visit half of them.

There were other things to point my camera at as well of course.