Monday, July 17, 2017

Miller's Dale, Chee Dale, Chelmorton...and Bakewell

I was hurrying to get ready this morning and forgot to pack my transistor radio so that I could listen to the cricket commentary; when I got home it was no surprise to find out that England had been well beaten by teatime...just as I'd been expecting. 

Something else that didn't go quite to plan either; I had planned to visit a new village for me, King Sterndale, but I missed the turn off for the footpath.

Anyhow, I got off the bus at Miller's Dale and walked up the road to reach a footpath that I hadn't used before - one that leads down into Chee Dale.

I passed over a footbridge and spotted a trout in the river; a few minutes later I caught up with a man and we walked and chatted for the next half an hour or so until we reach the cafe at Blackwell Mill. He name was Mike and he's an administrator for the 'Derbyshire Born and Bred' Facebook group -he's invited me to join the group...he's already made me an honorary Derbyshireman. [oops - according to Google no such word exists.] 

We walked down in the valley for half the distance to Blackwell Mill, and the other half higher up on the Monsal Trail - hoping to get some better photographs...I'm not particularly happy with any of mine, but these are the best. We mainly talked about walking and our previous visits to the area; I'd not been in Chee Dale for about seven years, for Mike it was sixty years though. 

Somewhere either just before, or just after Blackwell Mill Cottages, I should have taken a footpath which would have meant that I could reach King Sterndale without having to walk along quite a long stretch of the busy A6 road. Instead I came out on to the road at the car park at Topley Pike and just crossed over the road and headed down the footpath towards Deep Dale; King Sterndale will have to wait for another time. This footpath was quite difficult in places, as difficult as walking in Chee Dale...which has quite a reputation for being difficult in certain conditions.

I arrived at the main road at the head of Deep Dale and then took the first of the footpaths across the fields to Chelmorton where I stopped for a drink with the locals at the Church Inn...there were several other humorous displays featuring scarecrows in the village.

It was an easy walk up and over the fields to the bus stop at Blackwell Lane End; it took me a lot less time than I thought it would and I arrived twenty  minutes before the TransPeak bus was due. After only five minutes one arrived though, the driver explained that he was forty minutes late. The problems in Manchester had certainly worked to my advantage, meaning that I had a few minutes to spare in I took some photographs of Bath Gardens, right next to the bus stop which the Sheffield bus departs from.

Monday is market day at Bakewell and the single decker bus was already standing room only when we set off. When we reached Chatsworth House not everyone could get on - fortunately there was another bus due in five minutes going back to Sheffield, but calling at Bakewell first.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Secret Gardens Of Winster 2017

My first visit to an open gardens event this summer, I've not been able to arrange one until now - but I'm hoping to fit in at least one more. I went to Winster Secret Gardens last year and really enjoyed the day; this year was even better though because the weather was absolutely perfect...unlike last year's cloud and an occasional short shower.

I went with Siobhan, my support worker, in the car. We arrived at one o'clock, well before the gardens opened at 1:30. Inside the church there was an exhibition of local art on display, so we headed there. We set off in the wrong direction though, but I ended up with a pretty cottage to photograph.

None of my photographs of the church was any good and so I haven't included them. We spent a few minutes inside waiting for the clock to chime for 1:30 and then headed up the hill to the first garden. Unusually, no photography was allowed in this garden - that wasn't the case anywhere else though.

These are the best of the photographs I took of the gardens and the village.

There wasn't just the gardens to look at and enjoy; there was also a jazz combo in one garden, several gardens where food was available, some serving alcohol as well, the art exhibition in the church, tearooms set up in the village hall, and a scarecrow trail for the children...and finally a sheep shearing demonstration which was pointed out to us all on the shuttle bus which we took back to the car park established in a field just outside the village. We didn't have enough time to take in all of the gardens, I think there were three we missed - we ran out of time and Siobhan's ankle was a bit sore because of all of the steps and the a walker I wasn't surprised at all when she told me that walking downhill and descending the steps was the worst.

Yet again we got lost driving through Sheffield city centre on our way home to Doncaster - I think this has happened every time.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Bit Of Boatspotting At Sprotbrough

One of my regular runs out to Sprotbrough, concentrating on photographing the boats today; as usual I went in the car with my support worker Marshall...Sprotbrough is easy to reach on the bus though - it only takes fifteen minutes from the bus station.

After sitting in the car and eating our sandwiches because all of the benches were taken by members of a walking group we arrived at the lock just in time to see a barge from Leeds passing through.

Nearby, and right next to the towpath, a swan was making a nest.

The Wyre Lady was moored in its usual place; it's the large blue and white boat on the left in the photograph. It does weekend cruises up to Conisbrough and can be hired out as a party boat. The red boats are all dredgers.

The next photograph features the 'Sapphire,'  one of the boats owned by Yorkshire Narrow Boats, based at Sprotbrough; their other boat the 'Emerald' is slightly smaller...and I've rarely seen it on the river.

On our way home we called at the supermarkets on Barnsley Road and York Road. At Aldi I had to take a photograph of this, both myself and Marshall have never come across this term before and looked on the shelves if we could work out what 'Swimming Noodles' might be.

I do know now what they are though - here's a link to the Google Images search result page:

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Clarborough, South Wheatley, Sturton le Steeple, Fenton, North Leverton with Habblesthorpe, Welham, and Retford

The drivers, or conductors, on Northern Trains were on strike today so there were fewer trains than usual going to Sheffield - so that's a good enough reason for me to have chosen a walk that means just travelling on buses.

I caught the service number 99 to Retford and then only had ten minutes to wait for the number 97 and the short journey to Clarborough.

I got off the bus and walked down Church Lane, arriving at the church a few minutes later.

The route of the footpath across the fields towards the Trent Valley Way was difficult for me to find, and I actually went the wrong way, going about a mile and a quarter further than I'd planned. The path was quite overgrown in places with nettles, thistles, and brambles and wasn't signposted at all; there were just difficult-to-see kissing gates along the way. I didn't really mind about the extra distance though because I ended up quite high up with some lovely views.

As I entered South Wheatley I immediately turned right and headed for the ruined church, where I ate my sandwiches sitting on a bench in the well-maintained churchyard.

There's a footpath which runs alongside the churchyard and according to the map heads straight for the still active church at North Wheatley at the top of the hill. I followed the path across a field but couldn't find any way out, even after a complete I returned to the road and headed off in the direction of Sturton le Steeple. As I left South Wheatley I took a photograph of the village's welcome sign, as I always do when I'm entering or leaving a village in Nottinghamshire. I really like these signs, and have photographed quite a few now - the ones for each village are unique and feature something associated with the place, either historic or cultural. I added three more to my collection today.

I chose to take one of the footpaths across the fields to Sturton le Steeple; I wish I hadn't though because just after I'd crossed the railway line which leads to West Burton Power Station I found myself needing to walk through a field of impenetrable rapeseed. I chickened out and walked around the edge, which was still difficult enough - somehow I reached the road without too much trouble, although my clothes were covered in seeds, insects and pieces of whatever vegetation had stuck to me.

Despite the name of the village being 'Sturton le Steeple' the church actually has a tower, not a steeple...although it is quite unusual and has some features which are maybe more like a steeple.

I popped in to The Reindeer pub across the road from the church and ordered a pint of Diet Pepsi; at only £1.20 it was the least I've paid for a very long time. Cheers!

I took the footpath across the fields to the next village, North Leverton with Habblesthorpe, which is the longest official place name in England, and the second longest in Europe...only beaten by Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch in Wales.

It's only a short walk along the lane to North Leverton Windmill, which was turning as I passed and took some photographs.

I continued to head due west across a variety of landscapes until I reached one of the back streets of Welham and then a lane which led to the outskirts of Retford, from where I caught my bus back to Doncaster, from the Market Place.