Sunday, March 30, 2014

Walking Group: Sprotbrough, and Conisbrough Viaduct

Today was the second time I'd been walk leader for the autism group here in Doncaster.

It wasn't a good turn-out, there were only eight of us: the walk had to be rearrranged for a later date, it was Mother's Day, and the clocks went forward an hour - so there were probably plenty of excuses. It only being a small group probably made it easier for our new member to get to know people though.

We started at Lower Sprotbrough, down by the canal, and then walked by the row of cottages, passing the old village well.






(The weather was a bit hazy, but excellent conditions for walking, if not for photography.)

We took the high path which goes behind Sprotbrough Flash Nature Reserve; the views along this section are much improved now that the overhanging trees have been felled to allow access to the overhead electricity cables.

Next we took some quite steep steps down through woodland to join the main riverside path.

We soon spotted our second boat of the day; a quite nice cruiser.



We had several stops for a breather on today's walk, one of them was at the bottom of Conisbrough Viaduct, in preparation for the climb up the path to the top.


Half way up, at the side of the path, I saw my first butterfly of the summer; a tortoiseshell.

Once we'd reached the cycle track which crosses the viaduct we stopped for lunch at a group of large boulders which had been placed there to stop cars from making the crossing. After finishing eating we were soon able to enjoy stunning views of the Don Gorge and Conisbrough from a height of about 100 ft above the river: there are no photos because it was still quite hazy - I took a few, but have decided not to use them.

We soon located the footpath we needed which goes through woodland and leads to the main Doncaster to Sheffield road, passing close to Warmsworth Water Tower.





We walked along this road for a couple of hundred yards before taking a footpath which went through an abandoned farm, across fields, and then down through more woodland, quite steep in places, until we passed under the railway line and then descended further right down to the riverside path, where there were some convenient boulders to sit on for a group photograph; I appeared in this one...at the back.

A couple of minutes later we had some fun scrambling over some more boulders; we subsequently found out that this wasn't necessary because there was a gate we could have used. Of course it was necessary to scramble over large boulders!

We didn't have far to go now, and none of us was struggling, so we made a short detour to have a look at the newly constructed fish ladder at the weir.

Ten minutes later we arrived back at the car park; a couple of us continued up the hill to the bus-stop. A bus back to town was due in five minutes, and it was on time.