Thursday, July 17, 2014

Langsett, Bolsterstone, and Stocksbridge

Today's walk didn't turn out as planned at all. I had planned to start the walk at Dunford Bridge and walk down to Holmfirth and have a bit of a look round the town, it's somewhere I haven't been before.

I checked all the timetables online and worked out that I could travel outbound via Barnsley and return via Wakefield. However, when I reached Barnsley bus station I found out that the information on the Travel South Yorkshire website is out of date, or inaccurate; there is no longer a bus to Holmfirth. I didn't panic though, I could still have my day walking on the moors - I just walked through the bus station, checking all the departures until I found a suitable one, the number 23 going the long way round to Penistone...but it would take me to Langsett, right on the edge of the Peak District. That was fine by me.

When I got off the bus these two sights greeted me.






The café has obviously been decorated in celebration of the Tour de France, which passed nearby last week; I'm not sure about the seat though.

First of all I needed to find the toilets and then get access to the footpath that goes alongside the reservoir. I followed the yellow arrows which indicate the direction of a footpath, but ended up in a cul-de-sac with no obvious way out...I was puzzled because I'd walked this way in the opposite direction only a couple of years earlier. I consulted my map and saw that there was another footpath just a few yards further along the main road - this one was very easy to find.

I took the lowest of the footpaths through the woodland, often getting glimpses of the water. I walked along the entire length of the north shore then took the path that leads uphill onto open moorland. At an intersection of paths I turned to the east and continued to walk parallel to the southern shore, but high up on the moors. The path gradually descended; the next photograph was taken at the ruins of North America Farm, obviously a popular spot, since half a dozen people were sitting on the ruined walls there.


The path continued down through some woodland, but at times there were clear views of the reservoir.



I crossed a minor road and then walked along fields and country lanes to reach Bolsterstone. On one particularly long uphill section of road there was a lot of Tour de France graffiti painted on the tarmac. These words of wisdom seemed to be about something different altogether though.



I spotted some more Tour de France graffiti in a distant field; I doubt it will be there for much longer.



I was hoping to get some refreshments at the pub at Bolsterstone and then catch the bus back to Barnsley. Unfortunately the pub was closed; it was being renovated. It was nearly an hour and a half for the next bus and so I walked the distance of about a mile and a half down the road to the outskirts of Stocksbridge where I waited for a bus on a housing estate. The buses were supposed to run every ten or eleven minutes. I had to wait for nearly twenty minutes, so I'm assuming that the previous one had been cancelled. 

I sat on one of the sideways-facing seats at the front of the bus and could hear the driver getting very frustrated with the extra numbers of people who were getting on the bus; he was making some rather surreal comments towards the end of the service. The service doesn't have a number, it merely shows 'SL' on the destination blind. 'SL' stands for 'Supertram Link' - it takes passengers to the Supertram terminus, and Park & Ride facilities at Middlewood.

There are no trams running at the moment because the tracks are being renewed; so there are a lot of extra buses transporting people to and from the city centre. When we arrived at the terminus there was a bit of a commotion; an angry woman passenger was calling one of the drivers a paedophile, and taunting and tormenting him, just because he had asked her twelve year old daughter for proof-of-age identification.

She eventually got on my bus...and sat opposite me. I was prepared with my response...just in case.

[By the way, I'm still humming the Bob Marley song, 'No Woman, No Cry' as I'm typing this]