Visiting Hickleton, Bilham, Hooton Pagnell, Hampole, Pickburn, and Woodlands
There were a couple of reasons why I chose a local walk today; first, I specifically wanted to visit Hooton Pagnell Fete, and second, there was a cycle race in Sheffield this morning which meant that a lot of city centre roads would be closed, causing disruption to the buses. I couldn't escape from the cyclists today though because there was an organised race going through Hooton Pagnell all the time I was there The riders had to follow the diversions though - the High Street is always blocked off for the fete.
I was hoping that my brother might have joined me today and then we could both walk back to Thurnscoe, where he lives with our parents. He'd already let me know that he wasn't interested though. I think the £3 cost of admission put him off...or gave him the excuse he was looking for. Anyhow it meant I'd be able to walk back to Woodlands, from where there are a lot more buses back to town.
I got off the bus at Hickleton; it's only twenty minutes on the X19 express service. The weather wasn't very good, dark and a bit misty. It would stay this way all my time at Hooton Pagnell, but would brighten up for a couple of hours later on in the afternoon.
Not very good conditions for photography. Hickleton is a pretty village, not as pretty as Hooton Pagnell in my opinion, but certainly well worth spending some time taking photographs. These are what I came up with today; the pub, the famous Hickleton Skulls, and the church.
I then walked down the country lane which leads to Hooton Pagnell, passing through the small hamlet of Bilham.
I arrived at Hooton Pagnell just before eleven o'clock and had a quick look round to see what was on offer, before returning to specific attractions. I noticed that cream teas, with fresh strawberries, were being sold in three locations, the pub tearooms, inside the church, and at the school. I love my cream teas, but it was far too early in the day; it wasn't too early for some people though - they were having their Hooton Pagnell cream teas as a late breakfast.
It was quite busy by the time I left at one o'clock, after having tea and biscuits in the tearooms. It would probably have been even busier later in the afternoon when the sun came out.
I walked along Back Lane and Broad Balk to reach Hampole Wood. I found signs stating it was private property. I have previously walked through the wood without any problems, but the signs were everywhere, making me feel quite intimidated. I've checked the Ordnance Survey map and there are no public footpaths through the wood therefore the landowner is fully within his rights to block access. I don't know the reasons, but it seems a bit petty, since local people have walked in the wood for many years, and at one time Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council's countryside rangers organised group walks to look at the bluebells and primroses.
I had to do a long detour of at least two miles, going to the main Wakefield road at Hampole and then finding a footpath which I took to take me to where I needed to be, the far side of Hampole Wood. From here I walked down a wide track to the road above Pickburn, then across some fields to reach the village.
I crossed the A1(M) using the footbridge; it seems that there had just been an accident on the southbound carriageway, before enjoying a lovely view of Woodlands church as I briefly entered Brodsworth Community Woodlands.
I arrived at the bus-stop at Woodlands just as the bus arrived. By now the sun had gone and some threatening clouds were approaching and as I was walking through town on my way home there was a noisy thunderstorm. Fortunately I missed the worst of the rain, that started as I was in the bathroom.