Sunday, May 8, 2016

Wentbridge And East Hardwick Walk With Three Friends From Leeds

In choosing the location of today's walk I had to take three things into account: the pick-up point needed to be easily accessible from east Leeds and the A1 trunk road, the terrain needs to be quite flat...and I'd need to be able to get there on the bus on a Sunday morning. So...I opted for Woodlands, to the north west of Doncaster town centre.

I arranged to be at Woodlands for 11:15; as it turned out my friends arrived for 10;30 - completely misjudging the amount of travelling time they needed. It's very rare that people have to wait for me; I wasn't late though and actually arrived twenty minutes before the scheduled meeting time.

It was an tight squeeze in the car with four of us; fortunately its only a short drive to the starting point for the walk...even though we took a wrong turn and didn't end up going by the shortest route.

We arrived at Ley's Lane car park just beyond Little Smeaton just in time to grab the final parking space. For the first few minutes we saw a lot of people taking advantage of the lovely hot weather, mainly family groups and dog walkers; as we approached Wentbridge the numbers thinned out though.

The walk to Wentbridge is charming, limestone grassland at first and then alongside the River Went at the bottom of the valley.

This area has historical connections with Robin Hood.

We walked through the village and diverted down the lane to eat our sandwiches at the church; Chris, Maureen, and Jonathan sharing the only bench in the churchyard...I found a pleasant spot on some grass well away from the gravestones.

The walk along Went Edge was more than I had expected, a variety of different landscapes and far reaching views to the west, only spoiled by the heat haze.

As we were walking along the road towards East Hardwick I noticed that Maureen and Jonathan were getting further and further behind and frequently stopping for drinks. I had a word with Chris and we agreed to shorten our originally planned walk and make our way back across the fields to Wentbridge.

As we were approaching the footpath we needed at East Hardwick one of the locals came over to us and gave us what he thought was some useful advice, to look out for the large piles of manure...we could use them as landmarks so we wouldn't get lost; that's certainly a new navigation tip for me

In sight of Wentbridge we gathered together for a conference; a decision needed to be made. It was obvious to me that Maureen and Jonathan were struggling, and I do know these things because I'm a walk leader and so was assertive in making my point that I thought it would be better if they finished the walk at the Blue Bell Inn in Wentbridge and wait there as Chris and myself walked the additional distance of a mile and a half back to the car. 

Chris drove me back to Woodlands and then as far as I'm aware went back up the A1 to pick up Maureen and Jonathan.

An excellent day out along the North/West Yorkshire boundary in the districts of Selby and Wakefield. Congratulations to Maureen and Jonathan who aren't regular walkers; I calculate they did seven or maybe eight miles today.

UPDATE: I've just been contacted by Jonathan on Facebook and he informs me that the pub was closed for they had to sit outside. Well, at least the weather was nice.

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