Monday, August 14, 2017

Creswell, Creswell Crags, Holbeck, Holbeck Woodhouse, Norton, Clumber Park, and Worksop

The weather forecast mentioned better weather the further east I go today, so it was Nottinghamshire rather than the Peak District I chose...even though Creswell, where I started the walk, is actually just inside Derbyshire. This was my second visit to Creswell Crags, the first time I walked along the road past the main pedestrian entrance and missed most of the caves; I didn't make that mistake today though.

I caught the bus to Worksop and got off at the top end of the town and walked to the shops to buy a sandwich and then to visit the toilets. The lights in the public toilets weren't working and because they're located inside  converted shop premises there aren't any external windows to let any light in at all. It was pitch black inside; I had to use my headtorch - but at least there was plenty of room inside the cubicle...I needed it today.

The passengers had to wait a few minutes at the bus station before we were able to get on the number 77 bus because the ticket machine wasn't working. After the driver had fixed this we were delayed for even longer because he then couldn't close the doors and so had to phone up the depot for instructions...he was able to kick the correct panel in exactly the right place to pull off an excellent temporary repair job.

It was raining quite heavily when I reached Creswell Crags, but it did clear up later - becoming quite sunny and warm when I was at Clumber Park. I went inside the visitor centre, but there's not a lot to see for free. There aren't any urinals in the gents' toilets, that's something I've not experienced before...just the three cubicles.

I left the Crags and followed the Robin Hood Way most of the way to Clumber Park. There were some quite nice views as I climbed up to the fields above the crags, but it was too misty for me even to try to take any photographs.

Along this stretch of the walk, for about a couple of miles I kept noticing small red or blue flags planted in the corners of fields I was walking by, and later along the side of the path as I walked through woodland. These must have been waymarkers for some sort of organised event.

I walked along a gated road to reach Holbeck and then passed what I thought might be a private chapel since I couldn't gain access to the grounds which were surrounded by a high wall and large heavy wooden doors at the lychgate, which were locked and bolted. When I reached Holbeck Woodhouse I saw a sign which informed me that, in fact, it was the parish church...the most unwelcoming church I've ever come across on my walks.

This lodge was quite pretty; the best maintained of several similar lodges I saw today.

I ate my sandwiches at Norton, taking advantage of  the improving weather and then continued along the road, passing the monument built to commemorate the life of Lord George Bentinck, a nineteenth century politician.

After a few minutes walking along the footpath which started just beyond the monument I passed the third solar farm of the day. The only good thing I can say about them is that they're a useful navigation aid since the panels always point in an approximately southerly direction.

The next three miles were mainly through woods, until I reached Clumber Park. By now the sun was out and I spent a few minutes taking photographs of the chapel and the stables block.

I'd forgotten to check as I was approaching Clumber Park, but as I was leaving I kept regularly looking at my mobile phone to see if it was registering a signal. No mobile phones work in Clumber Park: I'm sure American conspiracy theorists would have a lot of fun trying to explain why this might be the case. There was no signal until I was only about a quater of a mile from the outskirts of Worksop.

I got lost in a large housing estate at Worksop and had to ask for directions twice. I ended up approaching the bus station from the east and so took some photographs of the priory and its gatehouse.

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