Sunday, September 24, 2017

Swinton, Upper Haugh, Hoober, Wentworth, Nether Haugh, Parkgate, and Dalton

I travelled on the train to Swinton this morning and then walked over to Wentworth, one of my favourite local villages.

There wasn't anything interesting  at Swinton until I got to the church, half way up the hill.

The next interesting thing to look at was the Waterloo Kiln right next to some lovely countryside. There's easy public access but the kiln's surrounded by railings and private land and I couldn't get any decent approach shots; my close-up efforts were awful.

I had to briefly re-enter the built-up area before heading off towards Wath Wood, then through the golf course and across the fields right to the edge of Upper Haugh. I had planned to go to Abdy on my way to Hoober but got confused in the woods - it would have meant less walking along the roads going that way.

At Hoober I walked through the village before taking the footpath up to Hoober Stand.

The road down to the hamlet of Lea Brook is quite steep; I left the road just before reaching the houses and walked over the fields to the Wentworth road. Before arriving at Wentworth I did a short detour to have a look at the Needle's Eye.

Wentworth is lovely when the sun is shining.

I ate my sandwiches on a bench in a quieter part of the village, briefly visited the garden centre to use the toilets and then walked through the Gun Park to Lower Haugh. The walk to Dalton from there to catch the bus back to Doncaster isn't particularly attractive, in fact it's rather ugly in places as I passed by the steelworks. I did get a few bargains from the Asda supermarket at Dalton though.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Lumsdale, Tansley, Riber, Hearthstone, Cromford, and Matlock Bath

I thought I might have been alone at Lumsdale for the first time this morning until a family joined me. I was able to quickly get away from them though and have the waterfalls, the ruins, the weirs, the walkways...and the magic of this place...all to myself for about half an hour.

I walked across the fields to Tansley and took a few photographs of the church there; it's not very old.

I then needed to walk through the village and along the main road at the bottom of the valley for a few minutes before taking the footpath up and over to Riber. There are several quite theatrically gothic looking houses here; I couldn't get a close up view of the castle though [it's a Victorian folly.]

It was only a short walk down to the hamlet of Hearthstone and then across the fields to Cromford Mill. There is some lovely rolling green countryside here, but on a quite murky day it was difficult for me to get any decent photographs.

The first thing I photographed at Cromford was the church, it too isn't very old. I arrived at just after one o'clock and there was a sign outside stating that the building is open to the public every Saturday from eleven o'clock until one o'clock. The door was open, so I ventured inside. There wasn't a lot to look at inside, but there is some quite nice painted plaster on the walls.

The mill at Cromford is a bit of a disappointment; I think they could do so much more with it.

I found a path that goes through the woods to come out at Masson Mill at the southern end of Matlock Bath. As I walked along the promenade I decided to count the number of fish and chips shops - there are nine of them.There are also nearly as many tearooms, several pubs and plenty of ice cream parlours and amusement arcades - in fact everything you'd expect to find at a coastal resort. Matlock Bath certainly lives up to its nickname of 'Derbyshire-by-the-Sea' - even though it's many miles from the sea.

I din't stay long because I wanted to catch the next TransPeak service to Bakewell...and then a bus from there to Sheffield. I had enough time to pop in to the artisan market and buy I large summer fruits scone for my tea though.

The 15:05 bus at Bakewell didn't turn up and then the next one, the 15:24 was a few minutes late. At the Golden Gates roundabout at Baslow we saw the missing earlier bus had broken down, right in the most inconvenient place where it was blocking the traffic.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Peak District Cafes and Tearooms That I've Visited

This is a re-writing and an update of an earlier post.

ASHFORD-IN-THE-WATER - Aisseford Tearooms. Lovely tearooms in one of the Peak District's prettiest and most popular villages. A pleassant walk along the river from Bakewell.

BAMFORD/SHATTON - The cafe at the Hope Valley Garden Centre. Usually not too busy.

BASLOW - Cafe on the Green. The best Bakewell pudding I've ever tasted.

BUXTON - Pavilion Gardens Cafe. I've had afternoon tea here a couple of times with Siobhan, one of my support workers. Very classy; most of the customers are middle aged and middle class.

CALTON LEES - The cafe inside the Chatsworth Garden Centre. Plenty of space and plenty of food options to choose from.

CASTLETON - 1530 Restaurant. This building dates from the sixteenth century. I had a lovely fish pie sitting outside in the garden.

CHATSWORTH HOUSE - The cafe wasn't as expensive as I feared it might be.

EDALE - Cooper's Cafe. All that I can say is that it's better than the other cafe in the the look of its menu anyhow.

EDENSOR - Tea Cottage. A lovely spot in one of the Peak District's pretty, and more unusual villages. Not a lot of parking though.

EYAM - Cafe on the Green. I had the best lime marmalade I've ever tasted.
       Eyam Tearooms. Located in a former pub. A large selection of ice cream. Plenty of room inside.

FORGE DAM - A scenic location in the Porter Valley, a few miles from Sheffield City Centre. Based in a former scout hut. Jarvis Cocker wrote some  of his songs for Pulp here.

GRINDLEFORD - Old Station Cafe. Very large portions served here. Eccentric owners; look out for the quirky handwritten notes everywhere. I know for certain that there's a real log fire here.

HATHERSAGE - Cintra's Tearooms is one of my favourite places in the Peak District. Lovely garden, and like several other cafes, there are paintings on the walls for sale.

HOPE - Old Hall Tearooms. Part of the Old Hall pub. My first choice for food in the village. I've visited two of the other three cafes in Hope, but they are now under new management. The cafe on Edale Road is very popular with cyclists, and the other establishment has only just re-opened after a major refurbishment.

LITTLE LONGSTONE - 'The Hollow' Delightful: The place to go if you want to feel that you're part of the country set...or even the aristocracy. I needed to ring a hand bell for service. It was raining during my visit, but there's a lovely, large garden to sit in.

LONGSHAW ESTATE - The cafe here specialises in its 'soup of the day.'

LOW BRADFIELD - The Old Post Office shop and cafe. Small and cramped, but a hive of the local community. Shop, cafe, take away, community library and newsagent's. Run by a very enthusiastic young couple - brother and sister I think.

MATLOCK - The cafe in Hall Leys Park. Nothing remarkable.

MONSAL HEAD - Hobb's Cafe. It was made obvious to me that the staff preferred it that I sit outside.

RIVELIN VALLEY - Cafe in the park run by the 'Pudding Ladies.' Savoury dishes are also available.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Thurnscoe, Billingley, Highgate, Bolton-on-Dearne, and Conisbrough

My mum died last week and naturally I've been spending a lot of time with the family. This morning was no exception; I stayed with my dad in Thurnscoe for about an hour before setting off on a walk back towards Doncaster...seeing how far I'd get before the bad weather set in.

The church of St.Helen's at Thurnscoe mainly dates from the eighteenth century, but could easily pass as mediaeval though I suppose.

It's only about a mile across the fields to Billingley; en route I found three brightly coloured balloons tied together. It looks like they were released to commemorate the centenary of the opening of the Skoghalls Bridge in Sweden.

I passed the Christmas tree farm as I left Billingley and headed down the lane to the main trunk road at the bottom of the hill.  I turned left and then took the first footpath on my right, heading to the south across the field. After about a hundred yards my way was blocked by impenetrable scrub, bushes, a fence, and a ditch. I had to return to the road and remain walking on tarmac all the way to Bolton-on-Dearne.

The church here is genuinely old though.

I walked past the railway station and along the track the leads to Adwick Washlands Nature Reserve and at the earliest opportunity got up on to the top of the levee and followed the course of the River Dearne downstream.

I passed several dog walkers, one elderly couple in particular though were memorable - the woman was having fun throwing a dildo for their dog to catch and retrieve.

Not long after passing Pastures Road it started to rain, nothing too heavy, but it was very dark and threatened worse and so I finished the walk a mile and a half later at Conisbrough.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Barnby Dun, Thorpe in Balne, Almholme, and Arksey

The church and the nearby buildings at Barnby Dun are quite attractive, but that isn't the case for the rest of the village - it's not particularly unattractive, there's just a lot of bland new housing.

I left the village by walking over the lift bridge over the canal and took the road which leads to Thorpe in Balne, passing over the river and a level crossing, and walking by the derelict site of the recently demolished Thorpe Marsh Power Station.

I didn't reach my first footpath until I had passed through Thorpe in Balne; there was far too much roadwalking for my liking today. This  path went down a pleasant wooded track and then straight across a field, directly under an electricity pylon to meet the East Coast Mainline railway line, where there was a pedestrian crossing.

My map is a few years old and doesn't show the new North Doncaster Chord railway line. So...I wasn't sure if there would be a crossing - well there was, but it was a few hundred yards to the north at Haywood Junction where the chord joins the Askern Branch Line.

A few minutes later I picked up the original course of the footpath again just before reaching Owston Grange.

For some reason the next section of my walk was along a slightly overgrown concrete roadway through Owston Wood which is now used by the TransPennine Trail; I was studying the landscape as I was walking and have just had a more detailed look at the map but I can't work out why this should be - maybe at one time it was a private road leading to the grange.

I crossed over the same railway that I encountered earlier, just after leaving Barnby Dun, and then passed through a short tunnel under an abandoned railway line. There are a lot of railway lines in this can get very confusing working out which is which.

I then needed to walk along a rather muddy and overgrown path until I reached my next crossing, over the east Coast Coast Mainline again, at a location called Masserella's Crossing. I needed to get permission from the signalman first though - I just opened the steel box and picked up the phone.

The approach to Thorpe Marsh Nature Reserve from the west is lovely; lowland pasture and mature woodland. It's not as attractive as you approach the road at Norwood Gate though.

I got drenched by a heavy shower as I walked down the road and then across the fields to Almholme, before re-joining the road to Arksey where I'd got plenty of time to take some photographs and pop in to the Old School Tearooms for a pot of tea and an apple crumble pie with ice cream. It's a lovely spot  and the price was very reasonable. I was confused though by the combined teapot and cup, less so by the combination fork, spoon, and knife which I ate my dessert with.