(Visiting Stainforth, South Bramwith, Braithwaite, and Kirk Bramwith)
This was another of the monthly walks where I'm the walk leader and organiser for the autism group here in Doncaster.
We were lucky with the weather; showers were forecast, but we didn't get any - it was a bit blustery and murky at times, but that was all.
The walk started at Stainforth. Three of us travelled from town on the bus and everyone else, another nine people, drove there in their cars.
We had soon left the built-up area and were walking across the fields, one of them being bright yellow with blossoming rapeseed. At this point the footpath was quite wide; this wouldn't be the case later on though when the path was narrow and the rapeseed higher than me...I've never known it to be so high.
At South Bramwith we could hear the klaxon sounding, the red lights flashing, and the barriers lowering, so we knew that a boat was passing through the swing bridge.
We needed to cross to the other side of the canal, but obviously couldn't until the bridge had swung back into place; so everyone posed for the second group portrait of the day.
It wasn't far until we reached Kirk Bramwith Lock on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal. Some of the group stopped to pick up some refreshments at the moored coffee boat, and to use the toilets on board. There's a nice grassy area at the lock where we sat and ate our sandwiches.
It was only a short walk to the River Don Aqueduct; we were lucky to time our visit with a boat going over it; unfortunately I didn't manage to get a decent photograph of the boat.
We continued walking along the towpath of our second canal of the day, the New Junction Canal, until we reached the lift bridge at Braithwaite, where yet again our timing was perfect; we were able to see the bridge being lifted for a barge to pass through.
By now one of the walkers was struggling a bit and so we decided to modify our route, to take the shortest route back to Stainforth, going through the village of Kirk Bramwith and then along the bank of the River Don.
The three of us who had travelled to Stainforth by bus this morning were fortunately offered a lift back into town - this was very welcome indeed.