For the next few weeks there will be no early morning trains running to Sheffield on Sundays so I made alternative arrangements today - another local walk, this time travelling on the other line on which I can use my travel pass, the Leeds line.
I got off the train at South Elmsall and walked up the hill towards the church, which isn't very old but seems to have its charm. I managed to get a decent, if boring, shot from across the road.
I struggled to locate the footpath at the far end of the housing estate and ended up walking across a field of stubble. After about a mile I reached the main Wakefield road, which I crossed as the path continued to Skelbrooke.
The church at Skelbrooke is attractive, and dates mainly from the mediaeval period.
As I was walking at the edge of a field next to the church I saw a couple of metal detectorists busy at work, the first I've ever seen on a walk.
My quickest way to the next village, Burghwallis was by taking a footpath that led straight to the Great North Road; I would also be able to see Robin Hood's Well by going this way. I was hoping there might be footbridge or tunnel...but there wasn't. I was faced with the prospect of having to cross four lanes of busy traffic: after a few minutes I managed to get across the two lanes of traffic on the northbound carriageway but there was no way I would manage the southbound carriageway, which was far busier. So I took some photos from my position of safety standing on the small paved area on the central reservation and then spun round and waited for my opportunity to re-cross the northbound lanes...I needed to wait for another three minutes until a lorry driver flashed me with his headlights.
So I re-traced my footsteps back to Skelbrooke and then walked through the village and took the footpath towards the roundabout at Barnsdale Bar, where a road crosses over the busy trunk road. I took more pictures of the village. I popped in to the roadside cafe at Barnsdale Bar for a mug of tea and to check my new route ahead on the map.
This enforced change of plan added about two, or maybe even three miles, to my route. I first took the Campsall road, walking past the entrance to vineyard [I didn't know Doncaster had one] and then turned right down the road which leads back to the dual carriageway. Somewhere in this area I saw several more men using metal detectors in a field.
The path across the fields to Burghwallis was trouble-free and easygoing underfoot.
There's another pretty, old church at Burghwallis.
The next path, to Sutton, was very overgrown in places, so I'm glad I was wearing my full hiking gear. When I reached the village it was forty minutes until the next bus back to Doncaster was due and so I popped over the road to the Anne Arms for a glass of Diet Pepsi which I enjoyed in the large beer garden.