Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Greasbrough, Wentworth, Harley, Tankersley, Birdwell, and Worsbrough

I should have been walking with my brother today but he didn't show up at the agreed time at Rotherham bus station. He refuses to use a mobile phone and so I couldn't contact him to find out what the problem was and what alternative plans we could make. So I got on the first bus for Greasbrough that departed after nine o'clock, and although it was a circular service which went the long way round the journey only took nineteen minutes.

It was short walk until I reached the entrance to Wentworth Park; it's a pleasant walk past the lowest of the three small reservoirs followed by a gentle climb up through the deer park to Wentworth Woodhouse, the large stately home that is currently being renovated and so is covered with scaffolding. Some tearooms have recently been open there though and I think at certain times during the week group tours are organised to view parts of the house that are deemed safe.

I think many people will have been fooled by this building over the years; this is a photograph of the stables.

It was only a short walk to the village of Wentworth.

There are two churches in the village, the new one, and the old one which is in ruins apart from a small family chapel which is still roofed. They are both always open and I would have gone inside them both if my brother had been with me; since I was on my own I didn't bother though - I've visited them several times before and taken photographs.

It was an easy walk along an estate road to Harley and then a short stretch of the busy A6135 until I reached what I assumed to be Tankersley Park. The quality of the estate roads here isn't quite as good as at Wentworth though, but the walking was still easy.

It was raining quite heavily when I reached Tankersley church. The building was closed, I couldn't even get inside the porch and so had to take shelter for a few minutes under the canopy of the lychgate with a local dogwalker.

Part of the route heading north to Worsbrough crosses a busy dual carriageway and some industrial areas, yet there is still some nice countryside over to the east of Birdwell. 

The vicar at Worsbrough has a special car that warps the fabric of time and space so that when he parks it on a dangerous corner in front of the church it isn't a hazard to traffic.

When I reached the end of the walk at the tearooms at Worsbrough Mill I had the most colourful and psychedelically decorated slice of cake I've ever seen - unfortunately it didn't taste as good as it looked.

My two bus journeys back home ran like clockwork and I arrived in Doncaster within the hour.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Painful and Stiff Neck and Shoulders

I'm awake and writing this blog update at 05:30 in the morning because I've had very little sleep because of my stiff and painful neck and shoulders at the left side of my body. I've just been soaking in the bath for thirty minutes with the water as hot as I could cope with and it was shear, at the moment I'm not feeling too bad. 

My injury isn't the result of a walking accident though, it's a sleeping accident; if such things exist. I woke up yesterday morning in absolute agony, possibly the worst pain of my entire life at times and despite taking painkillers, rubbing various analgesic creams and Deep Heat muscle balm into the area...and taking a steaming hot bath every three hours or so I still had a miserable day.

I was planning to go walking with my brother again tomorrow, only a local walk so I wouldn't be carrying my heavy rucksack. As I'm feeling at the moment I'd be fine; but what if my condition worsened during the day?

Friday, July 26, 2019

Castleton, Perryfoot, Sparrowpit, Smalldale, Tunstead, and Blackwell

I started my walk at Castleton today, headed up through Cave Dale and then across towards Eldon Hill Quarry and Perryfoot. At the entrance to Cave Dale a young Chinese man was looking a bit uncertain and confused; he was checking a mapping app on his mobile phone and naturally all the place names were in Chinese characters. I think he wanted a bit of reassurance when he asked me if this was the 'Secret Valley' - I thought about it for a couple of seconds and then said "Yes." I'm assuming that the Chinese transcription for Cave Dale came out as 'Secret Valley.' He soon got far ahead of me because I was stopping to take photographs and taking notes as well. Has anyone got any better suggestions for a descriptive name for this beautiful dale which is hidden away at the back of the castle, just a few yards from the Market Place in Castleton?

I continued down the road to Sparrowpit; the pub/cafe was closed when I got there at 10:45 but at least I now know where all the coaches park up after they've dropped off people in Castleton.

Just beyond Sparrowpit I was needing to frequently refer to my map because the farmer had attempted to block the path by piling up loose rubble at the stiles and fencing off access to one particular stile; this action wasn't going to stop me though, I had my map in my hand held up right in front of me, I had all my answers prepared for any likely confrontation with the farmer...and more importantly, I had my questions ready for him. I proceeded like a bulldozer, literally when I reached the piles of I wasn't wearing hiking boots, I was wearing a very comfortable pair of safety boots with metal toe caps which I bought at a charity shop in Retford a few weeks ago. 

There was along stretch of road until I reached Tunstead and then a metalled track which continues right to where the bridleway steeply drops down into Chee Dale at Blackwell Mill Cottages - it's always worth pointing a camera at them.

I'd got the bus times written on a piece of paper in wallet and so I was able to adjust my pace so that I got to the bus stop five minutes before a bus was was TransPeak which I used to get to Bakewell.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Scrooby, Mattersey Thorpe, Mattersey, Everton, Harwell, and Bawtry

Another local walk with my brother; we're trying to arrange a couple a month during the rest of the summer. We travelled to Scrooby, the first village in Nottinghamshire.

We then headed over to Mattersey Thorpe and then Mattersey: this stretch was quite boring, but easy going. The area near the church in Mattersey is lovely though.

We crossed over the River Idle using the footbridge: a woman and her teenage son were each struggling to climb inside an inflatable canoe contraption with metal handlebars and spoked wheels. I didn't say a word as we passed them.

Part of the route to Everton was climbing up through the woodland on Pusto Hill, the shade provided by the trees was welcome in the hot weather.

It was a lovely walk across the fields to Harwell.

We got lost in the woods on Barrow Hills but it wasn't difficult to find our way down to the road, which we needed to follow for the final mile and a half into Bawtry.

The lack of bridges over the River Idle in this area makes planning walks difficult; I'd like to visit the ruins of Mattersey Priory but the only access is down a dead-end track that's over a mile long...therefore adding over two miles to any walk's distance. I would have also liked to have returned to Bawtry via Misson and Austerfield...but there's no bridge!