Gnome Roam Toddler Walk

Posted 12/2/2018

Sorry to all concerned for the late write up for this one.

Starting from the car park at Newmillerdam Country Park, this short 1.8 mile trot had a bit of everything - uphills, downhills, woodlands old and new, a lake, a wild bear on the loose and lots and lots of gnomes.

We ascended sharply from the car park to the first of the gnomes and followed a well-signposted route round the woodland and parkland.  Passing through a relatively recent plantation, we proceeded past more gnomes into the coniferous forest.  Here we encountered a carving of a large brown bear, with a plaque detailing the story of his escape in 1867 from a travelling menagerie and antics around the local area until his recapture.  Our trail then descended in similarly sharp fashion past some more log carvings, including an owl and (inevitably) more gnomes.

Yet more of these infernal creatures were found on a circuit of the duckboards by the picnic area, before a lakeside return to the car park, with a couple of final gnomes for company.  Although the pace was steady - it being a starter walk aimed at our very youngest participants - it was an enjoyable jaunt on a cold, clear morning, culminating with refreshments in the Fox and Hounds across the main road.

Our thanks again go to all those who took the trouble to attend.

Categories Walk Write-ups

Two Trails Walk

Posted 11/2/2018

Another lovely local walk this weekend for DVWG, with us repeating a walk which we first did way back in early 2013, our Two Trails Walk.

Starting from the Spencer’s Arms in Cawthorne, our walk left the village via Cawthorne Park picking up the Barnsley Boundary Walk through Deffer Wood to High Hoyland. It is fair to say that our path through Deffer Wood was pretty tough, not only the steep ascent but the quite deep and treacherous mud on route too.

After a quick breather in High Hoyland we continued along the Barnsley Boundary path above Deep Haigh Wood which commanded some wonderful views of the wider Barnsley borough.

The walk continued along Barnsley Boundary path entering the Bretton Estate and descending into the Yorkshire Sculpture Park crossing the lakes and following the Lower Lake path out of the park towards Huddersfield Road.

After a short lunch break in the sunshine, we left the Sculpture Park and passed underneath the M1 to the outskirts of Haigh, here we changed paths to follow the Dearne Way.

Walking alongside the River Dearne was also quite challenging with large amounts of the 1.5 stretch between Haigh & Darton being severely waterlogged.

Upon arrival in the centre of Darton, it was time to stop for a quick drink at the newly opened Old Co-op Ale House, which is co-owned by Alasdair Twist who occasionally walks with DVWG.

After swift half of Old Grumpy Blonde beer it was time to head for the end of the walk, ascending through Kexbrough and back into Cawthorne Park before a short walk through the village led us to the end of the walk.

Well done to the ten people who completed this 9.15 miles walk, in quite muddy conditions, although it has to be said that the weather was much better than predicted, staying almost rain free for the duration of the walk and we were treated to some rather welcome winter sunshine too.

Categories Walk Write-ups

Monsal Dale Walk - January 27th

Posted 31/1/2018

A great day out in the Derbyshire Dales yesterday for DVWG as we did a 10 mile circuit of Monsal Dale in quite muddy winter conditions.

Starting from Monsal Head we varied the start slightly, walking along the river bank to the weir before crossing the river and walking back to the Monsal Trail.

After joining the trail, we walked along to Cressbrook Mills, leaving the trail and walked over to the hill known locally as Star Gate, where many of our party had a laboured ascent.

After we descended the other side we walked the river bank passing St Peters Stone to Wardlow Mires and a lunch & refreshment stop at The Three Stags Head.

Over lunch we debated the rest of the route and we were concerned that we may run out of daylight, we therefore opted to not walk across Silly Dale to Foolow but take a field path which led us to Longstone Moor.

By the time we started on Longstone Moor there was mist rolling in, which gave us a new found urgency to cross the Moor and descend into Little Longstone, which we did admirably.

In Little Longstone they still had a set of village stocks, which provided a little levity with both Steve Pennock and Dean Duke taking their turns, we didn't have any rotten fruit to perform an accurate re-enactment though.

From here it was a short walk through the village to Monsal Head and a welcome drink in the Stables Bar.

Well done to the eighteen people who completed this one, a personal favourite despite the mud.

Congratulations to Karen Etches who achieved 100 miles season to date on this walk and belated congratulations to Tricia MacDuff who achieved the same feat last week.

Categories Walk Write-ups

Dearne and Billingley Family walk - Jan 21st

Posted 21/1/2018

A cold day around Goldthorpe was lent some added beauty by an unexpected snowfall.  Our party of twelve adults and two children set off from near Goldthorpe Station, following the railway line to emerge by the old greyhound stadium.  From here we made our way back to the main road through Highgate and southwards to pick up the dismantled railway - a well surfaced and elevated track offering some enjoyable walking.  We then doubled back to pick up a path back towards Billingley but were confused a little by a re-route of the path caused by an industrial complex which our route and maps pre-dated.  The re-routed path does not seem well used and petered out after crossing a brook.  With little choice we had to ascend to the main road and proceed with little scenery and obtrusive traffic noise to get back en route at Billingley Green Lane.

Proceeding into the village we departed on a picturesque path across fields to pick up the dismantled railway once again and following it back to the greyhound stadium, from where we retraced our steps to the start point.

Unfortunately, from the section along the main road, the snow had turned to wet sleet and the cold, wet conditions got the better of poor Oliver who, at about the furthest point from the car, became distraught and cried all the way back. Not the best end to an otherwise pleasant local jaunt.

Despite the freezing cold, we extend a warm welcome to Brian and Tracy Hickling, who walked with us for the first time today. We hope to see you again in better conditions!

Categories Walk Write-ups

Womersley Wander Walk

Posted 13/1/2018

A well-attended local walk today for DVWG completing the Womersley Wander walk, which is a walk published by North Yorkshire County Council which DVWG last walked in early 2013.

The walk crossed Womersley Park to the village of Little Smeaton and then walked on footpaths along the River Went to the outskirts of Norton, here we saw Prior Farm which had remaining medieval buildings which were part of the original monastery on the site of the farm.

Our walk continued to Walden Stubs and alongside Birdswing Woods before walking alongside Womersley Beck back into the village to complete our walk.

Our afternoon was completed with a friendly drink and a chat for the assembled group at the Shoulder of Mutton at Kirk Smeaton.

Well done to the sixteen people who completed this 7.5 miles local walk, a big welcome goes out to Sue White and Terry Sinar who walked with DVWG for the first time today.  

Categories Walk Write-ups

Roche Abbey Walk - January 7th

Posted 7/1/2018

Our second walk of the weekend was our 7 mile Roche Abbey Walk.

In excellent winter walking weather of cold but dry conditions our group started from Roche Abbey itself, walking directly past the former gatehouse before bearing right past the remains of the Cistercian monastery and into King’s Wood.

As we exited King’s Wood we joined Colonel’s Halt where we left the woodland and made our way across muddy and slippy open fields as we climbed gradually up to Slade Hooton and then on to Brookhouse. Here we stopped for an impromptu refreshment stop at the Travellers Rest pub before leaving along a footpath at the back of the pub via stile. As we made our way southwards our turnaround point of All Saints Church at Laughton-en-le-Morthen could be seen ahead in the distance.

At the end of the path we joined Brookhouse Lane, which we followed almost as far as the church. However, before reaching it we turned right onto Rotherham Road for 100 yards before taking a footpath on the left which took us around the site of the remains of the motte and bailey castle at Castle Hill which dates back to the 5th century AD. We then took a path back to the church grounds when we enjoyed a short lunch break.

All Saints Church dates back to Saxon times and was originally the Mother Church to a large area. The original Saxon church was built around 937AD but was destroyed on 1069/1070 and rebuilt by the Normans in 1190 but was destroyed again in 1322. The present church was built around 1377.

After lunch we left the church going northwards on High Street for 100 yards before taking a path on the right. This took us across Hooton Lane and eastwards along East Field back towards King’s Wood. Along here we had excellent views across towards Slade Hooton and the route of our outwards journey.

We approached King’s Wood via Slade Hills and took a track through the heart of King’s Wood which brought us out on King’s Wood Lane. This we followed over Firbeck Dike to Mill Farm where we then took a footpath on the left to take us alongside Firbeck Dike and back to Roche Abbey.

This was a fully exhilarating walk which was enjoyed by our group of 19 adults and 4 children.

It also marked a landmark for one of our regular walkers, Emma Powell, who surpassed 1000 miles walked with the group during this walk. Well done from everyone at DVWG on this achievement Emma.

Finally a big hello to Julie Elliott who walked with DVWG for the first time today.

Categories Walk Write-ups

After Dark 8 Walk

Posted 6/1/2018

Mud, mud and then more mud was the theme for DVWG’s After Dark 8, our annual crazy challenge walk last night.

As per last year the walk was around the Elsecar and Hoyland area, starting from the Milton Arms leaving Elsecar via footpaths to Milton Forge before entering the rather muddy Spring Wood.

We then negotiated several muddy fields before crossing the main Barnsley to Sheffield road to enter Bellground Woods. Here the mud fest really began and there were several people falling as we negotiated the woodland, the most elaborate of all was Dean Duke’s effort which has prompted a call from the American Film Academy who have confirmed an Oscar in reward for his effort.

By the time we left Bellground Woods the evening temperature had dropped giving way to a keen ground frost which added further complications as walking was slippery underfoot and walkers became cold as our large party slowly crossed a series of stiles as the route continued.

After crossing the main Barnsley to Sheffield road once again we entered Skiers Spring and walked on to Alderthwaite Farm before crossing field paths to Skiers Hall finally crossing Elsecar Park and back to the Milton Arms.

Well done to the 32 adults and 10 children who completed this 4.5 miles adventure, our party were amply rewarded with a delicious pie & pea supper at The Milton Arms for their efforts.

Thank you to Nick Powell for organising the pie & pea supper and to Nick, Alison Hartley, Diane & Gary Marshall for their assistance with marshalling the walk.

Plans for 2019 are already underway and DVWG intend to start After Dark 9 from the Milton Arms once again with a circular walk from Elsecar to Wentworth and back via Kings Wood.

Hopefully we’ll see you all again for our 2019 adventure.

Categories Walk Write-ups