Roche Abbey, Letwell & Firbeck Walk - 6th April

Posted 6/4/2019

Today Dearne Valley Walking Group completed its 400th walk since formation with a 10.88 mile circular walk from Roche Abbey, taking in the villages of Letwell and FIrbeck along the route. This also marks Dearne Valley Walking Group completing 10 years of operation, with the eleventh getting under way with our Dearne Valley Walking Festival next weekend.

After assembling in the car park our group of eleven walkers passed the former Abbey Gatehouse and rounded the impressive ruins of the Abbey itself with cameras flashing away merrily from most of the group.

Passing through Sandra’s Kissing Gate we walked past the small waterfall at the end of Laughton Pond, taking a path through the edge of King’s Wood before veering off to the left up to the high level path above Slade Hills.

This we followed for a while along field edges until we took a right fork as we reached Laughton en le Morthen. Here our route skirted the village, passing the impressive All Saints Church sited behind where once stood a Motte and Bailey Castle, and then made for the rather derelict looking Church of St John, Throapham.

After passing this we took the bridleway known as Kirk Croft Road which took us out into open farmland to Long Thwaite Wood. We then turned right onto a bridleway which took us across Oldcoates Road onto Leys Lane. A short distance along here we took another bridleway on the left which took us across some recently seeded fields before reaching Church Lane and then the pretty village of Letwell.

Here we took the opportunity to have lunch on the village green, and then continued through this quaint village and out towards Dyscarr Wood – despite the locals appearing to take exception to Russell Yapp!

As we reached the wood we turn left onto Salt Hill Road bridleway which we followed to the village of Firbeck. As we emerged into the village opposite us was the Black Lion Inn which we obviously were obliged to frequent before we could continue along our route.

After a half hour break for a pint we left Firbeck, passing a memorial of the former RAF Firbeck airbase for those who served there while it was open between 1940 and 1948. The memorial is located on the site of the aircraft repair shop.

We continued to pass Stone Farm and then cross the scenic Firbeck Dike at Mill Farm and then took a path on the left which took us back across the abbey grounds to our start point at Roche Abbey.

Well done to the eleven who completed this excellent walk and welcome to Christian Fox and Victoria Wright who walked with Dearne Valley Walking Group for the first time today.

Finally, while there were no individual mliestones today a special mention must go to Sue Sanders who managed to complete this walk despite realising she had picked up the wrong pair of walking boots and had to walk nigh on eleven miles in boots two sizes too big for her!