Hoyland Lowe and Hay Green Family Walk - 24th March

Posted 24/3/2019

In a day of surprises, our group enjoyed a splendid outing from Worsbrough Village.  Our first surprise was the clement weather which was milder and drier than forecasts had anticipated.  Which was just as well, as some surprise footpath closures caused significant extension to the route!  A more pleasant surprise on arrival, though, was to see a bumper turnout of 24 adults, 3 children and 3 dogs!

Setting off from Worsbrough Village, we skirted the edge of Blacker Hill (after some minor navigational difficulties) and took a little-trodden but waymarked path through grassy fields, ascending sharply to our lunch stop.  Traversing a further field brought us to our revised crossing point over the A6195 and into Upper Hoyland.  Here, disappointingly, we found the path to Hoyland Lowe Stand to be closed and cordoned off.  Local signage indicated that this is to facilitate refurbishment works upon the folly which has fallen into an advanced state of disrepair.  This is at least welcome as it may be a more resplendent sight on our next visit.  However, it meant a trudge along the road to St Peter's Church to get back onto the return leg of our route, back under Dearne Valley Parkway at Birdwell, ascending via Hay Green back to Worsbrough Village. The revised distance was 4.8 miles - apologies to those with tired legs that this was rather further than advertised.

Our party retired to the Edmunds Arms for refreshments - this being the pub our walking festival social will be held at in just under four weeks time. Please see dvwf.org.uk for further details. We welcomed five new faces today in Mark Turner, John and Sandra Denson and Meg and Steve Wilson. The attendance of these five mean that over 100 adults have now walked with Dearne Valley Walking Group this season and over 300 have walked with us since the formation of the group.  We hope you all enjoyed today's outing and will join us again soon and thank you once again for your continued support.

 

Stoodley Pike Walk - March 16th

Posted 17/3/2019

Well DVWGs walk number 397 will be long remembered for the adverse conditions which our party braved to walk.

This was our third visit over the years to ascend the Pennine Bridleway to visit Stoodley Pike, the magnificent monument which dominates the skyline of the upper Calder Valley and was built to commemorate the end of the Crimean War.

Unfortunately our three visits have also coincided with adverse weather conditions, snow, ice, rain and storms and this walk unfortunately was no exception.

Most of our party of eleven decided to take advantage of cheap train travel using a West Yorkshire Day Rover ticket which allowed us to travel to Hebden Bridge and back for just £6.50 per person. A cheap way to get out and about.

After meeting the rest of our party we proceeded to a canal side cafe at Hebble End for a coffee before commencing our walk.

Commencing our walk in heavy rain we crossed the Rochdale Canal and started a very steep initial ascent out of Hebden Bridge through the very aptly named Crow’s Nest Wood which made for a very tough first mile.

Here we ascended to a path known locally as Pinnacle Lane which morphed from a footpath into a walled lane and offered at least some shelter from both the heavy rain and gale force winds which we were now encountering.

We continued along this path with some degree of difficulty in the prevailing conditions, particularly where we encountered a burst water main, which flooded the track.

Pinnacle Lane ended at a junction of paths which in the conditions seemed to be quite aptly named, Lower Rough Head, here we joined the Pennine Bridleway before we did our final climb to the monument which stands majestically at the highest point above the Calder Valley.

By now the conditions were deteriorating quickly, our party of eleven were wet and finding the conditions difficult, we therefore decided that would be simply too dangerous to go to the very top of the hill to where Stoodley Pike is situated, we could however continue along the Pennine Bridleway which walked the lower perimeter of this hill and linked to where we had originally intended to descend to once we had visited the monument. This sounded like as sensible plan.

Walking along the Pennine Bridleway was still not easy in the wind and the rain, conditions were deteriorating and for about 0.5 mile we seemed to be walking along a river bed as the path had flooded and we were in water almost to ankle deep.

We descended from the moor into the village of Mankinholes, whilst it was still raining we were sheltered from the wind, this at least did give us some relief.

From here as leader, I was thinking of the best possible route to get our party back quickly and safely. I seriously considered changing our route and walking into Todmorden, which was nearer, to catch the train home, however as our two newcomers, Lorna Mee and Alex Roles had driven to Hebden Bridge, I didn’t think it was fair to ask them to pay an additional train fare. Events were unfolding which we were unaware of which made this decision a good one!  

As we left the village we opted to change the route slightly and walk down a road which cuts through Shaw Wood to meet with the Rochdale Canal towpath near Lobb Mill to walk back to Hebden Bridge, it was quite impressive seeing the sheer volume of water coming down outlets, streams and waterfalls as we descended.

Once on the canal bank the seriousness of the situation started to become clear to us, we were walking the towpath which was between the River Calder on one side and the Rochdale Canal on the other. It soon became apparent that the River Calder was close to bursting its banks and the water was moving at a phenomenal speed, indeed we witnessed a couple of areas where the river had burst out, we were warned by a couple of local residents to get off the towpath quickly too.

As a further complication there are several overflow drains along the towpath where the canal drains into the river, these are crossed by a single plank bridge, several of these bridges had become submerged under water as had paths below bridges leading to some very challenging and uneasy crossing points being tackled by our party.

It is of great pride to us that all of our regular walkers know that DVWG is unlike many other walking groups, where our walkers will help and support each other in times of adversity and difficulty. At one of the bridge crossings this was certainly a team effort, where the bridge ended the next step was into deep water it was therefore necessary to climb onto the adjacent banking to safety, this resulted in Peter Bentley and David Kirk physically pulling our party one by one from the end of the bridge.

Our party were tired, wet and hungry as we had not been able to schedule our usual lunch stop due to the conditions, therefore a quick late lunch was taken under a bridge on the canal bank which provided shelter. Upon reaching the outskirts of Hebden Bridge we stopped for some liquid refreshment at a pub called Stubbings Wharf.

Whilst having a drink and re-counting the day’s adventures we were made aware by pub’s staff that trains from Hebden Bridge had been cancelled due to flooding, we now needed to consider our options to get home, another drink needed to consider our options.

We walked back into Hebden Bridge and saw the Environment Agency opening lock gates to relieve the pressure on the Rochdale Canal and saw evidence of local home owners and businesses sandbagging to prevent flood damage, the village was obviously nervous and on a state of high alert.

To our joy we found that trains were terminating at Hebden Bridge and returning to Leeds due to the line to Todmorden being flooded, a good decision being made not to go to Todmorden earlier in the day, we left shortly before the flood warning sounded.

Our journey home was a lively one, with us all enthusiastically discussing the days adventures and indeed dangers, we all agreed that we should return in the height of summer to truly appreciate this stunning walk and the beautiful town of Hebden Bridge.

Well done to our party of eleven who took part in this 6.8 miles walk, dubbed marine commandos by Russell Yapp, one of our party. This walk will live long in the memory for the adventure and indeed the danger.

Well done to David Kirk who clocked up 200 miles season to date on this walk, a big hello and welcome goes out to Lorna Mee and Alex Roles who joined us for the first time today, who dubbed the walk, “an experience they will never forget”.

Five Churches Walk - 10th March

Posted 10/3/2019

A small group of Dearne Valley Walking Group’s regular walkers braved the elements for today’s 10 mile Five Churches Walk from Todwick.

Starting from St Peter & St Paul’s Church in the village our group of 7 adults and one dog set off in cold and wet conditions we followed the path known as Axle Lane towards South Anston. Axle Lane follows a stone wall which was the boundary of the 600 acre Kiveton Park Estate, home of the Duke of Leeds in the late 17th century.

On arriving at South Anston we took a few minutes to observe the names of local people killed in World War One that were listed inside the lychgate to St James’ Church and then continued past the church itself and exited at the back of the churchyard. From here we proceeded through a housing estate before taking a bridleway southwards towards the railway line and Chesterfield Canal.

After crossing the canal the path took us steadily up hill to where we joined Lady Field Road which we followed into the village of Thorpe Salvin where we observed the remains of Thorpe Salvin Hall and then entered the churchyard of St Peter’s Church via the east gate.

We left Thorpe Salvin heading westwards along Harthill Road and then took a diagonal path across Loscar Field to Loscar Wood. Crossing the muddy field was extremely heavy going in the rain!

Our route skirted the edge of Loscar Wood and crossed Packman Lane before continuing past Crow Wood following a path across numerous fields before we emerged at Harthill. Here we turned northwards along the main road to All Hallows Church where we decided to stop for lunch and a pint at The Beehive Pub over the road.

After being suitably refreshed we continued along the main road and then as we exited the village took a path on the left which took us over a stone bridge over a stream and slowly up hill across more field to reach Walsaker Lane.

Here we followed the lane as it zigzagged its way north and westwards towards the village of Wales. As we cross the path of the Cuckoo Way the M1 motorway came into view and we then continued  along the path to emerge on Church Street which took us past our fifth and final church on the route, the church of St John the Baptist.

After deciding against calling in at the Duke of Leeds pub opposite we continued along Church Street, crossed the main road and took Manor Road and then Storth Lane to pass Wales High School and Kiveton Park FC. This took us over back over the railway line and we then crossed a stile immediately on our right to follow a path which took us alongside a stream before eventually reaching the outskirts of Todwick.

We wended our way through the housing estate to return to the 11th century St Peter & St Pauls church and to complete our walk. There was just the small task of our post-walk drink at the Red Lion to undertake!

Well done to the small group who endured wind, rain, sleet and a bit of sun on this 10 mile walk.

Walton Toddler Walk - March 3rd

Posted 3/3/2019

Another day, another walk. DVWGs second walk at the weekend was at Walton Colliery Nature Park.

 

The nature park is new territory for our group, located just 3 miles outside the city centre. 

 

Apparently the park is managed for the benefit of its main inhabitants, the cuckoo and the non venomous grass snake, not to mention wildflowers such as Southern Marsh Orchids.

 

Today’s walk was a two miles circuit of the paths of the nature park for the benefit of DVWGs youngest walkers.

 

It was great to see the walk being supported by a cross section of our regular adult walkers, nine of which came along to support the five younger walkers who completed the walk comfortably before the rain closed in. Our adult walkers certainly enjoyed the steady stroll and a chat whilst our younger walkers did their own thing en route around the park.

 

Ian Starkey DVWGs treasurer walked for the first time this season and brought his daughter Ella along, who oversaw proceedings from the comfort of her pushchair.

It was also fantastic to see Paul Whitham walking with DVWG today, his first walk with the group since he sustained serious injury in a road accident in late 2018. 

Thank you to everybody who attended and well done to our younger walkers. 

Walton Colliery Nature Park is certainly a useful find for a starting point for slightly longer family walks.

The walk was rounded off with a quick drink for our party at the New Inn in Walton, which is well worth a visit too.

 

Wantley Dragon Walk - March 2nd

Posted 2/3/2019

A walk in the sunshine again for Dearne Valley Walking Group today as we completed the Wantley Dragon Walk in weather which is quite unseasonal for early March.

The walk was taken from the Stocksbridge Welcomes Walkers website and is well worth completing with some stunning views of both Wharncliffe Crags and the reservoirs in the Ewden Valley to take in.

Starting from just outside Deepcar the walk follows the byway of Common Lane and onto Townend Common, a local nature reserve. We walked onto Bitholmes Wood and the Wantley Dragon monument.

The Wantley Dragon is satirical ballad from the 17th century and is linked to Wharncliffe Crags too, the monument is worth a visit.

We continued carrying out a circle of the woodland, pausing for lunch in the wood and then re-tracing our steps steeply uphill, this was quite tough.

We ventured on to Walders Low, a burial chamber for a local Bronze Age chieftain before taking a steady descent along the edge of Stocksbridge Golf Club and along the adjacent road back to Common Lane and the end of this six miles adventure.

The walk was led in a competent manner by Alex Bennett, who is currently practicing for his D of E Gold award, thank you Alex for leading today.

The attendance today was outstanding with twenty three adults and two children completing the walk not to mention five dogs too. The healthy attendances at walks are continuing as Dearne Valley Walking Group continues to go from strength to strength as the groups tenth year draws to a close.

We were joined by six new walkers today too, therefore a big hello and welcome goes out to Carmel & Keith Seston, Keith Fox, Will Lepley, Abi Atkin and Emily Kay, we hope you choose to walk with us again soon.

Our walk was rounded off in true DVWG style with a beer and chat at the Castle Inn in Bolsterstone.

We hope everyone enjoyed the walk today and thank you for your continued support of DVWG.

Rivelin Dams & Redmires Reservoir - February 24th

Posted 25/2/2019

A group of 12 adults and 1 child completed a great 8.88 mile walk around Rivelin Dams and Redmires Reservoirs in unseasonably warm and sunny weather today.

However, there was confusion over the location of the start point with a distinct lack of signage to the car park on the A57 leading to several of our party missing the turning into the narrow lane which crossed Rivelin dam wall to the car park.

Eventually our party assembled ready to start 30 minutes later than planned and made our way along the southern bank of Rivelin Dam before taking a path up hill which tracked the picturesque tumbling Wyming Brook up through Fox Holes Plantation.

After crossing the brook via some stepping stones we made our way to a high level path towards Reddicar Clough. At various places the path gave some excellent views out across Rivelin Dams.

At Reddicar Clough our path wound its way down to join Wyming Brook Drive but after a short distance we took another path which took us across Head Stone Bank.

Here we joined a path heading southward towards Redmires Reservoirs. Part way along we stopped by a junction of paths for a slightly later than usual lunch break and were treated to some birthday donuts by Russell Yapp.

After lunch we continued to the lower of the three Redmires Reservoirs and were surprised at how empty this reservoir still is even after the winter weather.

We made our way to the far side if the reservoirs and then took a path up continue moors, passing White Stones and crossing Rud Hill to emerge at Fulwood Lane.

Here we turned left and passed Knoll Top Farm before turning left again to follow a track down to the eastern edge of the reservoirs. From here we zigzagged to join Redmires Conduit and then passed The Sportsman pub before crossing the main road to reach the Three Merry Lads pub where we enjoyed a drink in the beer garden before completing the last half mile of the walk back to our cars.

Well done to those who (managed to find the start point &) completed the walk and congratulations to Nicola Royston who has now surpassed 300 miles walked cumulatively with DVWG.

Ackworth & East Hardwick Family Walk - February 17th

Posted 17/2/2019

A great day out for DVWG today in the later winter sunshine completing our family walk starting from Ackworth and walking around East Hardwick,

Starting from the Brown Cow in Ackworth, we walked on field paths around the outskirts of Ackworth Park and alongside the Ackworth Showground to East Hardwick taking lunch at the pack horse bridge alongside the River Went.

We returned to Ackworth on field paths.

Refreshments in The Brown Cow at Ackworth were ample reward for our party of thirteen adults and two children who walked the 5.7 miles today.

A big well done goes out to Emma Powell, David Richardson and Tricia MacDuff who all chalked up 100 miles season to date today.

A big welcome goes out to Stephen Vipurs who walked with DVWG for the first time today.