Darfield Boundary Walk - April 13th

Dearne Valley Walking Festival - Day 1 | Posted 13/4/2019

It is not very often that DVWG are in a self congratulatory mood about their achievements, however if there is one day to reflect today is the day.

Today is DVWGs 10th birthday and the start of our Dearne Valley Walking Festival, which after several months of planning all came together superbly and an enjoyable day was had by all.

Our day started outside the Old Moor Tavern in Broomhill where the Mayor of Barnsley, Steve Green attended to meet us all and conduct a brief opening ceremony, which entailed posing for a photo with our group whilst shaking hands with DVWG Chairman David Kirk who presented the Mr Green with a commemorative tankard as a thank you for attending.

Our Darfield Boundary Walk kicked off from Broomhill walking along Old Doncaster Road and crossing fields to reach Darfield Bridge, from here we walked the river bank alongside the River Dearne before crossing field paths part of the Dearne Way to reach Edderthorpe Lane.

From here we continued along the Dearne Way before emerging onto Doncaster Road crossing and walking down fields to Netherwood School.

Our walk continued along the River Dove to the Low Valley area finally walking Ings Lane onto Old Moor Wetlands, a superb walk across this area in early afternoon spring sunshine back to Broomhill where our 6 miles walk ended with a beer back at the Old Moor Tavern.

It was a great day for DVWG with a party of 28 adults and two children completing our walk. It was also great to welcome see x new faces to our ranks, therefore a big hello and welcome goes out to Steve Child, Glenys Peace, Shiela Adams, Marion Russell, Steve Ellis and Robina Crabtree who walked with DVWG for the fist time today.

Finally a big well done to Sue Sanders who chalked up 100 miles season to date today too.

We hope to see as many as possible for our walk at Sprotbrough tomorrow.



New Walks Online

Posted 8/4/2019

With the forthcoming festival, work commitments, and other issues, the diary is a little late this time.

However, the quarterly bulletin is now downloadable in the usual formats on the Downloads page and the Events page is stuffed to the brim with three months worth of walking fun.

The last quarter was an outstanding success for Dearne Valley Walking Group and we hope this crop of walks will have both established participants and those who haven't stepped out with us before, reaching for their boots. See you all soon

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!

Knaresborough Walk - 31st March

Posted 31/3/2019

Dearne Valley Walking Group made a trip to North Yorkshire today to the spa town of Knaresborough where nine regulars enjoyed a lovely spring day, taking in a lovely 8.18 mile walk which looped out towards the outskirts of Harrogate and back.

Setting off from the Waterside car park we walked along the riverside, passing the numerous cafes and the famous rowing boats before walking under the much photographed railway viaduct and eventually crossing the main A59 near the entrance to Mother Shipton’s Cave.

Here we took the Harrogate Ringway, also known as the Beryl Burton Cycleway, which took us slowly up hill past Bilton Hall and on to Bilton Lane. Our route then saw us bear right and gradually descend through Spring Wood to the banks of the River Nidd which we followed through the Nidd Gorge, almost as far as Scotton Mill. At this point we took a short, steep path on the left which brought us onto a bridleway to the village of Old Bilton.

As we emerged on the edge of the village in true Dearne Valley Walking Group style we made the very short diversion to the adjacent pub, the Carpenters Arms where we enjoyed an al fresco lunch time drink. This made all the more refreshing on the realisation of how cheap the bar prices were!

After being suitably refreshed we returned to our route, following the road for a short while before joining the route of another cycleway along a former railway line to Starbeck. We followed this for a short while and then ascended to a former railway overbridge and then walked eastwards, passing Longlands Farm to eventually emerge at a junction with the Knaresborough Round route.

This we followed for the remainder of our walk, passing Harrogate Golf Club and crossing the railway line before we took a left fork which crossed Gallow Hill to bring us out at Low Bridge. From here we walked back along the side of the river back to the car park.

Much of the group then made our way to The World’s End pub for a deserved post-walk drink.

Thanks to all those who attended the walk and congratulations to Russell Yapp who has passed 100 miles walked with the group this year and also to Diane Marshall who has now walked over 900 miles cumulatively with us.

Today’s attendance has also seen the group pass a milestone as these last three months have been the group’s most successful ever with 243 adult walks having taken place, beating the previous record of 240 from 2017.

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.