Monday, November 17, 2008

Half way there!

Sadly, the views were less spectacular on this leg, although because the weather was pretty miserable, it mattered less. The rain which accompanied us for most of the walk also meant that I took vey few pictures. This one was of the towpath and canal where we joined Elsecar Greenway I had company on this walk, which made a pleasant change, and a slight detour to Old Moor RSPB reserve was also a welcome opportunity for some refreshment at the excellent Cafe "Gannets". No time to look around the reserve, unfortunately, but it's definitely worth a return visit. Wayfinding was very easy on this section, as it more or less followed a straight line, and a train station at both ends kept the travel simple. I had also covered a short part of this route on the Penistone Line walk, and the next leg will also duplicate bits of that around Tankersley.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Heading south.

From Grimethorpe to Bolton on Dearne. Nearly. I picked up the route where I finished last time. The weather forecasts couldn't agree, but after a wet start to the day, the sky was blue by 9.00am. Well done met office! At the risk of repeating myself, the views on this walk were once again spectacular. It was a long leg - 9 miles in total, so by starting at Grimethorpe I probably reduced it slightly. There were a number of nice woodlands on this section, including the one on the left - Challenger Wood, which was the first one for a while to have quite a lot of fungi in it, especially stinkhorns, but sadly nothing edible. There were quite a lot of muddy fields to cross, thanks to the ongoing damp conditions, which made the walking heavy going in places. Phoenix Park in Thurnscoe was very nice and has a lot of sculptures, and an interesting concrete church in Goldthorpe added to the visual interest once the route took me into more urban areas. The end was in sight when disaster stuck: after negotiating a broken and somewhat challenging stile for my old bones, the route became impassable. I was obliged to retrace my steps, renegotiate the broken stile, and recalculate my route along the road. As I was studying my map, a voice rang out from across the road: "I know you think you've arrived in paradise, but this is Goldthorpe.". I passed a few bus stops with no information on them, and decided my best option was to go to Goldthorpe station and catch a train. even though I had by now missed the 3:30 train and would have to wait until 4:30. Eventually, on meeting a main road, I saw a young woman waiting at a bus stop. "where do the buses go to from this stop?" I enquired. "All ovver" came the reply. I could see this was going to be hard work.
"Can I get to Barnsley?"
"Yes. "
"How frequent are they?"
"Every hour".
"Back to Plan A", I thought and headed up the hill towards Goldthorpe station. As I reached the next bus stop, a bus hove into sight with the legend "Barnsley via Wath". I was overcome by the desire to be seated on a warm, moving form of transport, so joined the queue and climbed gratefully aboard. Barnsley via Wath. Perhaps not a direct route but no matter. What it omitted to add that it was also via Zagreb, Rio de Janeiro and Vladivostok. Certainly, the trip was good value for money. As the bus finally pulled into Barnsley station, I was just in time to see a Sheffield train pull out. I eventually got home at 6.45. The transport challenges will be different now I am headed westward. In theory at least, it should get easier as my route will take me to the Sheffield boundary. More pictures on Flikr. Also, why not try the link to "Wild West Yorkshire", the web diary of Richard Bell, whose lovely sketches and eclectic musings on walks, gardening, drawing, wildlife and anything else that catches his keen eye is well worth a visit

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Barnsley and beyond

This title might have been more appropriate for last week. It came from a leaflet I picked up on the no.59 bus on the way back to Royston - a map of Stagecoach bus routes in the area. I managed to pick another day of blue skies, even if it was somewhat colder than last week. Astonishingly, it snowed in the Midlands earlier in the week. This walk took me from Royston to Grimethorpe, via a lot of old tramways and dismantled railways. Shortly after setting off , I was surprised to see what appeared to be a fully functioning colliery, but was unable to figure out which one it was from the map (Lund Hill?). I briefly encountered the Trans Pennine Trail again and this wonderful signpost. Once more, fabulous views, including the small Tuscan hill village of Brierley which I approached through bamboo fields!
I got slightly lost on the way from Brierley to Grimethorpe, but I could see where I should have been, so I'll start at Grimethorpe next time. More pictures on Flikr.