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Doncaster Ramblers stride out

Doncaster Ramblers at High Rake
Doncaster Ramblers at High Rake

A day to savour – blue skies, warm sunshine and a gentle breeze welcomed 17 regulars and two guests in Litton for this 14-mile stretch of the legs in limestone country.

Dappled sunlight filtered through the lush trees on our way down through Tideswell Dale to meet the River Wye in Millers Dale. A coffee stop by limestone cliffs and a pool provided a great view of the local fauna (wagtails, coots, orange-tips, damsel flies and mayflies) and preceded a change in direction. We headed up Cressbrook Dale, accompanied by birdsong, burbling streams, the heady aroma of wild garlic and swathes of bluebells. This was the first of several climbs on our journey up and over Stanley Moor and up Silly Dale to our lunch stop in Great Hucklow, having achieved around 8 miles so far. The afternoon took on a different theme and landscape as we headed west and walked through the remains of industrial buildings and excavations that brought prosperity to the area in the years of lead mining. We all left knowing what a “rake” is! Soon, the four distinct pinacles of Tideswell Church became visible in the distance and our arrival in the village was celebrated with ice creams. It was a short, 20 minute plod back up to Litton and our cars. This was a wonderful day out in the White Peak and the walk was well organised and considerately led by Brian, with Bob as backmarker.

Doncaster Ramblers hiking the Valley High

Doncaster Ramblers hiking the Valley High

Litton – birthplace of nonconformist William Bagshaw “Apostle of the Peak”. Lead mining took place near Peter’s Rock in late 18th century.

Tideswell Dale – Part of Wye Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest for its geology, and characteristic grass and woodland. Part of the White Peak so called because of the white gray limestone.

Miller Dale – Railway viaduct built in 1866 for Midland Railway with a second built 1905 now forming part of Monsal Trail.

Peter’s Stone – also known as Gibbet Rock where legend has it the bodies of criminals were displayed. Great Hucklow – Formally the centre of Derbyshire’s lead mining industry. The lead vein or rake outcrops to the surface to the west of the village. There is a Unitarian Old Chapel founded in 1696 in the village which is still in use.

Doncaster Ramblers walking the White Peak

Doncaster Ramblers walking the White Peak

Tideswell – In the Middle Ages known mainly for lead mining, today best known for its 14th-century Church of St John the Baptist (Cathedral of the Peak)

Next Walks part of the Doncaster Walking Festival (see the Doncaster Ramblers website for details).

Walks you may like to try – A Mexborough Meander – A very pleasant 10 miles’ circular walk from Denaby Ings via: Bolton upon Dearne; through AdwickWashland (RSPB) to Barnburgh, (with its rare dovecote and pinfold); High Melton; and finally downhill to the Ings. Approx 5½ hours. All welcome. Meet at Denaby Ings Car Park. Nearest P/Code S64 0JJ. Dare You Do This Conisbrough Walk? A fascinating local walk with stories of ghosts, skeletons, disasters and who knows what else? Meet at Conisbrough Castle car park and enjoy visiting Burcroft, Conisbrough Crags, Lady’s Valley, Boggie Alley and Conisbrough Church grounds. Tickhill Wander. A leisurely stroll from The Buttercross along ancient tracks and into the delightful countryside around Tickhill. Leaflets available from tourist information, libraries, leisure centres and doctors surgeries. For more information about the Doncaster Ramblers visit www.doncasterramblers.org.uk website.

Doncaster Ramblers at Litton Mill

Doncaster Ramblers at Litton Mill