Idle and Thurgoland figure of eight walks

Doncaster Rambler's walks
Doncaster Rambler's walks

This week there is not one but two walks for readers to enjoy.

Doncaster Ramblers recently went on a walk on the Thurgoland Figure of Eight.

Doncaster Rambler's walks

Doncaster Rambler's walks

As member Peter said: “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” certainly applied to this great autumn day out which started in Thurgoland (no – it’s not a theme park as my neighbour thought!). A still, warm, misty day welcomed 21 of us at The Bridge Inn where we were made very welcome for a hot drink before we set off.

It was great to welcome back Pauline, Trevor and Dean who have all been missed on Tuesday walks. The morning walk started with a steady climb up to Crane Moor and alongside Bagger Wood before returning to The Bridge for our picnics, which were not necessary as the owner had made a huge lasagna and a pasta bake for us to share.

Magnificent! The afternoon took us through some fascinating industrial landscapes culminating in stunning valley views from the top of Green Moor, overlooking Wharncliffe Crags and Deepcar.

We returned along the River Don and Trans Pennine Trail. The day had it all – climbs, views, moorland, tunnels, autumn woodland, a set-to between a sparrowhawk and a jay (both survived), mists, sunshine, cheerful banter and a free lunch! Well done for putting on such a great day out for us all.

Doncaster Rambler's walks

Doncaster Rambler's walks

A second walk took the group around the lovely scenery of Idle near Bradford. There was a good turnout of 35 who met at the lovely parish church in Clayworth on this bright and breezy autumn morning. There were some ominous black clouds in the distance, but we are nothing if not optimistic in the Doncaster Ramblers and off we went.

We were pleased to welcome back some returning guests as Rob described the walk ahead. Very few contours stood in our way as we progressed along tracks and lanes to our coffee stop at the site of Hayton Castle (although we had to take Rob’s word for it).

The inclement weather of late had turned some paths into quagmires. Still we pressed on. In this part of the country, the harvest was already in and the fields ploughed, forming waves of clay and sod.

Speculation was rife, if that was the origin of the village name. Lunch was at the very welcoming Gate Inn in Hayton where we also enjoyed our picnics by the Chesterfield Canal. The afternoon stroll took us along the banks of the River Idle and alongside Lound Lakes before returning back to our cars. This was a perfect autumn walk in the fresh air, well planned and led by Rob with Dave C as backmarker.

Doncaster Rambler's walks

Doncaster Rambler's walks

Doncaster Ramblers have more than 200 members and is part of the Ramblers, a national charity.

The group provides walks on Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout the year. These walks are usually of about ten miles in length and vary in location from local walks starting from Thorne, Fishlake, Edlington and Epworth, to Grindleford, Calver and Hathersage in the beautiful Peak District, to walks in the Castle Howard area, in the Wolds, as well as many more locations up to about an hour’s drive away. These walks are for reasonably experienced walkers.

On the second Thursday of every month there is a seven to eight mile walk in the local area, with members meeting at the foot of the escalator near the information point in Doncaster Transport Interchange at 9.45 am, or meet at the start point.

Doncaster Ramblers is not only about walking. The group’s volunteers monitor the rights of way in Doncaster (there are about 590, the number changes slightly from year to year as new paths are created, and some extinguished).

Part of volunteer work includes identifying problems before sending maintenance teams to assist Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council in building and repairing stiles, kissing gates and bridges, and clearing overgrown paths.

The ramblers’ volunteers also attend meetings of the DMBC Public Rights of Way Forum where wider issues concerning the network are discussed. Please see our Volunteers section for further details. For more on the group visit www.doncasterramblers.org.uk including the walks programme.