Doncaster Ramblers: a hop and a skip to Retford

Doncaster Ramblers try to offer three walks a week. Two Tuesday and Saturday are of a longer distance and aimed at the enthusiast. Our Thursday walks are shorter and perfect for those beginning their walking journey, or those not quite ready to give up

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Saturday 25th March, twenty-four of us (including about six or seven who were new) and one dog met in a large layby just east of Retford during what proved to be an unusually long break between showers on a windy and chilly day.

After introductions and warnings about rabbit holes, we set off along a track called Shady Lane, which took us to higher ground. We had some pretty views of Retford in patches of sunshine (when we weren't walking through flurries of rain showers).

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We passed through Little Gringley and emerging from some woodland, Dianne pointed out the site of Civil War Earthworks. We descended to the southern edge of Retford and having been told there would be no more mud before we got to the pub, tried to clean out boots by walking though any long grass or puddles that we came across.

How many more can we get in this frame?How many more can we get in this frame?
How many more can we get in this frame?

We arrived at The Gate Inn in sunshine and we ate our sandwiches and drank out beers at the many tables outside the pub (though the most accommodating landlord would even have let us eat inside). After lunch (still in sunshine) we followed the River Idle to the centre of Retford then picked up the Chesterfield Canal back to our cars. Thanks to Dianne for leading a lovely and interesting walk, George for back marking and Angela for the photos.


It is possible that Bawtry acted as a sea port from Roman times, but little is known of this early period. However, it was associated with the sea by the 12th century, when the parish church was dedicated to St Nicholas, the patron saint of seafarers, and the Hundred Rolls of 1276 listed it as a port. There are records of lead being shipped during the early 1300s, and wool was shipped to Dordrecht from Nottinghamshire via Hull in 1337. The prosperous trading community there suffered a downturn in the early 16th century, but subsequently recovered, with lead being shipped directly to London in 1596.

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Remember while out observe the Countryside Code and give way to other walkers.