Doncaster Ramblers enjoy a canter around Cusworth
We may have awoken to leaden skies and rain but, by ten o’clock at Cusworth Hall car park, the heavens were blue and we six members of Doncaster Ramblers – Cheryl, Thomas, Lorraine, Chris, Heather and Trevor – began our ramble in bright, warm sunny conditions that lasted until well after we completed our six mile outing.
Though we assembled, as directed, at the site of the pay and display ticket machine, we were met with an empty space and an information panel telling us that for the third time this year the ticket machines had been stolen. Once an outline of the walk had been given and a little history of the renowned house, museum and park shared, the group set off through the beautifully landscaped gardens towards the fish ponds, then Newlands Park and then south along the disused railway line, now part of the Trans Pennine Trail.
Climbing some steps, then crossing a pedestrian bridge, we found ourselves emerging at the back of Ingleborough Drive onto a stretch of neglected land that led us past Ings Lane and on towards the A1(M) footbridge. Helped by the group, one of our number, suffering from mild gephyrophobia, bravely overcame their concerns twice.
A little further on we walked parallel to the bypass and then down to the River Don, looking calm and majestic as it glistened in the sunshine, to rejoin the TPT where we stopped for about ten minutes to enjoy a brief rest and some refreshments. Carrot cake appeared, was shared and then disappeared. Magic.
Resuming our walk, we next encountered the remains of a seventeenth century pump house, built by Sir Godfrey Copley of Sprotbrough Hall demolished 1926), to bring water to his fountain, house and village, nearly one hundred feet above.
Cheryl was the only one who could manage to read the information on the shiny stainless steel sheet. Doncaster town centre, in the 19th century, was similarly supplied from the Cheswold by a pump house sending water to large tanks at Hall Cross Hill.
At Nursery Lane we took another breather before attempting the significant, stepped ascent to Cadeby Road and Sprotbrough Main Street. Half way up Thorpe Lane we crossed over the road to climb a recently rebuilt stone stile that allowed us to edge round the cricket grounds and reach Melton Road. Almost opposite Wentworth Close, we crossed the road to follow a well-trodden public footpath that led to a tunnel under the A1(M) and from there we were on the homeward stretch over Cusworth Park to the Upper Fish Pond, from where we headed uphill to return to our starting point and cars for 12.40. A scenic walk, in pleasant weather and good company – a good morning, well spent!
For more information about the Doncaster Ramblers and future activity visit doncasterramblers.org.uk and download a full copy of our walk programme. You can also follow us on Facebook.