Doncaster Ramblers going on a bear hunt
24 Ramblers met at Pugneys, an area of ex gravel pits and quarry that now form an attractivecountry park on the outskirts of Wakefield.
The weather was bright and sunny and so were our spirits.
After a briefing by Pauline we set off across the main A636 and turned left alongside a wetlands area beside the river Calder. Looping round and re-crossing the main
road we kept to the side of the Calder until heading off to our coffee stop at the magnificent Sandal Casltle. (Site of the Yorkist Lancastrian battle of Wakefield in 1460).
The views from the top were superb with Emley Moor, Wakefield Cathedral and the countyside towards Pontefract in the distance.
We then passed Kettlethorpe village and Kettlethorpe Hall, once owned by the Pilkington family who also owned Newmillerdam, and after another main road
was negotiated we entered the woods at Newmillerdam itself. There we met various gnomes and encountered the aforementioned bear. A large wooden sculpture now commemorates the story of a bear that escaped from a travelling menagerie in 1867 and enjoyed several hours of freedom before being recaptured.
We lunched at the picnic area before turning at the top of the lake to get back to the road at the dam. The lake, arboretum and old boathouse (now a
cafe) all added to the natural beaty of the woodlands which were looking good in the November sunshine.
Partly retracing our earlier route we returned to Pugneys having thoroughly enjoyed a lovely and interesting walk in a part of West Yorkshire previously
unfamiliar to many of us.
Thanks to Pauline for leading, Angela for back marking and Diane, who having been pressed into service as photographer took to it ‘like a pro’
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Remember while out observe the Countryside Code and give way to other walkers.
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