Good turnout for muddy ramble
The Met Office website told us that there was an 80% chance of steady rain from lunch time, but despite this 33 ramblers turned up at the big lay-by by the Hop Pole Inn at Retford.
The forecast was correct, but we were all dressed for the occasion and it mattered not a jot.
Leader, Di (Munro-bagger extraordinaire) told us what was ahead of us and off we set, taking a easterly path directly from the lay-by, over the railway line and along Shady Lane, briefly through Welham and on to Whinleys Farm and then briefly south and up the beautifully-named Schrog Hill.
From there we continued eastwards to Claddow Lane, where we turned southwards for a short while and then westwards to Little Gringley.
From here we turned south and passed through Swindwell Spring Wood and out into Grove Park, this place being the site of some Civil War earthworks.
By this time the rain was settled in, with plenty of mud underfoot. Frankly it was more like Mudder Challenge than a gentle ramble. Several stiles, surrounded by thick mud, needed to be climbed.
We continued southwards towards Grove, from where we turned westwards towards Retford.
The Gate Inn was very welcoming, allowing us to eat our packed lunches inside while we drank teas, coffees and beers and dried out.
All good things come to an end and the short afternoon walk started in steady rain which gently eased as we walked along the Chesterfield Canal back to the lay-by.
There were a few slippery slidey bits and crampons might have come in handy, but you know what, the feel good factor was worth every muddy step. Pleanty of boot cleaning tonight.
Thanks to Di for a lovely wet walk and to Peter G for back-marking.
For more information about the Doncaster Ramblers and future activity please visit our Home Page and download full copy of our walk programme https://www.doncasterramblers.org.uk/walks/walks-programme-printed-version.html
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of many of our past walks can also be found