No complaints – despite the rain

We shouldn’t complain, after all we choose to wander across flooded fields and soaking footpaths – others have had it much worse, writes Peter Rowsell.

Monday, 16th March 2020, 6:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th March 2020, 12:39 am
Enjoying the views at the Idle Valley Nature Reserve

But what a day – hail, sun, and rain, hail, sun and more rain, not to mention the terrain, riverbed rapids, drenched forest floors, swampy fields and mud-laden footpaths.

Despite this 31 of us arrived at the large car park near Worsbrough Mill. All credit to our walk leaders, who did not hide what could be expected, so with a little trepidation we set off.

From the car park, we walked in a westerly direction passing Worsbrough Reservoir, until at a crossroad of paths we turned left heading south, parallel with the M1, before passing under it then heading north on Rockley Lane finally turning left at a finger post following the path east before turning left again and climbing gently to Hermit Hill.

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A bit of rain doesn't bother the Doncaster Ramblers

From there, we turned north for a couple of miles, through Hood Green and on to Stainborough for a late pub stop.

By now we were all caked in mud, so felt a bit out of place at the plush Strafford Arms. In addition, dogs were banned, so half the group agreed to forego their pint and head back to the start.

The rest, after a swift half, continued our journey north on Gilroyd Lane then turning right on the Trans Pennine Trail which took us conveniently across the M1 to the gushing water over the Worsbrough Reservoir dam and back to the cars, but not before stopping off at the Mill, which was in full operation, where some even purchased stone ground flour.

Despite the weather, this was a lovely walk in delightful countryside.

Point of interest – Worsbrough Mill is a 17th Century working water mill set in 240 acres of country park. It is an amazing place to visit, have fun and see history come to life for all the family. Visitors can tour the working water mill and learn about the milling process, following it from beginning to end.

Another walk took us Clayworth. We’ve been several times before, but not Idle Valley Nature Reserve

It was well worth it, although it maybe better in spring or summer. Nevertheless, 19 turned up to give it a go in winter.

Jeremy, our leader, had done a quick exploration of the route at dawn and decided on plan B, so we set off down St Peter’s Lane over the humpbacked bridge then onto Meadow Lane before turning left onto a short track. After circumnavigation a field we headed southwest, then south through Idle Valley.

Looking around, it was hard to tell what was flooding and what wetland. Certainly, the River Idle and its storm drains were fast flowing. So far, we remained dry, but at 11am, as we stopped to rest, the sky opened, and we were drenched.

The return leg took us east along Chainbridge Lane, then north along the east bank of the river, before retracing our steps back to church.

See www.doncasterramblers.org.uk