Anyway, there was enough (eighteen) to have a back marker, quite unusual on a short local walk. Setting off two by two along the eastern banks of Askern lake it wasn’t long before everyone got into their stride as we moved diagonally across the playing fields to the top left hand corner. Here we crossed a major railway line then began an almost two mile trek following an un-named water coarse passed Askern Common, and Alder Wood eventually reaching a crossing of paths, but not before encountering the unexpected hazard of a fallen tree, testing everyone’s clambering skills.
By now we had met with some muddy patches but also grassy bits which went some way towards keeping boots clean.
At the crossing we turned right making our way passed Wrancarr Mill home of the pedigree British Blonde and some vicious looking dogs, so we got as far away as possible before stopping for a break.
Break over we continued on our way with a left right dog leg south west along Clay Bank a nice bit of tarmac which ran out after 700yd returning to ever deepening mud as each decided to risk the middle ruts, or balance along the outer edge, grabbing onto anything to stay steady.
Grabbing onto brambles is not a good idea as one poor soul got stabbed by thorns allowing the first aiders to spring into action with water and plasters (there was blood) and luckily that did the trick.
The trick at the Thorpe Grange level crossing is to ring the bell and wait. A kind Network Rail employee will pop their head out and say “Two trains coming?” and the
wait can be ten minutes, I’ve known it to be five trains and a good half hour, but it’s novel and it’s fun. When it opened we rushed through, once more on hallowed tarmac.
It didn’t last long the second time, only 1000yd before we were back quagmired. Heading north in what in summer would be a leafy avenue now a death-trap for loose fitting boots, until just passed Rushy Moor House, with its vintage BMW parked among the trees we finally had some long grass.
At a T junction of paths we turned left to cross the railway for the final time before turning right over foot bridge then up a flight of steps. Heading north across an
industrial wasteland of brick and rubble and less than half a mile to go, you’d think this walk had nothing more to throw, but no, there was one last patch of wetland before we were home.
Let’s try this one again in summer. Thanks everyone for coming.
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Remember while out observe the Countryside Code and give way to other walkers.