And what a delight to see several recognisable faces who had not been on our short walks for a while, together with some newcomers who were here for the first time, including a colleague from the bread aisle at Tesco!
At the entrance barrier we took the wide gravel path to the right following it north after a third of a mile heading along March Lane towards Shafholme just over half a mile away. Turning right and a short stretch of road walking took us across the railway line then left along the Balk, which runs parallel to the railway.
After only 350 yards our way was blocked by a mass of fly tipped builders rubbish. Undeterred this crew of mighty ladies manhandled a way through, and we managed to continue our journey without further mishap.
The grey sky and bare trees gave this walk a bleak atmosphere, by contrast to the bright warmth of our little group as we merrily marched along, stopping once at the head of Common Lane for refreshments, and a chance for Harry to stretch his legs.
Coming to a T-junction we turned right along Arksey Common Lane heading towards Arksey, itself a good mile away.
Both “lanes” are wide enough for vehicles and regular use by tractors leave behind deep ruts which require trapeze artist balancing for ramblers to traverse.
Passing diagonally through the village of Arksey we followed the footpath first across a grass meadow, then a railway line (Stop, Look, Listen) and finally a track between wood and field to bring us out onto The Avenue. A last right turn took us back to the start.
Places of interest
Shaftholme - The earliest recorded inhabitants in this marshy area were the Scandinavians in the tenth century. It is where many of these small places get their names from. The ‘Holme’ element describes an area of flat land prone to flooding, leaving areas of dry land, or islands in their wake. The word ‘Holme’ is where we get the name ‘Holmstead’ from, meaning ‘Holme Farm’
Almholme - Better drainage came with land reclamation and woodland clearances, allowing small islands to be settled in the medieval period. Among these islands was Almholme. Almholme first appears in the Yorkshire Deeds (a land registry) in 1232 where it is recorded as Almholme. Courtesy of http://arkvillhistory.blogspot.com/
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Remember while out observe the Countryside Code and give way to other walkers.
Doncaster Ramblers have had a programme of Tuesday and Saturday walks, for about 30 years. The location of these walks varies from walks in the Doncaster area to walks in the Derbyshire Peak District, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and West Yorkshire. We also have a programme of Thursday morning walks and some Friday morning walks of about 2 - 3 hours. All walks led by Ramblers leaders and a backmarker. We take a flask for a hot drink mid-morning, followed by a packed lunch, usually in the vicinity of a pub or a cafe.