Doncaster Ramblers: The Don Valley Way

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As a change from our usual circular walk, we opted this time for a ten-mile linear route following the Don Valley Way from Swinton to Doncaster.

As the train drivers were on strike, 14 of us met at the Doncaster Interchange bus station to catch the 0845 Stagecoach 221 to Swinton, arriving at our starting point of Swinton railway station an hour later after viewing all the backstreets of Conisbrough and Mexborough.

Four other members joined us at the start point then all 18 set off on a very cold but dry morning through the streets of Swinton up onto the banks of the River Don which

was followed to Mexborough railway station.

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Dry but chillyDry but chilly
Dry but chilly

Leaving the river we walked the southern towpath of the Don Navigation past the lock and the old River Don Ferry Crossing at Mexborough, before crossing to the northern towpath via the road bridge at Denaby Main.

It was then onwards at a brisk pace to keep warm to our coffee stop at Denaby lock where the navigation rejoins the River Don.

After coffee a short section through woods, which would have been very muddy if it was not frozen, brought us to our old friend the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) at the River Dearne crossing.

It was then uphill on a snow-covered trail to the spectacular brick built Conisbrough viaduct where we dropped downhill to rejoin the River Don and a speedy walk on the TPT to our lunch/snack stop at the Boat Inn, Sprotbrough where for some the Xmas festivities started early.

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This week's walkersThis week's walkers
This week's walkers

After lunch we followed the River Don and the TPT under the A1 viaduct to Newton, seeing several herons, or was it the same one wanting to join us for our Xmas lunch!

Then it was passed the prison to Marshgate and the end of the walk just after 2.30pm, where Kim, Kerensa and Catherine serenaded us with an Christmas song.

Thanks to all for attending, to Neil for backmarking, and to the South Yorkshire Mayor for limiting the bus fares to £2!!

A quick change of footwear and a brush up saw some of us meet at the Red Lion for a quick one before 16 walkers and three other members met at 3.30 at La Rustica for our festive lunch and a few more drinks.

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Good food and good company was enjoyed by all and we departed to our abodes sometime after 6pm though it is possible other hostelries were visited by some.

Thanks to all who came to the meal and made it such an enjoyable experience.

*We are one of over 500 Ramblers Groups nationwide, dedicated to promoting and supporting the simple pleasures of walking.

For many people, the benefits of this, both physical and mental, were brought home by the recent Covid lockdowns and, as restrictions were lifted, our programme of weekly 2-3 hour long local walks proved very popular.

Several new members joined and have continued, either on these Thursday walks or on our longer Tuesday and Saturday walks.

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