Doncaster Ramblers: Walkers took in some great follies

There is nothing worse than meticulously plotting and recceing a route then being struck down with Covid, and unable to lead, believe me I know.
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But thanks to OSmaps and GPS we were able to complete Steve T’s walk as planned.

And what a walk, starting at Elsecar Heritage Centre, thirteen of us set off south-east first through woods, (always takes a minute for eyes to adjust) then open farm land reaching Needle’s Eye, in just over a mile.

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I’m thrilled and surprised in equal measure at the numbers who join our walks, and the number of repeat offenders!

One of the follies on routeOne of the follies on route
One of the follies on route

Having examined the Needle in some detail, including what looked like bullet holes, we moved on towards the next folly about half a mile away.

Hoober Stand seemed an excellent spot for refreshments with ample seating and interesting features high up.

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Refreshed and necks cricked we continued on towards Upper Haugh where after turning right we had a half mile of road walking, luckily on a pavement.

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On trackOn track
On track

A number of today’s gang were familiar with the area, which was reassuring, as I could have easily led us up the wrong path, as it was we kept more-or-less on track all the way round.

As we made a right just outside Nether Haugh we saw the devastation of recent wild fires, with acres of charred fields.

The foot path now began to ziz zag along field edges, with tall grasses to negotiate

one step at a time.

Unfortunately we missed completely the Mausoleum, as we headed southwest towards Roman Ridge.

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A final right turn and we were heading northwest, back to the start still two and three quarter mile away.

The going was easy and open as we approached the commanding frontage of Westwood Woodhouse missing another folly, Doric Temple which could be seen in the distance.

The area is criss-crossed with long distant footpaths, many metalised, of which we have made some use today, but not much.

Passing through the hamlet of Wentworth and following the path north, our final obstacle was getting though King’s Wood unscathed, which we did, arriving at the start after three hours and 45 minutes. 7.35 miles

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Point of Interest – Wentworth Woodhouse is a Grade I listed stately home, with the longest façade of any country house in England.

The building has more than 300 rooms, although the precise number is unclear, with 250,000 square feet of floorspace.

Hoober Stand – It is 98 feet (30 m) high and was built to commemorate the defeat of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745.

Needle’s Eye. A 46-foot high, sandstone block pyramid with an ornamental urn on the top. It was built in the 18th century allegedly to win a bet after the second Marquess claimed he could drive a coach and horses through the eye of a needle.

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Remember while out observe the Countryside Code and give way to other walkers.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Dominic Brown, editor.

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