2021 Winter Warmer walks

Tuesday 7th December

a Peter Thornber walk……18 intrepid walkers set out on 7 December from Coal Aston Wesleyan Reform Chapel. The weather was typical for the time of year – cold and windy with an imminent threat of rain or worse. However, all rose to the challenge, completing 5 miles, up to Summerley, on to Troway and back to Coal Aston just before the heavens opened. All returned safely and feeling better for the experience. Many thanks to those at the Chapel for providing tea, coffee and toast which provided such a good start to the day.”


The first walk on our winter programme saw Graham Gill lead a party of 12 on a circular route from The Swan Inn at Ridgeway into the Lower Moss Valley and calling at the Church Farm Tea garden in Eckington. We started out taking the path by the Junior School across the fields to Haven Farms 1 and 2 then past the underground reservoir, along Bridle Stile, an old packhorse route, to the Mosborough Millenium Circle. Here a couple  of members picked juicy blackberries and filled a container before we continued to West Mosborough and into the area known as Eckington Park. This is owned by the Sitwell family at Renishaw Hall and is a lovely area all year round with a mixture of public and concessionary footpaths. We turned left and took the path below Ladybank Wood where Graham showed us an old WW2 bunker used as a control and maintenance centre for the dummy lights placed in the valley to fool German bombers into thinking they were bombing Sheffield. On towards Eckington, across Gashouse Lane and up the steps by the church to the tea garden. The owner Jenny and her two waitresses served us up with teas, coffees, cake and sausage rolls in the peaceful garden setting. After about a 30 minute stop we set out on the return leg along Mill Road where there are the remains of the old Eckington Mill and dam. Continuing through Ince Piece Wood we came to the Seldom Seen Engine House where Graham gave us a brief talk on its history.   It was then on through Twelve Acre Wood past the remains of more dams of yesteryear – Lower and Upper Carlton and the quaintly named Never Fear Dam.   We climbed the field up to Plumbley Lane, turned left for a few hundred yards and took another path to the right. This path has great views of Ridgeway Moor and the Upper Moss Valley beyond. A short descent before the last climb past Kent Wood, behind the old Craft Centre (now housing) and back to The Swan. Due to other commitments no-one took the opportunity for lunch at the pub, but that didn’t stop Graham having a pint of Abbeydale Moonshine- one of his favourite beers.                           Good weather, good company and a good start to our winter programme.

Tuesday 14thSepember

Hilary Pike and Ann Flowers led this walk: 7 brave souls turned up for what threatened to be terrible weather, however it was not nearly as bad as the forecast.  The walk led by Ann and Hilary started at Millthorpe going through Rose Wood to Moorhall onto Bluster castle and Cutthorpe past Crowhole reservoir and Rumbling Street.  Rather a lot of stiles and a couple of fairly unused paths hence Ann even found something she had lost on the recce 2weeks ago.


This was the first of our Winter walks starting with hot drinks and toast. These are normally held on Tuesdays but on this occasion Muriel at the Coal Aston Wesleyan Reform Church couldn’t accommodate us as it was her birthday on the 28th.       Starting out at 10.00am, Graham Gill led a party of nine walkers on a four and a half mile figure of eight route around the upper Moss Valley that took in six named areas of woodland. The first section was on paths parallel to Dyche Lane over to Jordanthorpe, alongside Jordanthorpe Greenway and into the Moss Valley at Coal Pit Wood.    Graham showed two streams that come together here to form the start of The Moss and said that it flows eventually all the way to the Humber and out into the North Sea.  Carrying on through Long Wood, over three sets of stepping stones and into Cook Spring Wood we followed the river to Dowey Lumb where we stopped for our coffee break.          The rain that had been forecast for the day didn’t really materialise and we only got a very light drizzle in places. Moving on after our break we went through Bridle Road Wood and Newfield Spring Wood and up to Hazlebarrow Farm. On the approach to the farm we saw a Buzzard hunting low over hedgerows and numerous Pied Wagtails feeding in a newly ploughed field. Turning left we walked back over the fields and saw a Jay, a Kestrel hovering and two (late) Swallows feeding before their return to Africa. Re-entering Long Wood we crossed the mid point on the figure of eight, over the Moss for the last time and up through Nor Wood, the last of the six woods.  Avoiding a rather muddy looking ploughed field,  Graham retraced the first half mile of the walk to take us back to our starting point at the church on Cross Lane.   A nice start to our tea and toast walks – our thanks to Muriel and her team.