I woke up at six o'clock this morning and the first thing I did was to go downstairs and switch on the computer and look at the weather forecast and the live webcam feeds from the Peak District. The BBC forecast for Bakewell was for 'gusty winds and heavy snow showers.' I didn't fancy any of that and so decided to do a local walk; my plan was to catch the Barnsley bus to Darfield, only about twelve miles away.
Things didn't go to plan though. The direct bus to Barnsley didn't turn up, but the one that usually goes around all the villages and the housing estates showed up on time ten minutes later. The driver explained that he'd only be going along the main roads, thus missing out several of the villages. Darfield wouldn't be one of them, but the driver would still be keeping to timetable, and so he would be waiting for several minutes at Goldthorpe, meaning that it would take over an hour to reach the intended start of my walk.
So...a change of plan; I re-folded my map, although I probably wouldn't need it since I know the area well, and got off at Hickleton, a village not usually served by the number 219 bus - fortunately the driver had agreed to let me off there; not all bus drivers are quite so accommodating though.
I walked down the road towards Barnburgh for a while before crossing the fields and taking the footpath that goes along the bottom of Barnburgh Cliff. The strong swirling wind was causing the snow to blow across the road, creating quite deep drifts in places; these were safe enough for me to walk through but a couple of cars did turn back...two also proceeded ahead as well...at walking pace.
I ate my sandwiches sitting inside the bus shelter at High Melton and then explored the churchyard.
A footpath provides a shortcut to Cadeby, although for part of the way I still needed to use the road. The small church here is no longer used for worship.
I was saved from having to walk all the way along the road to Sprotbrough by being able to use a fairly recently established footpath that's still not marked on the Ordnance Survey maps. It runs parallel to the road, only a few yards away, but separated by trees, which makes the walk much more pleasant...and safer.
After I'd finished taking my photographs of Sprotbrough church I noticed the bus going back to Doncaster was just approaching the bus stop so I crossed over the road and caught it.
The strong cold easterly wind ruined it for me today; my hands were so cold when I took my gloves off to unwrap my sandwiches or take photographs my fingers wouldn't work properly. I had to use a key to rip the packing open of my flapjack and I struggled to grab, hold, and point the camera in the right direction...likewise when I was having a pee. Towards the end of the walk [as it turned out to be] I realised that I might have one of the chemical hand warming pads left. I rummaged in my rucksack and eventually found it; it was a couple of years beyond its use-by date and probably a bit damp, but it did work... it wasn't that effective, but it helped.
I arrived back in Doncaster at one o'clock and so to extend my day out by a bit decided to take some photographs of various town centre buildings.