Sunday 20 February 2011

The Cuckoo Way

What a grey and very dull weekend it has been here in South Yorkshire - yesterday we even had 2inches of snow in the morning! (which thankfully didn't hang around too long). As it was a rare weekend of for hubby, we wanted to get out and about - and I'm glad we made the effort because we discovered a fabulous new walk once again on our doorstep that we never knew existed. I was alerted to this walk by blogger lovely blogger Debs over here. We started the walk from Kiveton Park railway station. To my shame, even though this are is only about 10 miles away from me, I have never been here before - although I have passed by the end of the road a million times on my way to other places.

This walk is part of the Chesterfield Canal and the old horse-drawn canal boats were called cuckoo's.

I just love an information board along the way, but they always make me want to step back in time to when places like this were in their hey days.

Canal walking is perfect for me - because its mainly flat!
Although the weather was very dull, welcome signs of spring and colour could be found if you looked hard enough.
It really was as peaceful as it looks.
Hubby and I once had a canal holiday and its something I would love to do again.

We were amazed to find how many locks were on such a small stretch of canal. We started out walking with the red boat by our side. Chatting to the owner, he said it would take him over 4 hours to do the 2 mile stretch back to the marina because of all the locks.

What Debs didn't tell me was that there is the most fabulous cafe by the side of the canal at Shireoakes (again, somewhere I had never been). What a discovery! The Cafe is called Nona's and is really small - but don't be put off by thinking that there is no room. The lovely owner Dawn and her mum will fit you in. They even use Dawns own dining room in her flat upstairs if they have to! Nona's is a very very special place. I knew I would love it when I walked in and saw Dawn's home made cakes cooling off on a table. Its like eating in your granny's kitchen. We decided to have a cooked breakfasts and it was superb. We had a lovely chat with Dawn, her mum and two cyclists who were also in the cafe, and I was reluctant to leave. However I will be back soon as the coffee was excellent and I need to sample the cakes! Shireoakes looked interesting for a look around too.
We headed back along the canal. I learned that the Chesterfield canal was completed in 1777 and was designed by James Brindley. It was very advanced for its time and was mainly used to transport coal, but stone, corn, lime, lead,timber and iron were also carried. The final commercial cargo was carried in 1956. We picked up a leaflet about the canal whilst in the cafe, so we will do other parts of this throughout spring.

We saw lots of wildlife along the way, and the birdsong was really loud.
I think this duck is a Goosander - but feel free to correct me if you know differently. I really do need a better camera with more zoom!

And this swan was very territorial! but extremely beautiful with it.

Many thanks Debs for featuring the walk. The economic downturn does have its benefits as I discover more and more places on my doorstep for fascinating walks whilst saving petrol money!


Diane said...

What a lovely post and the tea room is an added attraction. I also need a camera with a macro but it is just too expensive for me :( Your photos are excellent though and I envy you your canal trip. It something we would love to do in France but again the cost.... Diane

Vintage Tea Time said...

Lovely post - I always enjoy going on your walks!! Just got back from doing a market - exhausted - going for a swim / sauna. Love the catkins pic and the swan :)

Susan T said...

Hi Diane

Weather pretty dreadful here in Lancashire too, very cold - but we have yet to have snow. Lovely walk and what a tea room find. You are right, economy is starting to make us more adventurous, that is not a bad thing.

Jo said...

That looks like a lovely walk, very tranquil. It's good to have information boards along the way too, educational. The cafe sounds fab with all those yummy cakes. You don't often find such homely places now with all the big chains taking over.

Janet said...

ooo ! lovely treat a cooked breakfast- can`t blame you making the most of it while your sons away-that looks a lovely walk-hope you took cake home for afternoon tea ! lol x

Rowan said...

This definitely looks worth exploring, we had a really interesting talk about the Chesterfield Canal at our WI a couple of years ago - no mention Nona 's Cafe though. That sounds worth exploring too:)

Kathy said...

That sounds like my kind of walk ... nice and flat, and somewhere good to eat at the end

The sewing room said...

Well you have done it again ,another great walk thank you Diane for taking us with you and great pictures to.

Hugs Pat.

John Going Gently said...

seriously I think you should write a book about "days out" in south yorkshire

Selfsewn said...

Hi Diane just reading your post whilst top gear is on!

I love walking along rivers/canals.
We are hopefully staying in a cottage right on a canal in france this year.
Great for biking too!

Cant believe you had snow!!
I'm so wishing for spring right now.


Mister D said...

We saw plenty of snow at Stocksbridge on Saturday too, all this talk of snow and what's on Top Gear - an improvised snowlough Jezza and co create - talk about timing !

Roger Bunting said...

Hi, Diane
We've probably passed, like ships in the night.

I walked the Cuckoo Way Worksop to Kiveton Park & back today.

You didn't mention the snowdrops!

You picked the most beautiful stretch of the canal to walk.

Did you know that you went from "Dog Kennel bridge" and passed under "Devil's Hole bridge", "Pudding Dyke bridge" and "Duke's bridge"? There's a map here.

The red narrowboat (Sentimental Reason) was iced in at the "Lockkeeper" pub for six weeks from early December.

I think(?) the duck's a mandarin - I'm no ornithologist though. Outbound I saw it at Turnerwood & on the way back it was at Shireoaks (unless, of course, there's two of 'em)

I suffer from digital camera disease -
All the best & happy walking

Dianne said...

Hi Diane - I so enjoyed this walk along the canal, I could walk there for hours just flat with beautiful scenery. Thank you for sharing these lovely pics.
Have a wonderful week.

Lisa said...

Another gem of a walk and with the cafe thrown in too, who could ask for anything more?
Lisa x

two bones and a bagle said...

Glad you liked it Diane. You could have called into cafe Deb's for a cuppa lol. Isn't it a lovely place for a walk and it's on my doorstep. Loved your photos if you remember my blog post I couldn't download mine but they were similar. The swan followed me and Dyl for ages whilst we strolled along. Did you notice the outline of a tiny cottage on one of the islands near the locks - can't remember the number - it once had flowers on there in memory of children that had lived in the cottage and perished in the canal. Sad but fascinating. I did know that there was a cafe but shame on me I have never been as I normally only walk to Turner Wood and back. I will make sure I go now though - wonder if they would let Dyl in. You really should write a book about the walks you go on - it would be fab. Next you will have to explore Anston Stones famous for Dead Man's Cave and prehistoric finds (in Rotherham Museum) and also rare wild orchids, Lindrick Dale is also worth exploring on foot lots of paths across fields, little cottages, beautiful houses - if hubby is at work Dyl and I would gladly join you.

Rosie said...

I really enjoyed your walk - looks really interesting. As you know we love walking by canals - we walked along our favourite stretch of the Caldon canal at Consall this morning - good flat walking and if you have refreshments along the way even better. Nona's sounds wonderful too! We've walked a small bit of the Chesterfield canal at Chesterfield but the stretch you walked looks wonderful:)

lovethosecupcakes said...

No canals here so I've really enjoyed your walk. Now where's the cake?

elsy said...

no canals here either, what a fantastic walk and a cafe to boot x

Deborah said...

I can't believe you live near me, I'm also a local lass of Sheffield and recognise all of the places in your photos, lived near the canal in South Anston for a few years and husband would ride his bike alongside the canal.

Haven't been in the cafe though, me thinks will have to give it a try :)

Bee happy x

Unknown said...

What a beautiful walk. xx

Cherie said...

Just found your blog. Enjoyed your post and will return to catch up on those posted in the past.