Wednesday 23 April 2014

Spurn Point and Godwin Battery

On Easter Sunday, we wanted a place to visit that would suit the hubby, the young man and me.  I thought Spurn Point would do nicely.  Lots of interesting rocks for the Geologist to analyse, Lots of Militaria relics for the hubby to get giddy about, and plenty of beach combing and photo opportunities for the blogger.  We came here last year and the changes environmentally after this years winter storms is immense.  For years, man has tried to preserve the very long spit of land that protects the Humber Estuary, but the current thinking is that they now need to allow the spit to move.  The young man also told us that Groynes built to protect the seaside resorts further north have had a detrimental effect on the movement of the sand here on Spurn Point.  

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust look after the area and they have some really interesting artifacts and information in their very small shed - well worth a look inside.
The Mammoth tusk on display was washed up about 7 years ago.  I found this truly amazing.
Lots of items are washed up on this 3 mile spit of land.  The driftwood that washes up is spectacular.
When we visited last year, the old road that had crumbled away was still visible.  This year it is buried under tons of sand.  Up until last year, 12 Lifeboat families had lived at the end of the spit.  The families have all had to move out now as they cannot use the road anymore.  I believe the lifeboat men live in the houses for a few shifts at a time now.
The sea side of the spit is littered with anti tank blocks which remain from World War 2.  I think hubby inspected every one of them!

I've never been to Spurn Point when it hasn't been blowing a gale, so if ever you visit, wrap up warm!!  The walk to the end is hard going in some places where the road has gone, but there really is so much to look at.  We didn't quite make it to the end this time (as I was worried the cafe would be shut if we left it too late!!)

They have had a recent invasion of Brown Tail Moths on the point.  Whilst there are still a fair few of these "tents" on the tree's, there are not as many as there were last year.  I think that they are trying to eradicate them.

I love the place.  It is weird, and wonderful and it has a truly magical feel about it.

I was really interested in this fact on the notice board in the visitor centre/cafe.    The area known as Holderness on the East Yorkshire coast has only been there since the end of the last ice age and is all made up of Boulder Clay - which is why it crumbles into the sea at such an alarming rate.  Above 65 villages have been lost so far.
The first time we visited Godwin Battery (about 10 years ago) most of it was still buried underground at the edge of the cliffs.  Nowadays, most of it is spread across the beach.
Hubby and the young man were in their element exploring the anti aircraft turrets.  The whole structure is massive and quite a sight when you see it spread out all over the beach.

We had an amazing day out - but Spurn Point always leaves me wanting to explore more.

Monday 21 April 2014

Beautiful South Yorkshire

One of the aims of the walking group's festival was to celebrate the beauty of our immediate local area.  Whilst North Yorkshire is renowned for it's natural beauty, South Yorkshire often does not have the same reputation - I hope I go some way to prove that it deserves the same reputation.  On Good Friday, we all met at Worsborough Mill and Dam car park near Barnsley.  We had another perfect day  for it.

 We walked from Worsborough up to Stainborough.  Worsborough Old Hall is a beautiful building now made into several beautiful apartments.  Recent famous occupants have included the Footballer Jackie Charlton and "Nora Batty" actress Kathy Staff.
 On this walk, we could choose to walk either 4 or 7 miles.  Hubby and I decided to do 7 miles (which turned out to be almost 8 miles).
 We walked past one of the obelisks on the Stainborough Estate.  There are many "follies" etc around here.

 The mining village where I grew up overlooks this parkland, so I suppose I am a bit biased, but I do think that this is the most beautiful part of South Yorkshire and you might be surprised  to find that this is actually Barnsley.
 I'm not a fan of the town centre of Barnsley, but the countryside around is stunning.  Most of it is farm land.

 We reached the top of the hill at Hood Green and whilst some of our party marched on, a few of us decided that we needed a moment or two to appreciate the view over towards Thurgoland.

 After the hill, we descended onto the Trans Peninne Trail which followed a disused railway line (flat!!!) all the way back to the mill and dam where we started, and where the 4 milers were sat sunning themselves waiting for us.
 The mill still grinds flour (so I bought a bag) and I can heartily recommend the tea rooms (The millionaires shortbread was the best I have ever tasted and the jam on the scones sent several of us into raptures!!)
The walks we have done this week on our doorstep really have highlighted that Mother Nature has taken back all of the industrial landscapes around here and made the area really beautiful again.

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Pottery Ponds evening walk

As part of the walking festival, we have been doing evening walks this week.  We have started at 6.30pm and managed to finish just as it got dark.  The walks have all been very local, but we have walked places that hubby and I have never walked before.  As I mainly "sit" at work, it has given me something to look forward to at the end of the day, and the weather has been perfect for it.

We managed to catch a pretty decent sunset on Monday night too.
And a gorgeous full moon.  It was lovely being out at this time of day and be able to notice all this loveliness.
We walked from the old Rockingham Pottery Kiln at Swinton, through Rawmarsh and skirted the Wentworth Estate.  You can see one of the Wentworth Folly's - Hoober Stand -  in the distance.

It was an interesting walk through woodlands and and a lovely old Victorian Park.  After a lovely 5 mile stroll, we ended up back at the Pottery ponds, just as dusk fell.
Forgive the very poor shot of the fantastic old kiln, but it was getting dark by this time.  I am enjoying the challenge of walking between 4 and 7 miles each day.  I wish I could do it every week.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

A very yellow springtime walk

The walking group that we joined recently is holding a week long walking festival where they are walking in the local area every day.  I am managing to walk all but 2 of the walks and loving walking a fair few miles every day.  

 The walk was through Barnburgh and High Melton.  Two very pretty villages near Doncaster
 As you can see, we had the perfect Day for it.
 Plenty of our group ended up with runny noses and streaming eyes after a walk through these very yellow fields.
 Several members who I have not met before joined the walk - it's lovely meeting new people and having time to chat as we walk.
 The grass in this field had recently been cut....
 and we think this quite large snake may have been a victim of the grass cutter!!

We wondered whether these holes in this tree might have been made by Woodpeckers.  There were 2 of them - one underneath the other.  I said I would ask you knowledgeable lot as I am sure you will know!!
 And I have permission from his mummy to show you this lovely chatterboxes smiley face.  He keeps me entertained all the way round.  He wanted his photo taking doing a "cheese" whilst eating his cheese sandwich.  Our leader keeps a record of all the individuals who take part in every walk.  Since July 2013 this little 3 year old has walked over 56 miles so far - which I think is truly amazing.