Barnburgh, Harlington & Hickleton Circular Walk
• Meet: Car park next to Barnburgh Primary School, Church Lane, Barnburgh, Doncaster.
• Post Code – DN5 7EZ.
• 8 Miles.
• Graded easy.
• In terms of the history of Dearne Valley Ramblers, this particular walk replicates the first ever walk undertaken by the group in 1996, that day led by Paul Smeaton who is still a member. Dearne Valley Ramblers celebrated their 20th anniversary in March of 2016.
• This walk was written, walked and photographed by John Watson of Dearne Valley Ramblers.
The route: Turn left out of the car park and follow Church Lane to its junction with Doncaster Road, Harlington, at which point turn left and continue along Doncaster Road before crossing the road prior to a left hand bend, and into Mill Lane on your right.
At the end of Mill Lane you will reach the banks of The River Dearne where you should then turn left, and walk along the flood bank which also forms part of the Trans-Pennine Trail. The river will be on your right and you should follow the pleasant path and at some stage reach a wooded section, the path rising steadily to meet it.
This section is an old railway line, one which probably which took coals from the nearby Denaby Main & Cadeby Collieries, to their subsequent outlets.
At the end of the wooded area the path drops down and you are approaching Pastures Road, Mexborough. Go through the barrier and then turn to the left. This is a very busy road and one should take great care in crossing to the other side.
Keep walking left, passed the car park on your right, at which point you will approach Denaby Ings. You will then come to a section in the road where the footpath peters out, it is at this juncture that you should exercise great care when continuing as the road narrows at this point.
You will then reach a junction, one road turning off to Cadeby Village on the right, the main section carrying on to the left, up towards Lower Melton. You will then see a gap in the hedge immediately in front of you. Cross the road and go through the gap onto a straight path which leads, by passing through three fields, to the village of High Melton.
The path rises throughout on its approach and you will then encounter a stile near to a row of trees, once over which the path leads to a further stile which then exits onto Doncaster Road. Turn right and walk along the footpath, the path shortly leaving the busy road off to the right, and you reach a sheltered section with trees on either side.
The path rises to a point where you encounter the High Melton College. look to your left and you will see Hangman Stone Lane on your left. Cross the road and walk up the lane into the small hamlet. The road bends first left and then to the right until youcome to open fields.
Continue along the path which separates agricultural crops, and which opens up a splendid vista looking to the East. The path will bend to the left and then straighten out, and the keen eye will discern the cooling towers of the three major power stations to the East, (left to right) Ferrybridge, Eggborough and Drax.
The path then exits onto Hangman Stone Road, at which point you should cross over and walk down the road before taking the footpath through the trees on your right, the access to which has been blocked to vehicular traffic by large boulders.
As you walk along, the expanse of the picturesque Dearne Valley can clearly be seen through the trees to the left, but don’t let this distract you from looking out for the curious stone carvings of faces in the cliff outcrop to your right, the origins of which are unknown.
At the finger post on your right, turn right, exiting the woods to follow the clearly defined footpath across the flat plateau top, keeping the wind generators on your right. Keep to the track heading in a North Westerly direction until you pass the Hickleton Sports Field on your right.
When you reach the road turn left to follow the road for approximately 300 metres, before reaching a further Finger Post on your left, pointing back into the woods once more along Barnburgh Cliffs.
Stay on the scarp face footpath until you reach a Finger Post on your right, at which point take the path downhill, away from the woods.
After climbing the stile, follow the way marked footpath back into Barnburgh Village. Upon reaching St. Mary’s Church in Barnburgh (The Cat & Man Church), walk down Church Lane at the right hand side of the building, walking down the lane at which point you will come to a fork in the road.
Take the left-hand fork and a few hundred yards on your left after the school you will arrive at the car park from whence you began your journey.
Why not join Dearne Valley Ramblers on their summer walking programme: WED 9 MAY. Sprotbrough Circular, 6.30pm. 5 miles graded easy. Meet in Nursery Lane, Sprotbrough, near to the Boat Inn, where there is limited off-road parking. It is possible to park in the Boat Inn car park, but only with prior approval. SUN 13 MAY. Hathersage Circular, 10am. 10 miles, graded moderate. Meet pay & display car park off Oddfellows Road, post code S32 1DD.