Walking - Moderate

Group Leader: David Richardson
Telephone: 01427 891500
Email: walking-moderate@retford-u3a.org.uk
Meetings: First Monday @ 10am
Venue: Venue and distance announced in Newsletter

All walks take place on the first Monday in the month and leave at 10am unless specified otherwise.  The Moderate Walking Group is covered for Public Liability insurance.  It is not a personal accident insurance and so participants are responsible for their own health and safety.  The U3A and the walk leader cannot accept responsibility for members.  If anyone wants to know more about the walks, or if they need information on the day, e.g. possible cancellation due to bad weather, please contact the leader on the numbers given below.

N.B. Walking Group emergency mobile telephone No.  07910912834
operational during walks only and at no other times)

Click for pictures and reports of previous walks

  N.B. All walks are subject to change if circumstances alter


Chesterfield Canal Walking Festival - Message From Tom


Above is an image relating to last year's Chesterfield Canal Walking Festival containing a fair few faces who will be well known to many of us, not just Police 5 !
We've been involved with the Festival for the last 2 years (as have our friends at Retford Civic Society), assisting by leading walks and providing support.
I (Tom) have been involved during this time, liaising with the Canal Trust and helping to organise walks, also assisted by other Retford U3A members, but hopefully I can hand over to somebody else this year. The Festival takes place between Saturday, 12th September and finishes on Sunday, 20th September.
The responsibilities involve being a Point of Contact, mostly via email and attending one meeting (probably around July) as well as being about during the period of the Festival, besides organising the walks.
Other members of the U3A, as I've mentioned, have kindly lent their support, so it's not necessary to be engaged personally with all the walks which we lead. The last 2 years have seen us lead two x " Boat & Boots" walks on each Sunday, involving a 2 mile boat ride, plus a 4 mile walk each time, plus one x midweek walk.
If anybody is at all interested please get in touch with me and I'll fill you in on the details. The main reason for " handing over " is that we fancy a mid- September holiday, rather than waiting until the end of the month ! Chances are I'll still be available for part of the Festival and would assist in whichever way I could.

Best regards to all.

Tom, on behalf of David, Jean and Geoff.




Forthcoming Walks in 2020


Just a mention that we're trying to get a smidge more organised re planning walks in advance in the coming year. We have no lack of enthusiastic folks willing to put forward walks, but if we had some sort of schedule we're fairly sure it'd be of benefit to all.

As such, if you can think of a walk you'd wish to do and could schedule it for a particular month we'd be more than chuffed. Naturally, external influences can kick in occasionally, so nothing would be so rigid that it couldn't be swapped for a different month.

Please take into account that we tend to travel a bit further during longer daylight hours and stay a bit closer to home this time of year. If you would like to give it some thought and let us know we could collate the different preferences for sure. We'll not hold you to anything! Don't be shy!

Best regards.

Geoff and Tom










March 2020 - Carlton and Hodsock


Gathering at the Blue Bell in Carlton, we were greeted by not only some much-needed sun and dry weather, but a number of new members too, who hopefully had an enjoyable experience, along with a warm welcome.

For the first time ever we were also able to greet Assistance Dog Georgia, who undoubtedly enhanced everybody's day, as did our new members, of course !

Setting off a few minutes later than usual, as 21 meal choices required collating, we turned onto High Road, then shortly afterwards onto Low Street. If only it had been Low Road there'd have been some naff joke about " Ye'll take the high road and I'll take the low road and I'll be in Scotland afore ye." but we'll spare you that one !

After initially enjoying the beautiful architecture of Old Carlton we soon set about negotiating a series of 5 stiles, all within the first mile, thankfully the only ones we would encounter as they didn't contribute towards any steady cadence we may have sought.

We'd done the main features of this walk (Hodsock Priory and environs) previously, but always from the Blyth direction. Recent weather had dictated this particular route, which we also did for the first time in a clockwise direction, affording completely different vistas than hitherto enjoyed, including views of Blyth church in the distance.

( Note to self: Turn around and look behind on future walks !)

Thankfully, we were able to minimise exposure to the worst of the muddy conditions by skirting the inside edge of a field as we got ever closer to the Hodsock Priory gardens. In fairness, whilst the famous Snowdrop display may not have replicated its usual splendour, photos taken on the day may well make one think otherwise.

Nearing the finish, we stopped awhile at the lovely Carlton Pond, prior to once again taking in the streets behind the Blue Bell, nudging us to muse over the history they must inevitably contain.

Back on the Blue Bell car park we discovered that the distance covered had been 4.99 miles in 2 hours and 25 minutes, resulting in a pace (including stops)  of 29 minutes and 7 seconds per mile and accounting for 544 calories.

Possibly waiting a smidgen longer than we may have envisaged for our food, it allowed us a bit more time to discuss the morning's highlights, as well as performing the mandatory exercise of  "putting the world to rights" !

Many thanks to Imelda for leading the way, as well as Judy and David for their brilliant photos, plus the Blue Bell Inn for hosting us. Any additional photos would be extremely welcome and can be easily added to the folder.

Huge thanks also to those who attended and who inevitably enhanced an already lovely day.

Best regards.


Tom, on behalf of David.


For photos and information about above walk, please click:   HERE




February 2020 - Clarborough


Lolling (nothing to do with laughing out loud) at the Gate Inn for around  25 minutes before the off, we could have been well forgiven for forgetting it was the first Monday in February as we were caressed by a gentle breeze and pleasant, sunny intervals.

We'd moved the location of this walk from Bole due to the swamp-like conditions in that vicinity, though as we trudged through the sludge we may have been forgiven for wondering how bad Option 1 might have been. (Not good,is the answer !)

We went for almost a mile northwards before heading up a short sharp incline and onto Lover's Walk, affording us some nice views over the surrounding area.

Prior to that, most of us probably pondered which direction our lives were taking as we passed by a signpost with Redemption and Ruination as opposing destinations, though a few of us presumably resigned ourselves to the latter, the slippery slopes we were encountering replicating the course of our wicked lives !

Still, a little way further on we stopped by historic St. John's Church in Clarborough, affording some of us a little reflection and undoubtedly an opportunity to repent !

Spiritually-cleansed, we took a left out of the church grounds and towards The Baulk, once more enjoying the views as we ascended towards Pinfold Lane, then down to Welham Corner where we joined the A620 for while, prior to rejoining the canal off Bonemill Lane, the last mile in prospect.

Arriving back after 2 hours and 31 minutes, there was some discussion about the actual distance covered (estimates varying between 5.27 and 6.3 miles), but what wasn't in doubt was that in excess of 500 calories had been accounted for, allowing guilt-free access to the wide variety of food on offer, courtesy of the Gate Inn's buffet which awaited us.

There's a heap of thanks to dish out, starting off with Rod who had assisted in the original Bole recce and who backmarked on the day. Photos were kindly supplied by Bridget and David, whilst Pippa provided Runkeeper access and photographic evidence also-cheers to you all. Cheers to David also for arranging the venue.

Thanks to you all for being there too, once again enhancing an already-nice experience.

For images regarding the above walk, please click:    HERE

For information about Clarborough Chuch, please click:   HERE




January 2020 - Retford (King & Miller, Canal and Town Centre)


Hi everybody,

Here's wishing you a Happy New Year from us all.

Kicking the New Year off, we had a 25+ contingent gather at the King and Miller on North Road, ready, willing and hoping we were able to shake off those festive cobwebs, as well as catching up on all the "goss", like you do !

Before long we'd skipped through the cemetery and were making our way along the Chesterfield Canal in a westerly direction, prior to entering the plantation twixt the canal and the East Coast Main Line.

Conditions were good, both underfoot and atmospherically and before long we found ourselves back on the canal near Lady Bridge on Sutton (Botany Bay) Lane.

We then headed eastwards for around 2 miles before stopping awhile at Retford Town Lock , admiring the magnificent montage recently erected, depicting much of Retford's shared heritage with the Chesterfield Canal.

Shortly afterwards, we headed through the town's little gem that is King's Park, splendid at absolutely any time of the year, thence rejoining the canal at Woodcock's Bridge prior to the relatively short hop back to the King and Miller. 

Sadly, somebody, (that'd be me (Tom), then !) was too busily engaged in the "goss" early on and didn't manage to turn his Runkeeper app on until after around 0.7 of a mile, so you can add that distance onto the 4.30 miles that was actually tracked and which took 1 hr and 49 minutes, resulting in a pace of 25 minutes and 29 seconds per mile and a calorie count of 446, which can be upgraded to a smidgen over 500, given the circumstances !

Many thanks to Judy, Yvonne and Peter for leading this walk and also to Rosie for her lovely photos once again.

Best regards to all.

Tom, on behalf of David.

For images and details of the above walk, please click:   HERE


November 2019 - East Markham and area


Hi all,

          Gathering at the Queen's Hotel, some 23 of us readied ourselves for a walk in the East Markham area, led by Anne and Paul.

Almost immediately, though many of us had a reasonable working knowledge of the village, we were led through parts of it who probably none but residents might have been previously aware of.

Soon after that we were treated to a viewing of Anne's garden, a passion of hers and truly resplendent in autumn hues that somehow give you the feeling that winter is further away than it really is !

Deviating slightly from the original route due to soggy underfoot conditions, it may well have added slightly to our original estimate of distance to be covered, but almost indubitably it would prove to be to our eventual benefit.

Shortly after entering Tuxford (or is it "Taxford ", as some might say ?) after having crossed the bridge over the A1, we turned a right and set off along Bevercotes Lane and continued along other well made-up lane as swung towards West Markham. Stopping off at its historic church awhile, some of us possibly took a moment to repent whilst others possibly gathered themselves for the 80-odd steps that lay in wait for us after having once again crossed the A1; a potential sting in the tail somewhat ameliorated by calls for us all to take them at our own pace. Wise advice indeed.

Returning to East Markham, it was plainly evident that the village is expanding quite rapidly judging by the building taking place, hopefully a sign that our destination, The Queen's will not succumb to the same fate which many other village pubs have suffered.

Back in in the car park changing our shoes, it transpired that the original estimate of    " 5 and a tad " miles had suffered some inflationary pressures as Pippa's Runkeeper stats informed us that in reality we'd covered 6.13 miles in 2 hours and 46 minutes, including stops and had accounted for a satisfying 867 calories - nice to know when tucking into the the well-appreciated Queen's fare.

Huge thanks are due to Anne and Paul for leading the walk, plus Anne again for showing us her lovely garden, also to Paul, David and Bridget for their photos, as well as Pippa for access to Runkeeper files once again. We were made more than welcome by Chris and staff at the Queen's, which was duly noted and appreciated .

Your company too was also greatly appreciated, with warm welcomes being extended to those who hadn't been with us previously, hopefully encouraging them to endure us another time !

Best regards.

Tom, on behalf of David.

For photos and information regarding this walk, please click:   HERE

(Any other pics that people may wish to share can be added to the folder if you care to email them to me- Tom)

For further information regarding West Markham church, please click:  HERE


October 2019 - Laxton


Hi all,

Looking out of the window beforehand, or checking out the weather forecast wouldn't have inspired anybody to turn out, apart from the most hardy, or would that be " foolhardy "?

In the event, the small (but undoubtedly perfectly-formed !) group of us who showed up on the day were actually in store for a pleasant surprise, with the rain only making a brief appearance as we returned to the Dovecote Inn.

Admittedly, it was a tad dull and occasionally a bit on the slidey side underfoot, but walk leader Rod led us around a lovely historic route, finishing off with a slight diversion to St Michael the Archangel church in Laxton village.

Laxton is famous for its open field system, last of its type in Europe, with its distinct lack of hedges between separate plots which were plainly evident as we walked out of the village.

Murky it certainly was, though after reaching our southernmost point at Kneesall and gaining some elevation on the return journey it was just possible to make out a distant Lincoln Cathedral on the skyline.

Our leisurely stroll took us some 2 hours and 39 minutes, including numerous stop-offs to educate ourselves courtesy of the many display boards scattered around the area.

The aforementioned late diversion pushed the distance up to 5.9 miles, resulting in a pace of 27 minutes and 1 second per mile and accounting for 577 calories.

Many thanks to Rod for leading the walk, plus the very accommodating and amiable staff at the Dovecote Inn who provided our lunch.

Needless to say, thanks are also due to those stalwarts who helped to make it another nice event with your company and input.


Best regards.



For photos and details of the above walk, please click:   HERE




September 2019 - Styrrup and Tickhill


Hi everybody,

Some 24 of our number gathered at the Styrrup Hall Golf Club, ready for what turned out to be a lovely walk, led by Imelda.

Still within the confines of Styrrup Golf Club course, after briefly flirting with the A1M we headed in a north-westerly direction towards the South Yorkshire border and Tickhill along tracks and paths that were mercifully dry, with negligible gradients.

The 2 mile mark saw us within the environs of lovely Tickhill itself, blessed with beautiful dwellings of ample proportions, built sympathetically alongside rather older structures which certainly bestowed a certain charm and an affluent aura on the area.  (Try saying that after a few!)

Looping around the town, we stopped off awhile by the pond and the nearby castle, admiring the artistic skills of a few locals, undoubtedly gaining an advantage from the generous light levels bestowed on the local scenery.

All too soon we were heading back, completing our 5.51 mile walk in 2 hours and 30 minutes at a pace of 27 m 41 secs per mile and accounting for some 520 calories, which in fairness probably barely dented the calorific values of the tasty (and ample) portions of food we consumed, courtesy of the golf club kitchen!

Many thanks to Imelda for leading our walk and sorting the dining arrangements, plus Bridget and Pippa for their photos and Rod for access to his Runkeeper stats and images.

Thanks too to our fellow walkers, sharing good cheer and company.

Best regards.


Tom, on behalf of David.


For photos and information regarding the above walk, please click:  HERE



Retford U3A Walking Groups Summer Stroll - Haworth 5/8/19


Hi all,

A certain young lady called Jean did say something about the sun shining on the righteous a little while ago and how right she was !

An almost full coachload of us had left Kettlewell's with some relief, the most recent forecast for this particular day being the best since Adam was a lad and we weren't disappointed !

Alighting at the oh-so-appropriately-named Sun Street in Haworth a smidgen ahead of schedule, it wasn't too long before we were on our way through Central Park and into our Railway Children Walks, brilliantly augmented by Jean's leaflet, detailing all sorts of information relevant to our day out and further assisted by David's well-researched narration.

For those of us having recently seen the film, the Railway Children Walks seemed so familiar and undoubtedly added to the occasion.

Arriving back at Central Park it was decision time for many: Either finish walking there and have even more time to enjoy the splendours of downtown Haworth, or carry on and do the Full Monty ( in a manner of speaking!). That said, the Full Monty brimmed right over for a hardy few of our number who ventured yet further, assisting a stricken American tourist along the way too- well done folks!

Eventually, we all arrived back in Haworth, free to while away the time until 5pm and our return journey. Many different options were explored between us, what with trains, buses and a selection of tourist attractions all being on offer. Not forgetting the wide array of eating places to choose from, of course.

That "free time" was also an opportunity to bump into other members who had pursued different options throughout the day and to learn what they'd been up to and just as importantly, glean how much they'd enjoyed it.

All safely gathered in, we embarked on our return journey, courtesy of driver Neil, delivering us safely back and also in good time for Coronation Street too ! Does it get better than that?

I've got to heap some special praise on to my fellow coordinators, David and Jean, who between themselves decided on the location, did the recce and untold amounts of research, plus had the vision to provide the option of melding the Railway Children locations along with the opportunity to see the film. All that, plus the on-the-day services mentioned above too ! Many thanks to you both.

As ever, nothing would ever be a success without you, the members, whose feedback to this point has been nothing other than glowing. Many thanks to you all.

See you in September!

Best regards.

Tom, on behalf of David, Jean and Geoff.

For further information and photos, please click:   HERE



July 2019 - Misterton and West Stockwith


Hi Everybody,

Just a couple of days after we'd hit a balmy 29 C locally, we gathered outside the Red Hart at Misterton in rather more walk-friendly conditions.

We were led by Yvonne, who had stepped in almost at the last minute to guide us through an almost perfectly flat terrain, though one with a good few twists and turns, especially early on.

Having wended our way out of Misterton, we proceeded to wend our way back in for a short while, before wending our way along Soss Lane in the direction of the River Idle and the impressive dwelling that was once a pair of pumping stations on the River Idle. If only we'd had a Wendy amongst us !

Navigation was by now a tad more straightforward as we hugged the Idle riverbank going towards the impressive waterway that is the tidal River Trent at West Stockwith, a once-bustling port that also welcomes the end of the 46 mile-long Chesterfield Canal.

Skirting the Trent waterfront for a short while, we then surveyed the massively deep lock briefly before hitting the canal towpath and heading back towards Misterton and a lovely lunch at the Red Hart.

Scores on the doors revealed that we'd covered 4.6 miles in 2 hours and 10 minutes, resulting in a pace of just over 28 minutes per mile and an all important calorie count of 492 calories.

Many thanks to all who attended, plus the attentive staff at the Red Hart, but huge thanks to Yvonne for leading us, as well as Bridget for once again providing some lovely photos.

Next month is our Railway Children walk at beautiful Haworth- see you there.

Best Regards.


To see images and information regarding the above, please click  HERE




June 2019 - Walesby

Hi everybody,

Meeting up and starting from the Carpenter's Arms at Walesby, we almost certainly recorded a "first" for us as we welcomed guest walk leader Trevor.
Not that Trevor needed much in terms of introductions as he's well known to many in our group who attend the Tuesday walks from Retford Cricket Club, courtesy of Retford Step 2 it.

Not long into our walk we ventured into Boughton Brake, an area of woodland that contained a beautiful wide avenue where it would have been rude not to have our customary group photo taken.

A little further on, passing the almost completely hidden Walesby Scout Camp at Walesby Forest, we came across Robin Hood's Cave, a few feet above the River Maun, not that we could see much of it though ! (See relevant PDF in folder)

Somehow, the weather was just perfect, combining sunny and warm conditions with plenty of shade and excellent, dry underfoot terrain.

Swinging to the right a little further on, we stumbled across some sizeable fields containing poultry by the hundreds and some with pigs seemingly very happy as they wallowed in the customary mud, though not before we'd walked across the disused railway line that linked Bevercotes Colliery to the rest of the system and nearby power stations.

After crossing the main road that most have us had travelled along to get there, we weren't that far from entering deceptively large Walesby once again, coming out opposite the historic St. Edmund's Church (Further information in folder), where we stopped awhile before our last push through an extremely pleasant locality and back to the Carpenter's.

We'd taken 2 hrs and 13 minutes to complete the 4.4 miles, resulting in a leisurely pace of 30mins 23 secs. per mile, including stops and accounting for an all-important 493 calories that helped to alleviate any latent guilt associated with tucking in, courtesy of Neil and his staff at the pub.

Huge thanks go out to Trevor for what was an enlightening walk for many who might not previously have been aware of the highlights we experienced.

Also, thanks to Judy for providing the photos once again.

Of course, the company enjoyed with members new and not so new just put the icing on the cake, along with the banter between Trevor and what can only be described as his groupies !

See you next month (venue to be confirmed)

Best regards.

Tom, on behalf of David R.

For further information and to see photos of the above walk, please click:     HERE



May 2019 - Scaftworth (Bawtry)


"After a week of bad weather, it all changed just in time for our walk on Monday 13th May, a week later than usual because of the Bank Holiday.

Fourteen of us gathered at The King William Inn, Scaftworth in warm temperatures and sunshine (who says the sun doesn't shine on the righteous?)

We set off on our 5.5 mile walk through the Blue Bell woods on our way to Everton village. Unfortunately, probably after the hot weather over Easter, the Blue Bells were past their best, but that was more than made up for by the wonderful displays of Laburnum in Everton village.

On our return to the King William, we were served with a feast fit for a king, so a big thank you is due to the staff and chef for their hard work and for looking after us on the day."


 For photos of the above walk, please click:   HERE


April 2019 - Clarborough

Hi all,


Gathered around the King's Arms car park in Clarborough, the weather mightn't have quite been its spring-like self, as demonstrated just a day or so earlier, but sunny dispositions more than made up that shortfall as the usual jollity and mirth was shared around, both amongst our longer-standing members and our very welcome newcomers.


No better example of that was when David, Group Coordinator and walk leader for the day, gathered us all around for what can only be described as a Health and Safety ( elf 'n' safety ? ) briefing, spelling out the potential dangers relating to the escape a tiger from the nearby Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Obviously, in some quarters this was met with a smidgen of derision, bearing in mind that was April Fools'  Day after all. However, scoff ye might, but photographic evidence ( not quite David Baileyesque !) was later to surface that did indeed indicate the presence of a somewhat frightening beast that lurks in our area !

Fully on our guard, we ventured out of the relative safety of Clarborough , towards and over Clarborough tunnel and through the Notts Wildlife Trust's site , before ascending the quaintly-named Rathole Lane and the highest point of the day's walk, some 70 metres higher than where we'd begun.

Some little while later, having skirted Whinley's Farm, we were able to enjoy sweeping vistas over the Retford area as we descended in a mostly gentle fashion towards the end of our walk, appreciating the dry conditions as we did so.

Seemingly, in no time at all we were back at the King's Arms, though 2 hours and 20 minutes had elapsed since appointing the " spotters" who were to keep us all safe whilst venturing into such potentially hostile territory ! Distance covered was 5.5 miles, accounting for around 640 calories, though one of us allegedly ( somehow ) managed to clock 6.14 miles on his Runkeeper app. The theory is  that the extra was accrued going off-piste in search of the feline predator !

Magdalena and crew at the pub all ensured that we were more than adequately catered for, both in terms of sustenance and even some entertainment too. How good is that ?

Many thanks to David for leading the walk and organising the food, plus David and Bridget for the photos. For legal reasons it's not possible to disclose the origin of the beast's photo !

Thanks also to you all for joining us, undoubtedly ensuring that all, especially the newer faces, had a lovely experience.

Best regards.

Tom, on behalf of David.


For photos of the above walk through Clarborough, please click:   HERE


March 2019 - Blyth, Hodsock and Carlton in Lindrick

In stark contrast to the virtually balmy and bright weather we'd experienced less than a week earlier, we gathered at Blyth's Angel Inn in rather more seasonal conditions, albeit nothing like the snow flurry we'd "enjoyed" a couple of years back as we waited for the starting pistol to crack !

Weekend rain had put paid to traversing the section of our walk that would have taken us in an often boggy section alongside the River Ryton, adding probably half a mile to our trek, but at least we weren't subject to the " out and back " route we plodded last year as a result of the heavy rains inflicted on us prior.

As we neared Hodsock Priory it's a fair bet that a few of us mused that our eyesight was on the wane, but the sad truth appeared to be that the previously Spring-like conditions had wreaked a toll on the usually resplendent display of snowdrops, bringing their flowering season to a premature end, leaving us peering through the trees in order to see the remaining few.

All is not lost though, as we've sneaked a photo from last year's walk into the folder relating to this walk. As the inimitable Jim Bowen would have said : " Have a look at what you could have won ! "

Nonetheless, after our obligatory stop-off at the pond in Carlton we were at least grateful that it was dry, both underfoot and weather-wise, the wind was behind us, the gradients were generally downhill and the conversation scintillating. What more could we ask for ?

The answer to that question lay at the end of our walk at the Angel Inn,some 6.5 miles and 2 hours and 22 minutes after we'd set off and it was " good food ", perfectly presented by the hostelry in timely fashion and appreciated by us all.

Many thanks to all who came along after rolling the die and taking a punt on the weather, which turned out nice again, to coin an old phrase !

Regards to all.
For photos, please click:     HERE

February 2019

Some 23 of us gathered just outside Bole, grateful that the conditions were a little less Arctic than of late, though that also meant some slightly slippy/ slidey terrain a little later on. Once again, we were enhanced with new faces on our walk , during which they hopefully felt welcomed by our more established members.

A short stroll into our walk we stopped off awhile in order to listen to walk leader David impart some of the local history , particularly relating to the " Rounds"- additional information is contained within a pdf to be found alongside the images to be found via our link  to be found below.
As our 2 hr 15 minute walk progressed , the sun dared to peep out from behind the clouds, almost emulating Spring-like conditions as we swung back around once again towards Bole.

A few of us had tracked the walk, the consensus being that the distance covered was pretty much around 4.7 miles. A few stop -offs reduced the overall pace to 28 minutes and 47 seconds per mile and an alleged calorie count of 448, surely a tad on the low side , given all those stiles towards the end !

Huge thanks are due to David for organising our walk and arranging our greatly-appreciated lunch at the Reindeer Inn at Sturton-le-Steeple, plus providing photos taken along the way. Thanks also due to Judy for her photos and to Karl for providing a 19th Century map image of the area we covered, plus Rod for access to his Runkeeper stats.

As per usual, these walks wouldn't be anything without your participation, so thanks to one and all for helping to make it another lovely occasion.

For photos please click  HERE 

January 13th 2019

For photos please click   HERE

Assembling for the "off" on Gringley High Street,some two dozen of us began to wonder if the sporadic raindrops were to be a feature of our first walk of the year, led by Val. Fortunately, "sporadic" pretty soon changed to "non-existent" as we ambled down the incline leading to the Chesterfield Canal, catching up on the news with our friends as we went.
Reaching the quaintly-named Eel Pool Road at Drakeholes, we passed the erstwhile splendid structure that was once the White Swan, wondering what was to become of it. It's become a victim of what has befallen many rural hostelries these past few years. Hopefully, there's a brighter future for her in the not too distant future. We continued to follow the canal, skirting Wiseton Estate, prior to the steady though not unduly taxing climb back to Gringley, finishing our 5.45 mile walk after some 2 hours and 9 minutes. That translated into 23 minutes and 44 seconds per mile, not too shabby considering a good few minutes were spent resting prior to the customary photo shoot half way round.
The all-important calorie count came in at 783 kcals, allowing ourselves to possibly indulge wider the Ship Inn at Bawtry's extensive and well-received lunch time menu.
Many thanks to Val for leading us, plus David for both the photos and the behind-the-scenes work required when discovering fairly late on that the Blue Bell wasn't able to accommodate us as originally planned.
Of course, the whole shebang would have been for nothing without you, our members, who once again created the ambience and atmosphere for us all to benefit from the experience. 


Xmas Lunch 2018

The theory was that a good number of us would meet up at the Idle Valley Nature Reserve, have a bit of a wander around, then move on to the Olde Bell down the road for a well-earned Christmas lunch and get-together.  As it goes, a combination of non-compliant weather and common sense dictated that it would be  prudent to not get dishevelled and soggy, resulting in rather more dapper, chic and coiffed members turning up for their fare !

Besides the annual getting together of all three walking groups for the proverbial catch-up and chinwag, the occasion also recognised the end of an era, with Imelda and Joan soon to hand over the tenure of the Moderates group to David. To mark this, David presented gifts to those wonderful ladies, plus cards signed by the membership in appreciation of the hard work and dedication attributable to them both over these last three years.

For Pictures of our Xmas lunch please click            HERE 


Cresswell Crags October 2018

22 of our members enjoyed a lovely walk around a couple of our local highlights on what transpired to be a beautiful day. Photos taken by Bridget, David and Judy certainly depicted the very best that early autumn has to offer- thank you. Thanks are also due to our walk leaders, Anne and Paul, plus everybody else who contributed to the occasion by being there. The after-walk lunch was enjoyed at the Greendale Oak, Cuckney.
Link to photos here :    HERE

Bluebell walk - May 2018

This was probably the warmest and sunniest walk this year after a seemingly interminable winter. However, sufficient shade was available for those not yet acclimatised to the spell of nice weather. Somehow, the expected 5.5 miles extended to 6.3 miles but hopefully no one had any ill effects from pushing their normal boundaries. 

Many thanks to David for organising and leading the walk and to David and Judy for their stunning photos. 

Please click     HERE


Hop Pole - April 2018 

Having our April version of the Moderate walk a week later than normal due to the Easter holidays proved rather fortuitous if the weather was anything to go by. Incessant heat and arid conditions were never on the menu at any stage, but generally decent underfoot conditions and even a glimpse of the sun in the last mile or so were a vast improvement on most of this seemingly interminable soggy winter. 
Heading north along the Chesterfield Canal towards Clarborough, we soon negotiated what was probably the squidgiest part of our journey prior to reaching Whitsunday Pie Lock, simultaneously appreciating the green in the hedgerows that is finally resurgent these past few days. 
2 miles in and reaching Bridge 62 and Church Lane, Hayton, we stepped off the towpath, passing St. Peter's Church and its impressive vicarage shortly afterwards, prior to skipping across Main Street and up the short incline to Lover's Lane. Here we turned right, by now travelling roughly parallel to the canal , though not able to enjoy the views normally on tap due to the murky conditions. 
Safely crossing the A620 above Clarborough, it didn't seem too long before we came across our second  Church Lane, accompanied unsurprisingly with our second church, this time St. John the Baptist, blessed with a long history and stunning Italian marble floor. 
Ascending The Baulk and into our last half hour of walking, we finally got to see the aforementioned sun  and an improved vista prior to heading down Pinfold Lane and an easy finish to our 5.6 miles jaunt.This had been completed in a tad under 2 hrs and 15 minutes, resulting in a pace of 2.5 miles per hour,  taking care of some 807 calories, or the best part of a gluten-free gammon steak, egg and chips if rumours are to be believed ! 
Many thanks to Rosie and David for their photos and to all came along to contribute to yet another ─║ovely occasion. 
Links to information (Hayton Church) click:               HERE
Church History Project, Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham           HERE 
Clarborough  Church                  HERE 
Link to photos click         HERE

Blyth, Hodsock and Carlton - March 2018

Gathering together before the off, there was a fair chance that a number of us were musing over how blessed we were, considering the inclement weather recently experienced, courtesy of the "Beast from the East ". 
Only the previous day, with seriously slushy conditions, we were contemplating having to cancel when our walk leader Imelda undertook ( yet another ) recce of the route and along with a strong faith in the BBC forecast it was decided to continue with our quest.
In the end, albeit with a modicum of slippy surfaces and surface water, that decision was vindicated as we were even ( though fleetingly ) able to enjoy a little warmth from a late winter sun.
Common sense dictated that our original, almost circular walk evolved into an out-and-back affair, though presumably few of us even noticed, almost certainly engaged in deep, meaningful or even hilarious conversation!
Nonetheless, we still managed to catch a glimpse of the renowned snowdrops as we stomped towards our finishing line at the Angel Inn and stats of 6.5 miles in 2 hrs 23 minutes, resulting in an average pace of 22 minutes and 8 seconds per mile and accounting for a not inconsiderable 903 calories, permitting a fierce onslaught on the Angel Inn menu!
Huge thanks are due to Imelda for leading our walk, plus lovely photos from stalwarts David, Pippa and Paul.
Moreover, thanks to all who engaged in yet another lovely outing, helping to make it for all of us.
For photos click     HERE

Clarborough - February 2018

Around 30 of us gathered at the King's Arms, Clarborough for the third time in 3 years.

Once meal orders had been submitted we set off on what turned out to be a sunny trek, with light winds helping to ameliorate the potentially slippy conditions that have prevailed for some time.

Before very long we had made our way through the grounds of St. John the Baptist Church, originally dating back to the 13th century, prior to making our way uphill and towards Clarborough Tunnel Nature Reserve, maintained by Notts Wildlife Trust.

Once through there, having stopped for a group photo, we came out onto the quaintly-named Rathole Lane , taking a right turn to make an ascent up to probably the highest point of our walk and past Whinley's Farm.

From there on, it was pretty much downhill all the way with some nice views to be enjoyed, the walk finishing after almost exactly 2 hrs and 30 minutes. Scores on the doors revealed that we'd covered an above average distance for a Moderate walk of 5.56 miles at an average pace ( including stops ) of 27 minutes 25 seconds per mile and accounting for a decent 851 calories, definitely the major part of the popular Pensioner's Special , I'd wager !

Huge thanks are due to Bridget and David, once again providing some stunning photos, plus Ann and Geoff who led the walk and made all the arrangements with our lunchtime hosts, whose fare undoubtedly went down very well.
Many thanks are in order for our members too, for supporting this walk and the subsequent meal , plus their usual great company that completes a lovely day out.

For photos click  HERE

Lock Keeper's, Worksop - January 2018

With the brass monkeys-ometer hovering a tad below zero it was pleasing to see nigh on 30 of us assemble for our first walk of the year at the Lock Keeper.
Fortunately, the cold was accompanied by mostly clear skies and benign winds , enabling ( with a modicum of care) a pleasant and extremely interesting passage.

Shaking off the festive cobwebs, we were soon greeted by the dilapidated sight of what at one time would have been a very impressive Shireoaks Hall .

Having stopped there for the obligatory photo shoot,we rounded the Hall and found the Hewett Arms on the same site, which interestingly acts as both a fishing and wedding venue ( though presumably not simultaneously !)
Shortly afterwards, we entered Shireoaks itself, taking a left turn towards Bethel Terrace and an interesting home that would once have been the Methodist Bethel Chapel.
A little later we encountered the delightful canalside hamlet of Turnerwood  prior to turning right , crossing the railway and experiencing our first and almost only incline as we made towards Brancliffe Grange.
A smidge further on we were back on the canal, making for the home stretch and passing the impressive Shireoaks Marina a matter of a few minutes before completing our 5.5 mile journey.
We'd taken 2 hours and 24 minutes, resulting in a pace of 26 minutes 19 seconds per mile, whilst accounting for 528 calories, giving us permission (if needed ) to tuck in !
Many thanks to Joan and Yvonne for leading this stunning walk, as well as Bridget, David and Rosie for providing the photos once again. Thanks are also due to our fellow walkers whose company undoubtedly enhanced our experience.

For photos click HERE

Christmas 2017

Click HERE

Gringley-on-the-Hill November 2017

Despite a fair few " regulars" being unable to attend, it's probably a testament to our burgeoning membership that a near record number of 38 souls turned up at the Blue Bell Inn, Gringley, for the November edition of Moderate walks.

To be fair, unless other items were on the agenda, with the sun shining from the off, with gentle winds, the prospect was alluring at the very least.

Nonetheless, for those who turned up with a little time to spare it was definitely a tad on the parky side as we waited on the shade-enveloped High Street prior to setting off.

Once we were on our way, all that was in the past as we marched through the character-oozing streets of Gringley, first along the High Street, then taking a left to descend the quaintly-named Horsewells Street on our way to the Chesterfield Canal.

Waxing lyrically would be relatively easy, given the wonderful sort of day it was, but on this occasion the photos taken more than tell the tale , as you will see.

Seemingly in no time at all, though actually taking almost exactly 2 hours to cover the 5.03 miles, with views taken in and catch-ups with old friends well under way, we arrived back at the Blue Bell, having averaged 23 minutes and 43 seconds per mile, simultaneously accounting for 542 calories and a smug entitlement to our lunch !

Many thanks are due to Lesley for organising the walk and arranging for the Blue Bell to kindly open up for us. Thanks are also due to Bridget, David and Judy for supplying a dazzling array of images that sum up the day perfectly.

For photos click HERE

Collingham - October 2017

The best part of 30 of us made our way to the RSPB site at Langford Lowfields, just outside Collingham.

The anticipated 40 mph+ winds didn't quite materialise, though it was breezy enough to have significantly dried the local terrain since walk leaders Joan and Yvonne had completed their second recce just a few days prior.

Thankfully, the sun shone for most of our walk too, complementing our usual convivial experience.

Hopefully, we extended a decent welcome to both newcomers and friends returning from enforced periods of absence with a route that was not too long, generally good underfoot, with negligible inclines and no stiles.

Arriving back at the car park, we learned that we'd walked 4.10 miles in 1 hour 57 minutes, resulting in a pace ( including rest stops) of 28 minutes and 35 seconds per mile, having burned off some 443 calories in the process.

We later convened at the Bridge Inn, Dunham, for refreshments, our walk leaders having once again persuaded a hostelry to open up for us especially on a Monday lunchtime.

Many thanks to Joan and Yvonne for arranging the walk, the food and the weather(!), plus David and Bridget for their photos.

For photos click HERE

Haxey - September 2017

Seemingly, unearthly influences came into play as the September version of the Moderate walk set off from Haxey in search of the Holy Well and Fairy Woods :

Not only was the weather kind, but a good turnout justified the decision of the Duke William to open their kitchen especially for us, providing an enjoyable lunch.
Rumour has it that everybody saw the fairies , indicating how good the boys and girls must have been all week !

An additional bonus was witnessing the locality bedecked with cycling memorabilia in readiness for the next day's visit by the Tour of Britain.

Many thanks are in order in recognition of David's hard work in preparation for this walk, plus the photos supplied by him, as well as all those who attended , ensuring that a lovely day was had by all.

For photos click HERE

Edwinstowe and Rufford - July 2017

We  promptly set off from South Forest Leisure Centre with a more than ample contingent of walkers, though somehow we managed to augment our numbers by a couple along the way ! No names, no pack drill !

Though generally overcast, the going was firm underfoot and generally flat, ensuring decent walking conditions.

After a stop-off at local highlight Rufford Country Park , then virtually u-turning onto May Lodge Drive, we were afforded the pleasure of walking through the local version of Nob Hill . Very nice too.

In seemingly no time at all we had skirted by Center Parcs and were hurtling ( or something like that !) towards the end of our trek, finishing after some 5.57 miles in 2 hrs, 22 mins and 48 secs. at a pace of 25 minutes and 39 seconds per mile.

Reaching our watering-hole, The Dukeries Lodge shortly afterwards, we were safe in the knowledge that 611 calories had been accounted for as we perused the menu , applying Seniors-style resourcefulness with some judicious pairings in order to fully utilise the Two for £9 options !

Many thanks to all for your company, with extra thanks to our walk leader, Stuart.

For photos click HERE

Everton - June 2017

Meeting up at the Blacksmith's Arms, Everton, the weather didn't bode well for our trek, though ultimately it proved to be rather more irksome  than of biblical proportions. Following a roughly figure of eight ( with a stick attached !) route, we ventured south towards Mattersey, being reminded how pleasant our own locality is.

The furthest point of our journey was the ruins of Mattersey Priory, a 13th Century monastery which had accommodated just 6 Gilbertine canons,the only wholly English monastic order. Maintaining the religious theme, we also passed by Mattersey Hall Bible College, part of the Pentecostal movement.

Back at the Blacksmith's after 2 hours, 41 minutes and 38 seconds, it transpired that we'd covered a slightly more than anticipated 5.88 miles at a pace of 27 minutes 28 seconds, accounting for 633 calories  along the way, equating to a sizeable chunk of lasagne, with salad and garlic ciabatta !

Many thanks to David for leading this lovely walk and arranging for our hosts to open especially for us, as well as collating the meal orders and providing the photos. Phew !

Thanks also to those attending and helping newer members feel welcome.

For photos click HERE

West Stockwith - May 2017

With the pointer on the " Parky Dial " pointing in a decidedly downward direction it was with some gusto that we stepped off and away from our starting point at the Waterfront Inn, spurred on by the prospect of generating some body heat. It was only the 8th May, what did we expect ?

Before long, we were catching up and overtaking historic vessel N.B. Python, crewed by Chesterfield Canal Trust volunteers on their way to Clayworth.

Our walk took us almost on a figure 8 route and also included stretches of the Rivers Idle and Trent , whilst taking in the Pump Houses at Misterton Soss.

It seemed like no time at all before we were back, having been on our feet for 2 hours and 8 minutes, having covered 4.66 miles ( 4.8 recorded by some, which is more than acceptable !) at an average pace of 27 minutes and 30 seconds per mile and accounting for 492 calories, helping to make a reasonable dent in the soup, sandwiches and chips laid on by our hosts Karen and Stuart.

Whilst enjoying the fare we were given the opportunity to play " card bingo", with proceeds going to charity. Some initial reticence to engage in the game itself ( many preferring to offer a donation without playing ) was soon swept away as our enthusiastic / competitive streaks overwhelmingly kicked in and the destination of the carvery meals donated by our hosts was decided.

Many thanks to Judy and Yvonne for leading this lovely walk, plus photos from Diane, Paul and Judy herself.

Thanks also to those attending and contributing towards another memorable occasion.

For photos click HERE

Laughton Woods - April 2017

Just three days into April it may have been, but nonetheless the sun made a welcome appearance, assisted by light winds during the walk and not overly negated by the forest canopy that accompanied us for much of our trek.

Thirty one of us had made the half-hour or so journey to West Lindsey, safe in the knowledge that no significant inclines were in store for us and being hopeful that a particularly soggy area experienced on the last recce had dried up somewhat. Fortunately, we were in luck and able to enjoy the underfoot conditions, plus woodland sounds and sights, marred only by sporadic examples of fly-tipping.

2 hrs and 15 minutes after setting off we returned to the Ingram Arms, having covered 5.25 miles at an average pace of 25 minutes 42 seconds per mile and most importantly accounting for over 600 calories, or the greater part of the very popular Thai cod and prawn fishcakes option!

Thanks are due to Geoff for being back marker, plus Imelda for helping out with menu choices, not forgetting assistance from Sandra and Jean in taking the register. Thanks also to David and Diane for photos ( others welcome if you took any ), plus our hosts at the Ingram Arms who produced fine fare in a very efficient and friendly manner. Last, but by no means least, thanks to all who attended for helping to produce another lovely experience.

For photos click HERE

Blyth and Hodsock - March 2017

Following a less than arid weekend , Monday dawned, seemingly dispelling the seasonal slumber of winter, as the promise of an early spring seemed to beckon us. Nigh on 40 of us gathered at the Angel Inn, Blyth, eager to enjoy the blue skies and blossom-laden trees as we made towards and beyond Hodsock Priory and its renowned Snowdrop display.

As we left Hodsock behind it soon became apparent that a couple of waifs ( though definitely not strays ) had joined us and been made welcome. Fortunately, they were known to us ! After enjoying a little R and R at Carlton in Lindrick pond, we swung around to commence our return, this time enjoying views of the front of Hodsock Priory. As we went along, it was almost gratifying to witness that efforts to nosedive into the squelchy paths weren't being totally monopolised by one person, though even more gratifying to know that no harm was done.

2 hours, 42 minutes and 58 seconds and 6.34 miles later we arrived back at the Angel Inn, resulting in  a pace of 25 minutes and 42 seconds per mile and accounting for 897 calories , almost enough to take care of of a steak and kidney      ( or was it mince and onion ? ) pie, chips and peas !

Many , many thanks to Imelda for leading the walk, in addition to organising the food. Thanks also to David, Paul, Judy , Diane and Bridget for providing photos, plus anybody else I may have missed out. Lastly , thanks to the Angel Inn for hosting us , but more so  to all of you who made it such a lovely day.

For photos click HERE

Clarborough - February 2017

Monday morning started crisp and dry ( other cooking oils also available) , ensuring that underfoot conditions wouldn't turn out too soggy later on.

An ensemble of 30-plus gathered at the King's Arms,including some newer members and a few less new ( never old !) members who we may not have seen in a while, all keen to sample the keen air, the views and each other's company.

It wasn't long before we'd arrived on the part of Church/ Whinleys Lane, just up from Clarborough Tunnel,where the gradient steepens and core temperatures likely climbed too, before levelling out as we neared Sturton High House.

A brief stroll down the quaintly-named Blue Stocking Lane preceded a gentle climb up to probably  the highest point of our walk, giving us generous views of South and North Wheatley as the sun came out.

We were on the homeward and mostly downward trail now and keen not to arrive too early for our pre-ordered fare, we lingered awhile in the more benign conditions, continuing to make new acquaintances, catch up with more established ones and simultaneously put the world to rights !

Some 2 hours, 9 minutes and 55 seconds after setting off we arrived back at the King's Arms, having averaged 25 minutes and 29 seconds per mile and ever-hopeful that the 458 calories we'd used might help some feel slightly less guilty tackling the Pensioners Special !

Multiple thanks are in order, especially to Geoff and Ann for leading the walk and organising the food.

Thanks also to Diane for her photos  and Pippa for providing the Runkeeper stats .

Of course,many thanks also to you for being there, including those who joined us for food who hadn't walked,ensuring that the Kings Arm's decision to open up for us was vindicated.

For photos click HERE.

Old Clipstone and Sherwood Pines - January 2017

The forecast didn't auger well as we gathered at the newly-vacated Dog and Duck at Old Clipstone, eager to launch ourselves into the first walk of the New Year.

Fortunately, the predicted heavy rain didn't quite materialise, with merely steady showers accompanying us as we ventured in a generally southerly direction, the Grade 2-listed headstocks of what was Clipstone Colliery looming on our right-hand side.

After the best part of a couple of miles we neared Vicar Water , ( a suitable picnic location on previous occasions when the conditions have been kinder ) crossing over it before swinging around towards Sherwood Pines and back to our starting point, whilst the rain eased to a gentle stop. Conditions were murky in all honesty, but genial and engaging company , new and not-so-new, enabled us to ignore them.

Nonetheless, the pesky precipitation had still managed to thwart initial attempts to track our route, only allowing me to record the last 3 miles, covered at an average pace of around 26 minutes per mile and presumably at a similar lick for the whole of the estimated 5 miles. For the calorie-conscious, a likely total of around 500 calories would have been accounted for. Two maps are viewable in the link below, one of which shows the actual route tracked, the other (with blue dots) including my estimation of untracked early section of our route.

Many thanks are due to Barbara for leading the walk, as well as Diane for providing us with her photographic evidence.

For photos click HERE.

Southwell Apple Walk - October 2016

Sixteen people set off from the Saracen's Head Hotel car park in Southwell, on a walk to celebrate the fruit of the apple tree. It was a glorious autumn day, seasonal early morning mist on the outward journey clearing to blue skies and gentle sunshine. The sort of day perhaps that a celebration by walkers, of over 200 years of the Bramley apple in a beautiful market town deserved.

Some of us were surprised that the first fruits we saw were October strawberries, the red fruit and white blossoms dripping down the rows of planters in the scores of polytunnels which we strolled between. But the Merryweathers who were instrumental in Southwell's Bramley story started cultivating fruit, in particular strawberries, here in 1854.

Temptation didn't end with the strawberries, we soon arrived at the apple orchards in front of Norwood Park. The fruit not only clung to the trees and littered the ground but lay in red vats to be admired and enjoyed. The Merryweathers originally came to Southwell as gardeners to Norwood Park.

The first Bramley Apple tree was planted from a pip by Mary Ann Brailsworth. It bore fruit in the 1830s and we saw it still growing in the garden of 75 Easthorpe. Henry Merryweather took grafts from the tree and propagated the species, naming it Bramley after the owner of the cottage at the time.

The arrival of the railway station gave the Merryweathers access to larger markets via Nottingham and they became successful.  Although the old station has gone we walked past the old traditional station house, and continued along part of the Southwell trail, which had been opened on the old track bed between Farnsfield and Rolleston Junction.

This took us to the community orchard. Where three Bramley Apple trees were planted in 2009 to commemorate the bicentenary of the Bramley Apple.

We re-entered the town and admired the beautiful prebend property leading us to the  magnificent Southwell Minster and Cathedral of Nottinghamshire, famous for its "pepper pot" roofs. We enjoyed the recently opened garden area with a labyrinth, views of the Archbishop's Palace, and Gertrude Jekyll border.

Some of us entered the Minster to admire the "Bramley Apple window" in the North transept. It signifies unison between church and town, recognising the Apple as a symbol of life and its importance in the history of Southwell.

We then walked up Church street to the Saracen's Head, where we enjoyed delicious food graciously served.

With thanks to Judith for leading the walk,  to Joan for acting as back stop, and for your company.

For photos click HERE.

Tippings Wood - September 2016

Monday morning dawned bright in Retford, though sadly it had failed to transfer fully to our starting point at Blidworth by 10.00 am.
  Nonetheless, unperturbed by a morsel of mizzle, we set off slightly behind schedule ( never late !) in a generally northerly direction ,frequently befriended by a number of dogs and their walkers, quite possibly from the nearby Jerry Green Dog Rescue Centre, though I my thoughts were dogged for a little while, wondering if it might have been more appropriate to call it the Jerry Springer Dog Rescue Centre ! ( True to form, my pathetic attempts at making a joke are as " ruff" as ever ! )

After about a mile and a half, having negotiated Downtown Rainworth , we swung to our left , soon walking by the imaginatively-named L Lake, inhabited by local fishermen and presumably some fish too.

As we hiked on, marvelling at the views that could have been almost anywhere remote, yet rarely ever much more than a mile from a conurbation, we noted the preponderance of wind turbines which for some of us added something graceful to the vista and which were certainly a marked improvement on a slag heap panorama.

At just around 3 miles, we turned back towards Blidworth and experienced possibly the most notable sights of the walk, with exquisite ponds and fields of sunflowers on display, lifting our spirits higher, also assisted by an ever-improving weather outlook.

2 hours, 11 minutes and 44 seconds after setting off our walk was complete, at an average pace of 26 minutes  and 19 seconds per mile and a healthy 550 calories having been taken care of.

A significant number of us decanted to the Bird in Hand pub, just a mile away, for a suitable antidote for our exertions and sweeping views from an elevated position.

Many thanks to our walk leader, Diane and to Judy and Diane for their photos.