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Date & start time: Thursday 3rd December 2009.

Location of Start : Sandbeck Lodge, Maltby, Yorkshire, Uk ( SK 559 913 )

Places visited : Sandbeck Lodge and Maltby Far Common

Walk details : 1.5 mls, negligible ascent . . . a short dog walk.

Highest point : Exploring new ground.

Walked with : Myself, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Overcast.

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Maltby Common

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Our third visit of the week was to our second daughter and her family in Tickhill, South Yorkshire.

Chance to spend time with Paula and Al, Thomas and Abigail,

to swap presents and to enjoy a few fine weather days with the four of them.

While the ladies were busy at Tom's School Fayre, I took time out to walk the dogs locally.

On the local map I found a field marked as "Open Access" in the middle of busy farmland, so I parked up and went to investigate.

The road continues past Sandbeck Lodge and on towards Maltby, only to be blocked by a road barrier

so I backtracked and parked up by the white farm gates and returned to the field on foot.

On the way I passed what must be Sandbeck Lodge.

The Maltby side of the road ended here at a small lake,

delightful apart from the colour of the water which was decidedly brown and muddy.

Ducks fill the field next to the farm . . .
. . . and Maltby Colliery buildings fill the skyline behind the lake.

The 'Far Common' as it is called is probably an old colliery tip, now well restored to a large open green field.

It was a good place to let the dogs have a run, and I was not alone as other people had the same idea.

The field is overshadowed by the modern buildings . . .
. . . and rather a lot of overhead electrics.

Still, there was an extended woodland at the far end of the field and so the dogs had a good run.

The native woodland here was based on a very sandy soil . . . hence the name of the stream presumably . . . 'Sandbeck'.

- - - o o o - - -

Time to return so I walked back the same way.

There's a friendly fisherman with a cheery wave back at the lake on my return.

An old building behind the farm looks more like a colliery building than a agricultural one, but I can't be sure.

Back at the car the sun has set and the sky was changing colour.

The big Yorkshire skies seen here over a narrow band of old maize which has been left to rot at the edge of the field.

On my return to Tickhill the Christmas lights were just starting to show in the late afternoon light.

This is the Butter Market and the Christmas Tree in the centre of town, decorated with lights for Christmas.

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Date & start time: Friday 4th December 2009.

Location of Start : The canal towpath near Retford, Uk ( SK 664 829 )

Places visited : A walk alongside the Chesterfield Canal and back past Ranby Hall

Walk details : 2.2 mls, one canal lock so perhaps 15 ft of ascent ?

Highest point : Walking with the family somewhere new.

Walked with : Ann, Paula, Al, Tom, Abi and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Beautifully sunny, but slightly cool.

The Cesterfield Canal near Retford


We parked just the other side of the bridge near the delightfully named Barbnaby Fox Covert, and walked the towpath west.

The bridge carried the Old London Road, as opposed to the Great North Road and the main A1 North, all of which passed within a mile.

Here though it was all peace and quiet.

Our first (and only) lock gates on our walk . . . Forest Top Lock.

Dad (Al) explains how they work and helps Abi and Tom across.

The lock gates push bar and signs.

The sluice gate mechanism for draining the lock.
Abi and Al cross back over the top gate.


Harry prefers to swim !
A rather fine canal-side willow tree just along the way.


Walking on along the tow path.

Time to pull up some socks . . .
. . . comfortable feet again for Abi.

Meanwhile, Tom climbs a nearby tree.

The 'old man' with his grandchildren.
Abi wrapped up warm against the cool air.
Old trees . . . young lad.
The canal continues on westward.

The canal continues west but we turn away to return to the car.

We leave the towpath and head across for a local farm road.

This takes us two sides of triangle and heads us back for a return walk along the last part of the canal.

Ranby Hall and some rather fine horses . . .
. . . about lunchtime.

Returning to the lock gates, seen far in the distance, Harry takes the chance for another swim.

The canal side cottages have been renovated and have a fine garden and summer house.

Time for lunch . . .
. . . before we leave for home late afternoon.

It's already dark so we return briefly to the centre of Tickhill to see the Christmas lights.

From here it's three hours or so up the A1 and across the A66 and we'll be home.

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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a car full of Christmas presents and a tummy full of mince pies.

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Previous walk - 1st/2nd Dec 2009 A pre-Christmas visit to Peterborough

A previous time up here - 1st December 2007 A Christmas visit to Paula and Al

Next walk - 12th Dec 2009 A frosty ascent of Mellbreak