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Here you can read a personal account of the route for this stage, together with route maps centred around the start and end points, and information on transport connections, pubs, accommodation and camp sites. You can see a photo gallery, browse through the walk stages, and you can use Google search to look up the start and end points of your day's walking. For some sections, GPX files for your sat nav are available, but this new feature is under development, so please don't blame me if you get lost!

From: Thorpe in BalneTo: Pastures Lodge, Denaby Ings14.6 miles23.5 km58m ascent55m descent
ThumbnailToday's walk starts off with some road walking to Owston Grange, but the roads are quiet enough. If you're using an old map, watch out for a new road bridge over the railway at the complex Joan Croft Junction. The trail used to cross the east coast main line over a level crossing here, but this is now impassable and walkers have to follow the loop road over the bridge. Follow the road to Owston Grange, where the trail heads south through Owston Wood in pleasant rural countryside to Tilts, where we cross Smallholme and Tilts Drain, an artificial waterway built to drain the surrounding flatlands. The Way then avoids Toll Bar on a pleasant track skirting to the north of Bentley Community Woodland, before passing under the busy A19 and heading south on a disused railway. It's pleasant walking, avoiding the nearby town, but then - disaster! The way ahead is blocked, for whatever reason, and the route unavoidably passes through the town of Bentley on probably the most unpleasant section of walking on the entire route. You'll feel a bit daft in your hiking regalia around here. At Bentley Station head straight on, and respite will be found as you reach a disused railway trail again. It's a relief, but the litter and fly tipping around here are a give-away that you're not far from the sort of people who simply cannot respect the countryside and take their litter either home, to a bin or to a dump-it site. The route just about manages to skirt Doncaster to the west, eventually joining the River Don where the scenery improves dramatically. Turn west here, passing under the A1(M) viaduct, which was of course specially built for the Wild Yorkshire Way. You'll notice some contours around here, although you are still in a flat river valley. The next section is delightful, despite the proximity to towns and industry, as we follow the Don to Sprotbrough, where the Boat Inn is a welcome spot for lunch. After lunch, continue along the pleasant banks of the Don, past Sprotbrough Flash nature reserve, to the magnificent Conisbrough viaduct. I'm not a fan of graffiti, but I have to admire the ingenuity of those who managed to spray their initials on its parapet! The path climbs up (yes, a climb, the first one since joining the River Humber at North Ferriby about 65 miles ago!) to the western end of the viaduct before joining a good track above the Don valley to a footbridge over the River Dearne - my home town river. Our target for today, the nature reserve at Denaby Ings, is a short stroll from here. Just up the road towards Mexborough is the Pastures Lodge, where you can get beer, food and accommodation. It's more of a business place than a walkers' place, so wipe your boots and spray your armpits before venturing in, but after a long day it's in a very useful location.
Bus LogoThorpe in Balne: Bentley: Sprotbrough: Conisbrough: MexboroughBeer LogoBoat Inn, Sprotbrough: Pastures Lodge, Mexborough
Train LogoKirk Sandall: Bentley: Doncaster: Conisbrough, MexboroughBed LogoPastures Lodge, Mexborough
Car LogoThorpe in Balne: Owston Grange: Tilts: Bentley: Sprotbrough: Denaby IngsTent Logo
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