Walk Diary Sunday 25 February 2018 Weather, 3°C. Sunny.
Bonsall Depart 10 a.m. 8 ¾ miles Leader: David d.
No. on walk 17
A good turnout on a beautiful day, although very cold, we were fortunate in that good over night frosts had firmed the usually soggy ground and the Siberian winds had dried out the most stubborn of muddy patches. Clear air meant that we had some super views as we climbed, more than once, to some of the higher spots. The mileage was shorter than advertised, as due to the weather, I had to do the recce’ in bits and thought I had over done it, so along the way, I took a few short cuts, resulting in me undercutting it, if I’d left well alone it would have probably been just right.
Some moans and groans could be heard as we set off almost at once to a strong climb up to Bonsall’s parish church of St. James the Apostle, passing it by west to east. We gained Church Lane and walked it down to the village cross, pictured, it dates back to the middle ages, although the ball on top was put there in 1670.
From the cross we headed up a walled path with many small steps to Uppertown, a small suburb on the outskirts of the village. After passing by Bromlea Farm, we walked the extent of Moor Lane, then to walk Blakemere Lane and after crossing Bonsallmoor Lane, we took the next path on the right. It was on this path we stopped in a good viewing position for our first break, a wall to the rear for protection against the biting wind. To the fore was Minninglow Hill, which appeared to be closer than it really was, behind us was a Motocross track, riders revving their bikes for all they were worth.
For the next mile we walked to Wyn’s Tor, a rocky outcrop above the former mining village of Winster, you can see from this how the village came to be named. Lead Mining, in one form or another has been carried out here since Roman times. We joined the Limestone Way for some way, turning off it below Westhill Farm. It was here whilst still on the ‘Way’ that we stopped for our lunch, bathed in sunshine and sheltered, again by a wall at our backs. It was such a good a spot that I allowed them an extra five minutes!!
We continued on, north easterly to cross over two roads, the last being Elton Road. After passing through a small wood we climbed back, north, to Winster via a hilly field path entering onto the main street just east of the parish church. We walked along the busy village street as far as the National Trust’s preserved 16c. Market Hall and turned uphill to stop outside the historic Bowling Green pub, the forerunners of the present building being built in the 15c. Just near to the pub the parish council has seen fit to build some excellent public conveniences, which we made good use of, making a small deposit (coinage that is) in the honesty box on the outside wall.
We walked to the south end of the village taking the path to another local land mark, Luntor Rocks, to rejoin the Limestone Way which we followed almost all the way back, turning away from it, just before reaching Bromlea Farm, heading instead to Town head. From here we followed the village roads back to the car park, after which, some of us made our way, as usual, to enjoy the fare of the Fountain cafe.