RSF - The Off Road Cycling Club

The Adventure Starts Here

RSF Easter Meet Wortley Hall

Saturday Ride:

Wortley Highlights

Wortley 1

Saturday came with weather warnings so we abandoned the ride over Cut Gate and I led a ride I called Wortley Highlights aimed to show off some of the interesting places in the area while keeping off-road as much as possible.  Was it the promise of highlights or just a good off road ride that meant that, after the inevitable photo opp in the formal gardens, I found that I was being followed by another 32 cyclists!!


A logistical challenge but with good-will and co-operation that typifies our members, somehow everyone got round and more importantly got fed; some members even managed to make three cafe stops en route!


Wortley 3Off from the Hall down a lovely lane to take a turning onto an old bridleway, Finkel Street which disappears under the busy A616 and quickly transports you via a steep climb through woodland and past farms with the sound of a woodpecker taking over from the traffic noise.  A quick run along Woodhead Road, now a quiet lane, took us to the start of Greno Woods.  The sight of a couple of armour clad downhillers (one about ten years old!) was evidence that the woods contain plenty of high adrenalin opportunities.  Our bridleway descent was hairy enough for most of us!


Leaving the woods we made our way through Burncross to Charltonbrook which we followed until we came across a clearing with a purpose built bmx track with berms, switchbacks and what not! What the residents made of a dozen or so Rough Stuffers playing on the track I do not know.  What a pity though that there were no children playing there so - a sign of the times?

(If anyone has photos of this lovely moment could they sent them to me and I'll include them)

Wortley 2For a mainly flat ride, the pull up the main road out of Chapeltown proved a bit of a challenge but we all reconvened near the bridge over the motorway, an unpleasant reminder of the sights and sounds of traffic we had mainly avoided so far.  On then along bridleways to the village of Wentworth and a chance for some to grab a morning brew and for others to visit the incredible house of Wentworth Woodhouse and marvel at its impressive frontage, the longest in Britain.

Together again we visited the Eye of the Needle built in the Eighteenth Century by the Earl of Rockingham to win a bet that he could drive his coach and horses through said needle's eye. We could not resit the chance to see how many rough stuffers we could get through!


On down a lovely lane to Elsecar Heritage Centre where after some shuffling we managed to get about half the group sat down and fed while the others followed me to the cafe at the RSPB Visitor Centre at Old Moor.  It was remarked that I had not ever cycled so fast, even overtaking the heritage steam train running alongside us - hunger was my spur, plus the thought than they might have nothing left!


Wortley 4Miraculously reconvening again with a full compliment we sped on along the Trans-Pennine Trail towards Barnsley with only the amount of littering along the trail to spoil a very pleasant ride.  Entering Worsbrough Country Park we stopped a while at the Mill Museum and Cafe to sample one or both, enabling Andy who had suffered an asthma attack to catch up and recuperate.


The route out of the park brought us once again over the M1 where we took the decision to leave Wentworth Castle for another day and took the lane down to Rockley Abbey back under the M1 and then steeply up to Birdwell and thence through Tankersley home along the Timberland Trail where those ahead of the leader missed the opportunity to ride directly up to the hall through the gardens - saving about five minutes!


Rob Newton


Ian Bailey's photos can be viewed on Flickr here:

Some more of mine can be viewed here:

If anyone else has photos from the ride and would like them added to the report, please either send them to me or send me a Flickr link.


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