A good turnout on a very windy and at times wet day, although the sun did occasionally appear to light up the remaining leaves in the oak, birch and larch trees. 13 of us dragged (or dragoned!) ourselves from Deepcar up onto Wharncliffe Edge, following it to its end at Wharncliffe Lodge.
On the way we passed the Dragon’s den and some went to investigate. The Dragon was not at home but Ali gave Hugh a big shock by jumping out of it. From the Lodge it was STEEPLY downhill all the way to the River Don and Manchester Road, with views up the Ewden valley as we went. After crossing the road we were soon in Bitholmes Wood walking up an ancient pack horse trail. After passing a great viewpoint with views down the Don towards Sheffield. Lunch was taken besides the impressive sculpture of the Dragon of Wantley created by Mark Bell and John Alston. A steep pull up through woodland provided another great viewpoint with Wharncliffe crags to the east and extensive views northwards. The next stop was Allman Well, incongruously set on Stocksbridge Golf Course. This was the supposed site of the battle between the knight, Sir George More, and the dragon. From here it was downhill again through the streets of Deepcar to our starting point. Much of the walk was through woodland, some owned by the Woodland Trust and we passed through or beside several nature reserves. Somewhere a bit different!
Old stories tell how Hercules
A dragon slew at Lerna
With seven heads and fourteen eyes
To see and well discern-a:
But he had a club, this dragon to drub,
Or he ne’er had done it, I warrant ye:
But More of More-hall, with nothing at all
He slew the dragon of Wantley