Hedgerow flowers, hops and a quiz (30th May 2024)

Twenty one walkers met in The Hyde Park Inn car park on a blustery Thursday evening. Peter, our walk leader gave us an overview of the route and told us about any hazards that we might come across. We crossed over the By-Pass and turned right down Cowley Lane but after a short distance, took a path on the right leading to Howgarth Rise and then onto the footpath that runs along the perimeter of the estate, overlooking Gainsborough Road and Gosforth Drive. This stretch of the walk fulfilled the “Hedgerow flowers” part of the walk description. There were definitely buttercups and I think that Graham mentioned Stitchwort.

After wending our way through the estate we passed through Kitchen Wood, crossed over Cowley Lane, reaching Cartledge by the junction of Cartledge Lane and Millthorpe Lane. We walked past the impressive Cartledge Hall and followed a section of the Dronfield Road Walk for a while.

On our return leg of the walk, we crossed back over Cowley Lane, close to Cowley Hall farm, enjoying glorious views along the way, eventually re-joining the first part of the walk at Teletubby Land. We then re-traced our steps back to The Hyde Park Inn. At this point I asked myself, where were the rolling fields of hops mentioned in the walks title. I know this area isn’t noted for this crop but I lived in hope. Luckily, the mystery was solved a few moments later. The hops were in the beer that we enjoyed in The Hyde Park afterwards.

Almost forgot. We were a little late to take part in the quiz but tried our best to answer the questions in our own heads. Although enjoyable I think it is safe to say that we wouldn’t have troubled the locals on this occassion.