Sunday, 2 April 2017
I'm still revelling in the delight of being able to hop out of bed of a morning and go off on an expedition, on those days when suddenly the weather perks up and the sun shines. No more bemoaning the fact that I'm stuck in an office! On one such beautiful early spring day, I decided to drive south beyond Wakefield to Newmillerdam, about 25 miles away, which has been on my list to visit for a while. It's a small country park with a large lake (mill dam) and provides a lovely circular walk of about 5 miles, also taking in an interesting area of woodland and heath known as Seckar Wood.
The main road now crosses the dam, as you can see in the photo below. The building on the left with the pitched roof is, I believe, the old water-powered corn mill, dating back to the 1820s, though a corn mill has stood here since the 13th century. The mill was in use until 1960 and then became a restaurant. It is now a beauty salon and spa.
The village by the dam is an interesting hotch-potch of old buildings, interspersed with newer builds, climbing up a hillside. It provides useful amenities for the many visitors to the park - pubs, tearooms and an ice cream van. On such a sunny day, it was rather busy, with people taking advantage of one of the first days this year when it was feasible to sit outside with a drink.
Once inside the country park, the broad path skirts the lake and tranquillity is soon found. A few dog walkers, joggers and families out for a stroll, the occasional fisherman, lots of ducks, swans and other water birds but a general air of peace. Lovely.