Where the cat killed the man and the man killed the cat

I have chosen a pleasant stroll around the Dearne Valley along the River Dearne, an ascent up to High Melton and a pleasant stroll across rich agricultural land to Barnburgh Crags.

Length of Walk –– five miles.

Useful Maps for walk –– Explorer 278 & 279. As this is a circular walk you can start where it suits. I suggest a good car park to start is off Church Lane at the sports field which is on the left coming from Barnburgh to Harlington.


1. From the car park turn left down Church Lane until you come to Harlington and turn left through the village. When you come to Mill Lane on your right, turn to the right and follow the Lane down to the River Dearne.

2. When you reach the river turn to the left onto The Trans Pennine Trail and follow the river until you come to where the path divides into two. Take the left fork which takes you up onto the disused railway and follow the path until you come to the road at Denaby Ings nature reserve. Here you turn to the left until you come to the fork in the road, on the corner you will see a public footpath sign. Follow this sign into the field and walk up the field. After crossing the footbridge, continue up the hill to the stiles you come to the road. Turn right and follow the footpath which brings you to the entrance of High Melton College.

3. Turn left and you will see Hangman Stone Lane opposite. After crossing the road carefully proceed down the lane past the houses, keeping to the path until you come to the road. Turn left until you come to a public bridleway sign to your right. Follow this bridleway which takesyou along the side of Barnburgh cliff. After a while the path forks left downhill, follow this to the road and turn left into Barnburgh.

4. Just before you enter into the village on your right you will see a stone walled enclosure, this is known as a pinfold which goes back to the the medieval times. This was built to put in stray animals until they were claimed. The only other one I have seen is in Malham village in North Yorkshire in the grounds of The Y.H.A. Hostel. When you get into the village turn right and make your way across the road carefully towards the church. This is known as the church where the man killed the cat and the cat killed the man, a local folklore legend. From the church take the road to the left just past the bus stop which takes you past the church and down the footpath back to the car park by the sports field. All you need to do is get your boots on rucksack packed and go and enjoy the fresh air, the great views and forget your worries. This is all free and when you come back you feel refreshed and ready to face what life throws at you.