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Sally Outram

Castle & Canal

A wonderful circular route exploring Thorpe Salvin, by travel writer and photojournalist Sally Outram.
 |  Made  |  Walks

Thorpe Salvin is a pretty village which lies between Worksop and Harthill in South Yorkshire. The village is steeped in history and takes its name from Knight Ralph Salvin, who owned the village in 1284. Earlier mentions of the settlement in the Domesday book was referred to as Rynkenild Thorp, and remains of a Roman road were found to the West of the village, which is now known as Packman Lane, and by 1339 the village was known as Thorp Salvain.


The village boasts the spectacular ruins of Thorpe Hall, which was constructed in 1570 by the English architect Robert Smythson, who designed many notable houses during the Elizabethan era, including Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire, Doddington Hall, in Lincolnshire and Worksop Manor Lodge in North Nottinghamshire. He was also instrumental in the design and surveying of Wollaton Hall in Nottingham. Built on the site of an earlier Manor, the hall was said to be the inspiration for ‘Torquilstone’ castle from Sir Walter Scott’s romantic historical novel ‘Ivanhoe.’ Over the years the house fell into decline and was partially demolished in the 1820s, leaving the remains as we see them to this day. The hall is privately owned and can be clearly seen from the village, the church, and for miles around. It is a real treat!

St. Peters Church is such an Interesting little building which dates back to 1130. The wonderful Tudor porch shields the stunning ancient doorway, which is adorned with intricate stonework ‘tympanum,’ the semi-circular decoration above the door. Inside there is magnificent Norman font with incredible carving in the stonework representing the seasons, extraordinary artisanry, beyond the usual stone masonry found on other fronts. There is also a chained bible which dates back to 1621, and for some reason is known as ‘Bills Bible’. Look out for the medieval windows on the north wall, as they originally came from Worksop Priory, after the dissolution of the priory in 1539. The windows were restored in around 1840. The church yard is a haven for wildlife, and many of the stones bear unusual carvings with mysterious sculpted faces. There is a magnificent view of the ruined hall from here too!

This ‘all season’ walk is blessed with wonderful viewpoints, including the tranquil beauty of the Chesterfield canal as it meanders through the charming countryside, which is guaranteed to offer the chance of some peaceful contemplation. Waterways are a wonderful place to unwind and get back to nature, and are bursting with wildlife, flora, and fauna. This stretch has an impressive number of locks too; Top Treble Lock is a staircase of three locks, if you are lucky you may get to see this incredible piece of engineering in action! It really is a lovely spot and would be a fantastic location for a picnic, or to warm up with a flask of hot tea!

Bordering Thorpe Salvin is Netherthorpe airfield, which is now operated by Sheffield Aero Club. The airfield began by offering facilities for private pilots in the 1930s, using their own aircraft. In 1940 the RAF arrived on the site and many secret missions were conducted from this base during the second world war. The flying club today offers a variety of airborne experiences, from pilot training to acrobatics and has a bar and restaurant on site, which is open to the public.

The perfect end to this great little walk is a visit to the local village pub, The Parish Oven, it is family friendly and accept well behaved dogs too!

Happy rambling!


  1. We begin this delightful little walk at the Parish Oven pub, with your back to the carpark, turn left and proceed out of the village along the footpath, following the main Worksop Road. After a short distance, the path ends, so use caution walking along this next stretch.
  2. Continue along passing a grassed area and a recreational field and walk along the roadside until you reach the end of the village.
    When you reach the national speed limit signs you will see a small kissing gate to your left and the pathway which is signposted.
  3. Proceed through the gate and follow the field edge track which is next to ancient woodland known as Old Meadow Woods. Continue along until you reach another kissing gate at the corner of the field.
  4. Go through the gate and proceed along the hedge lined path for a short distance, then you will see some steps which lead on to a metal gate, follow the track which runs by the canal and continue along until you reach woodland (Hawkes Wood).
  5. Remain on the track and proceed along until you reach a waymarked intersection of paths. Turn right and follow the woodland edge track. Look out for the striking ruins of the Elizabethan manor house Thorpe Hall.
  6. Continue along the woodland path until you reach a signpost directional down to the right. Follow the path right along a slight descent until you reach a bridge over the canal, cross over and join the towpath, keeping the canal to your right.
  7. Walk along the towpath, you will reach a low bridge. Go under the bridge and continue along passing by the weir and crossing over the railed walkway proceeding along until you reach Top Treble Lock, the perfect spot for a flask of tea!
  8. Next, walk under the bridge, and go up the steps and cross over the canal to reach the woodland on the opposite side. You will see a path, turn right along the track, and continue through the woods, following the direction of the canal until the path veers away and out of the woods.
  9. Once out of the woods turn right and follow the track, you will pass a water works depot and eventually reach the steps near the metal gate at the beginning of the walk.
  10. Walk back up the steps and retrace your route back to the pub.

The basics

Distance: 3.2 miles
Severity: Easy.
Gradient: Mostly flat.
Approx time: 2 hours at a leisurely pace.
Stiles: None.
Maps: OS Explorer 279 Doncaster.
Path: Towpath, tracks, woodland,
Description: footpath.
Start Point: Infront of the Parish Oven pub.
Refreshments: Parish Oven pub.


All imagery courtesy of Sally Outram.