This walk begins with a pleasant stroll through Cliffe Wood, before entering the wilder environs of Bilham Shrogg. A steady climb rambles through the mixed woodland of Hoyland Bank from where wonderful views make up for the effort. The return descent skirts Clayton Hall Farm, before passing through the more refined atmosphere of The Park, now called Kaye’s Millennium Green.
You will see a strangely motionless sitting cow and an avenue of horse chestnut and beech trees
TURN right down the hill from the Commercial pub in Clayton West and cross High Street to take Church Lane on the left.
Walk along the lane passing All Saints’ Parish Church Lane on the left. Walk along the lane passing the parish church and the Pentecostal Chapel until the United Reformed Church is reached.
Turn left here and climb Cliffe Street to Cliffe Wood. Enter the woods through large gateposts to a small car park, where the trunk of an old tree has been turned into a sculpture.
Keep to the top path through the woods to join a track. Turn left up the track to the road (Upper Common Lane).
Turn left and then take the right fork at the small triangular green before the road junction. Walk up the hill to the bend in Bank End Lane, where a small farm track leads off to the left. Almost immediately, turn left again at the footpath sign and climb over the stile.
Walk straight down the field to a stile on the left of a large solitary oak tree. Follow the next field with the hedge on the left to another stile.
Go through the stile and follow the boundary to a gateway slightly to the right, beside an electricity pole.
Go through the gate and turn right, down the field with the hedge on the immediate right. Climb a stile in the corner of the field and walk down a narrow path beside some allotments, to a stile.
Turn right, keeping the boundary wall of the woodland to the immediate left. At the corner of the wood strike out directly ahead and aim up the hill to the top left-hand corner of the field.
The tower of High Hoyland church can be seen from this path. Climb a stile and follow the boundary fence to the left.
Follow the boundary fence as it curves round to the left to a stile in the corner of the field. Climb the stile into the next field and follow the field edge with the woodland to the left. Game birds are reared in these woods.
Climb the next stile and continue along the field edge to another stile in the field corner. Climb this stile to enter the wood. Follow the path uphill through stands of mature beech trees to a fence and climb the stile into a field.
Bear left across this narrow field and up the bank to a stile. Climb the stile and turn left on to a track. This track, which is a public bridleway, follows the top of Hoyland Bank wood to High Hoyland Church.
This ancient track lies between tumbled- down stone walls, with historic buildings in the foreground and splendid views beyond towards Barnsley.
The lane ends at Litherop Road. Turn left along the road to the church. Just beyond the church, take the path on the left down the steps and steep bank to a track within the woodland.
Cross the next track and continue down through the light airy woods. At the bottom of the wood, go through a gate into open fields.
Keep the field boundary on the left and walk down through three fields, passing a small pond, towards Clayton Hall Farm.
At the farm track turn left into a field via a stile. With the hedge on the right, walk along the path to the next stile on the right. Clayton West is now ahead and the River Dearne in the valley below.
Aim directly for Emley Mast and climb over the stile and cross first one field then another to a hedge. Just as the hedge begins to drop down to the right, climb a stile between two trees. There are great views from here over the village.
Walk down the left-hand side of the field and cross a stream lined with crack willow. Keep to the left side of the field, until a stile is reached. Climb the stile and cross the field, before entering The Park via another stile.
Keep straight ahead, aiming for the strangely motionless sitting cow, and cross directly beneath the avenues of horse chestnut and beech trees to the metal gate. The path leads out on to High Street with the Commercial Inn a few metres up the road to the left.
The cow is an amusing sculpture, watching passively over a circular inscription on the ground that charts the history of Clayton West and was installed as part of the Kaye’s Millennium Green project for 2000.