The River Went flows eastwards from near Featherstone to join the River Don south of Snaith.
It carves a particularly lovely course through a valley between the villages of Wentbridge and Kirk Smeaton, where the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s Brockadale Nature Reserve is located. The route runs beneath the Wentbridge Viaduct carrying the A1, which was one of the largest such structures when built in 1961. Most of the route is easy walking but there is a steep flight of 155 steps to negotiate next to the viaduct. In Brockadale look out for bee and common-spotted orchids, common blue and brimstone butterflies, Kingfishers along the river and treecreepers in woodland.
1. From the bridge in Wentbridge walk north for a short distance and turn right into a cul de sac named Jackson’s Lane. Past the church keep to the left of a house, and further on look for a footpath on the right into woodland. Descend to a track, turn left and walk beneath the A1.
2. On the other side of the viaduct take a flight of steps on the left. This leads to the east side of the A1. From the busy road turn right on a farm access track. Follow it towards Timber Tops. Pass a house on the right and enter Brockadale Nature Reserve.
3. The path eventually descends to a boardwalk and footbridge over the River Went. Don’t cross it but continue up to the left and go through a gate. The path from here is infallible to the hamlet of Little Smeaton.
4. Past an old chapel, now a house, join the road and take a sharp right turn to pass a telephone box, descend to the river, cross the bridge and take a stile on the right. Follow the footpath round the edge of the church to emerge on Kirk Smeaton’s Main Street.
5. From the church walk west along Main Street, passing the Shoulder of Mutton pub. On the bend turn right onto a footpath which soon goes left and continues on a fairly straight course above the River Went. Re-entering Brockadale Nature Reserve the path eventually descends to the river. Beyond the A1 viaduct it rises to a stile and a path leading back into Wentbridge.
Difficulty Rating: 3 stars
Time: 2 1/2 hours
Distance: 5 miles
Maps: OS Landranger Sheet(1:50000) 111 Sheffield & Doncaster; or OS Explorer Sheets (1:25000) 278 Sheffield & Barnsley and 279 Doncaster
Parking: Responsible street parking Wentbridge.
Public transport: Wentbridge is on the 408 Pontefract-Doncaster bus route. Pontefract and Doncaster are served by trains from Leeds. Doncaster is also served by trains from York and Sheffield.
Refreshments: Wentbridge, Kirk Smeaton.
Toilets: For refreshment customers.