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The Peatlands Way

The Peatlands Way is a 50 mile footpath route designed to link the communities of the Humberhead Peatlands

The walk includes the first permissive paths across the famous Thorne and Hatfield Moors, wildlife sites of national and European importance.

It connects directly with the Trans Pennine Trail at Bramwith and Sykehouse on the New Junction Canal and also with Crowle Regeneration Way, Fishlake Heritage Trail, The Isle of Axholme Greenway, Thorne Round Walk and many other delightful walks.

There are many places to start the walk but why not try the Delves Fishponds in Thorne right opposite the North Station where there is a café, car park & toilets.

Picture The Delves Fishponds © Site Admin
The Delves Fishponds

Results of this years walk »

Places of Interest en route.


Belton is a large village of Axholme, being built on one of the islands rising out of the marshes before the Isle was drained. The spelling of Beltons name has changed little over the centuries, it being Beltone in the Domesday Book.

Nearby is the estate of Temple Belwood which once belonged to the Knights Templar of Balsall. Little now remains of the estate which is bisected by the motorway. Also near Belton is the site of Hirst Priory. This cell of Augustine cannons was annexed to Nostel Priory and valued at £5 10s 1d at the dissolution.


Crowle is the Isle of Axholmes most northerly town. Worth a visit is St Oswalds church containing a 10th century runic stone. Local information is available at the Community Resource Centre and the Regeneration Shop. Around the busy Market Place are pubs, delicatessens and butchers, all offering sandwiches and / or meals. A local bus service connects with Scunthorpe. Little more than a mile south is the smaller community of Ealand, again refreshment possibilities exist at the post office and New Trent Inn. Close by is the rail station for Crowle (hourly trains on weekdays to Thorne, Doncaster and Scunthorpe).


Epworth is a delightful small market town, famous as the birthplace of world Methodism. Following in the footsteps of John Wesley and take the Wesley Trail around the town. You’ll visit St Andrews Church with Samuel Wesleys tomb; the Wesley family home, the Old Rectory now a Museum, the Memorial Methodist Church and the Market cross where John Wesley delivered rousing sermons.

It has a variety of shops and facilities including five pubs, visitor accommodation, a post office and a Farmers Market is held on the third Thursday of each month, an Agricultural Show on August Bank Holiday, the Festival of the Plough is held in mid-September and a Victorian Christmas Market in early December. Visit the Heritage Centre in the Market Place to see displays on the Isle of Axholmes agricultural heritage and the story of the drainage of the Isle.

For further information on Epworths attractions and places to stay contact Brigg Tourist information Centre.


The South Yorkshire village of Fishlake is surrounded by rich, low lying meadows, abundant in wildlife and flower. The fields around the village are criss-crossed by green lanes and drainage ditches. A flood embankment, ideal as a footpath, arcs the village centre which boasts a 12th Century Norman church, two stone crosses, pinfold, manor house, village store and post office, butchers shop and two public houses which serve food - The Hare and Hounds and The Old Anchor. Two old windmills can be seen on the outskirts, and from spring to early winter cattle process to and from their grazing meadows.

Hatfield Woodhouse

The village derives its name from the fact that it was the location of the hunting lodge of the nearby manor of Hatfield when Noblemen and Kings came to hunt game on Hatfield Moors. Now there is a useful store and post office and village pub right on the Peatlands Way.


Haxey is the largest village on the Isle of Axholme and has existed as a settlement from pre-Conquest times. St Nicholas church dates from the11th Century but the building also reflects many later styles of architecture. The surrounding agricultural area was vital to Haxey and from medieval times the production of flax and the textile industry became prominent. In the 1740s a fire destroyed many of the houses and nearby farms.

Haxey is famous for the “Haxey Hood” game, Britains oldest tussle, and takes place each year on 6 January when most of the villagers in Westwoodside and Haxey dress up and compete for the possession of “the Hood” with the victorious team carrying the hood to their favourite public house.

Kirk Bramwith

The focal point of the tiny hamlet of Kirk Bramwith is St Marys church, almost 800 years old. The interior furnishings are all hand carved English Oak, containing some of the finest work of the great yorkshire craftsman, the late Robert Thompson of Kilburn. Thompsons little carved mice, with which he marked his work, can be found on most pieces of furniture. The stained glass windows are worth noting, bearing royal arms of kings and queens of England, showing the churches “royal” connections. A good time to visit the little church is when the snowdrops are in bloom, as they cast a lovely white carpet around this ancient building. The snowdrop Festival takes place annually in February.


A small market town on the banks of the River Don and Stainforth Keadby Canal. The name Stainforth evolved from Stanford a crossing point on the River Don. The settlement is mentioned in the Domesday Book. A mixture of old and new, the town is centred around the river and canal which run parallel for some distance, allowing pleasant walks between the two. Stop at the New Inn on the bank of the Canal, for the fine food and drink or maybe an overnight stay or fine days fishing. Visit the thriving Sunday market, or take a look at the listed buildings in the area.


Thorne has a range of buildings of all age from fine Georgian residences to unspoilt artisans cottages. Behind the Market Place is the Parish Church of St Nicholas, which has a medieval font and many Norman features. Peel Hill Motte, a prominent local feature, is a former motte and bailey castle dating from before 1100. The keep served as a prison before being demolished in the 17th Century.

Buntings Wood is a recently created community woodland near the canal with picturesque Thorne Lock nearby. The town has a long association with ships and boat building and there are several thriving marinas, boat yards and boat builders.

Thorne Memorial Park has a lake suitable for model boats, a miniature steam railway and a bandstand with free brass band concerts on summer Sunday afternoons.

As well as all the shops and services needed by the visitor there is a market four days per week. Try to visit on a Friday when it is particularly busy and colourful.

Leaflets on local walks, woods, moors and historic buildings are available free of charge at the Town Council Offices, Fieldside, Thorne. DN8 4AE or visit the Town Council « website »


The Village of Wroot links with the famous Wesley family, as Samuel was rector here with his son John assisting him for two years as curate. Known as Wroth in the 12th Century the village means “Snout like spur of Land”


The Humberhead Peatlands National Nature Reserve, is a vast area where you can experience wilderness and see rare and beautiful plants, insects, birds and animals form the sundew to fallow deer.

Keep an eye open for …
  • Birds such as the merlin, sparrowhawk and hen harrier. Also on a summer evening you may see or hear nightjars.

  • Plants such as cotton grass, bog rosemary and cranberry.

  • Adders - do not touch!


The old peat workings and ditches contain deep water which together with saturated peat are dangerous so please keep to the paths. You may be lucky enough to see adders, just keep clear of them. Midges and mosquitoes are plentiful during the summer months so take protection.

The Peatlands Way was developed by The Humberhead Green Tourism Forum which was set up in 1999 as a result of the UK-North America Countryside Exchange Scheme in which English Nature was heavily involved. Its aim is to promote tourism in the Humberside Levels area.

The forum comprises representatives of Town and Parish Councils, Local Authorities, Business and Farming, Leisure and Tourism, Nature and Conservation, together with interested individuals.

The Green Tourism Forum is open to anybody with something to offer.

Useful contact numbers:

Natural England Site Manager - 01405 740640
Epworth Tourism Partnership - 01724 297356
Crowle Community Resource Centre - 01724 297509
Brigg Tourist Information Centre - 01625 657053

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