Wednesday, May 09, 2007

bank holiday iv - a new hope

There's a walk called the sheffield round walk. I had heard of it. Where does it start? and where does it go? Interested cos i like sheffield and i wanted a chance to explore some more of the city. Searched the internet and discovered that it wasn't a very round walk when it was first conceived 80 odd years ago, but it has subsequently been 'joined up'. Found the route guide at the millenium galleries on saturday and had it in my mind to try the walk on monday. Weather forecast was pretty poor - rain all day.

woke up on monday - sunlight and wind shaking my window causing me to stir - too early. Tried to sleep again - too light. Read some. Fell asleep. Awoke with my alarm and read some more. And just to the end of the chapter for good measure. Hey - it's not raining, i'll do that walk.

The walk

Drove to hunter's bar (arctic monkeys - fake tales of sanfransisco) and began the walk in endcliffe park. It was quite busy, joggers, dog walkers, kids on bicycles. Fairly straightforward walk alongside the river porter. The river was followed up and up, past forge dam (pulp - the wicker man) and into a wooded area. Fewer people now, and although i'm still in the city limits the only sound is that of birdsong. Followed the river up through porter clough and out at ringinglow by the alpaca farm. Crossed over by the round house and took a path down limb valley, negotiated some cows that seemed as nervous of me as I of them. Remembered my walk by lake niavasha in kenya when i stumpled upon a herd of buffalo. Followed the path into yet another wooded area, used to supply fuel to kilns involved in lead smelting years ago. Never been here before and it was really nice, there were bluebells everywhere. Eventually came out at eccleshall road, amazed to hit civilisation again. Crossed over the road across a playing field and up into eccleshall woods. Another place I've never been, one of englands largest areas of ancient woodland in an urban area. It's a hive of footpaths criss-crossing and again loads of bluebells. Arriving at abbeydale road, pass dore station, crossing the river sheath, and up into ladies spring wood, steep uphill climb. Another ancient woodland, previously a coppice supplying wood for burning. On and on, past beauchief golf course and over to meadowhead. Into Graves park, another area of greenery bestowed upon the town by one of it's famous philantropists. There was some kind of may day event on that appeared to be very busy. Onto the last stretch of the walk, and probably the least walked, heading back towards the city centre. Down through gleadless valley, past bishops house and into meersbrook park. There are some stunning views across the city centre from here. Through the park and into the edge of sharrow/nether edge. Interesting urban demographics here, through highly asian populations, walking up the hill to the more affluent area of the city, skirting brincliffe edge and coming out in the centre of nether edge, with it's mansions - even passing a house with a tennis court! From mansions, down into student digs and back to hunters bar. I don't quite know the distance but i'm sure that's far - i'm sure that's pretty far. Well about 14 mile if the guide is to be believed. Took me about 5 hours with 30min for lunch, though i was sure i was walking faster. The latter part of the journey was fairly difficult to navigate. It's well worth doing - it's amazing the tranquil places nestled in this city.

More pics in my sheffield flickr set

1 comment:

Joey's Dream Garden said...

Hiya! I found your bit about doing the round walk very interesting. I've just done most of it today, plus a bit extra from our house on City Road so that's 45 mins to Endcliffe Wood Park. We didn't do the whole thing, sort of after Graves Park, we cut across to Norfolk park because we'd started at 5am and were very tired, got home at 1pm!

It's nice isn't it but I do prefer the "first" bit through the Porter and Limb valleys. The other bits seem to involve too much road and golf course. I don't know about you but its meant that i've seen lots of places that I wouldn't have otherwise, and seen a LOT of robins and blackbirds!

Cheers for the nice blog.