Written by Carol Burkinshaw, Walks for all Ages South Yorkshire features 20 circular walks of up to six miles, suitable for all the family, that have been carefully chosen to deliver an enjoyable day or half day in the countryside.
Describing the local area at the start of each walk, Carol then provides a detailed description of the walk with snippets of information as you go along.
Including Ordnance Survey mapping and superbly priced at just £5.99, Walks for all Ages - 20 Circular Walks in South Yorkshire is the perfect accompaniment for a stroll in the area.
Created in 1974, South Yorkshire is a metropolitan county consisting of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and the city of Sheffield. It’s a region that’s proud of its industrial heritage, yet is home to a diverse spectrum of scenery ranging from the hilly and remote Peak District in the west to the eastern low-lying Humberhead Levels.
In localities associated with past traditional employers the fledgling phoenix has swiftly risen from the ashes to reconnect with the landscape and forge a new personality. Hives of human activity have been replaced by wild tenants and the green ‘growth industries’ are country parks, nature reserves and multi-user trails along former waterway and rail transport corridors complemented, and even enhanced, by the surviving remains of industrial architecture.
Whilst these post-industrial areas are mere pockets of the overall South Yorkshire country suit, so significant are the links between their intimate landscapes and past activities that in 2014 the heart of the county was raised onto the international stage as a cog in the machinery of the European Route of Industrial Heritage. Nestled in a triangle between Sheffield, Barnsley and West Yorkshire’s Huddersfield, Makers, Miners and Money was one of the first designated themed Regional Routes of this modern-day Grand Tour – the cradle of a new revolution.
Sheffield, the UK’s fifth-largest city, is one of only two English cities set within a national park boundary. By area, a third of Sheffield has a footprint in the Peak District along its wild and undulating western fringe, studded with five chains of reservoirs – its ‘Golden Frame’.
Shaped by rivers, the city is stamped with the renowned ‘Made in Sheffield’ metal trades hallmark. From the Middle Ages, fast-flowing watercourses, steep-sided leafy valleys and the availability of raw materials along the upper section of the Don – the town’s principal river – and its four western tributaries – Loxley, Porter, Rivelin and Sheaf – provided perfect conditions for the development of small-scale metalworking industries. These rural valleys became synonymous with cutlery manufacture where craftsmen – ‘Little Mesters’ – would specialise in one step of production, such as forging, grinding or finishing.
No other place in Britain had the same concentration of water-powered sites. Astonishingly, at one time the Porter and Rivelin both supported twenty mills within the space of a few miles. During the 19th century, as technology progressed towards mass-production factories requiring good communications, metal bashing was transferred from the city’s western valleys to its flat Lower Don Valley. Here in the East End mighty steel giants, with heroic names, such as Cyclops and Pluto, became synonymous with Sheffield’s ‘Steel City’ image.
Moving east across the county it was Old King Coal’s ‘black diamonds’ that fuelled industrial expansion, deepened the pockets of those that dug below the crust of their country pile and put a few crumbs on the table for the dirty hands of the close-knit communities that toiled in a subterranean world.
The aristocratic powerhouses that exploited the rich layers of minerals – coal and ironstone – on their estates and accumulated the wealth, representing the ‘Money’ in the Makers, Miners and Money route, have their own fascinating stories to tell. Landed gentry, such as the Fitzwilliams at Wentworth Woodhouse and the Spencer-Stanhopes at Cannon Hall, have not only left their mark on history, but their former estates provide wonderful walking opportunities.
And now the coal dust has settled South Yorkshire can once again blow its colliery brass band trumpet loud and proud – inspiring ‘undiscovered’ landscapes, wildlife galore and rich seams of heritage. Just perfect for all the family.
Walk 01 (Sheffield) Bradfield Dale 4½ miles
Walk 02 (Sheffield) Lower Porter Valley 4½ miles
Walk 03 (Sheffield) Rivelin Valley 5 miles
Walk 04 (Sheffield) The Sheffield and Tinsley Canal 4 miles
Walk 05 (Sheffield) Bolsterstone and Whitwell Moor 4 miles
Walk 06 (Sheffield) Redmires Reservoirs 5 miles
Walk 07 (Sheffield) Shire Brook Valley 2¾ miles
Walk 08 (Sheffield) Graves Park 1½ miles
Walk 09 (Barnsley) Elsecar 4½ miles
Walk 10 (Barnsley) Langsett Reservoir 3½ miles
Walk 11 (Barnsley) Worsbrough Country Park 2¼ miles
Walk 12 (Barnsley) Cannon Hall 2¼ miles
Walk 13 (Barnsley) Thurgoland 3½ miles
Walk 14 (Barnsley) Wentworth 6 miles
Walk 15 (Rotherham) Lindrick Dale 5 miles
Walk 16 (Rotherham) Laughton-en-le-Morthern 5 miles
Walk 17 (Rotherham) Kiveton Community Woodland 6 miles
Walk 18 (Rotherham) Rother Valley Country Park 3½ miles
Walk 19 (Doncaster) Conisbrough Castle 3 miles
Walk 20 (Doncaster) Sprotbrough 3¾ miles
Released: Autumn 2017
Region: South Yorkshire
Size: 220 x 120mm
Author: Carol Burkinshaw