By Steve Hull
East Cheshire Ramblers recently spent a day walking part of the Sheffield Round Walk. The walk does not circumnavigate the whole of the city but is a loop through parkland and countryside south and west of the city. Starting amongst the park runners in Endcliffe Park we soon came to the Shepherd Wheel further up the valley of the Porter Brook which is open to visitors and working on most Saturdays.
The walk rises gradually and becomes wilder as it ascends past Forge Dam up through Porter Clough to the edge of moorland at Ringinglow with its alpaca farm. We then went down through fields and woodland and spent some time looking round Whinfell Quarry Gardens which is being restored by volunteers to its former state as the garden of a large house which is now demolished.
Returning to the route of the round walk we walked through Eccleshall Woods past a miniature railway which was unfortunately not open to reach the one steep climb of the day up the wooded slopes above the Dore and Totley Station. This brought us to Beauchief Abbey. The exact date the Abbey was founded is uncertain but it is thought that it existed prior to 1172AD. During its heyday the Abbey housed around 12 to 15 canons and several lay brothers. Farming and iron smelting was the main occupation and like most other abbeys, it was dissolved in 1537. Today, only the western tower of the abbey is left standing.
Leaving the Abbey some country lanes were followed before passing through woods leading to Graves Park where we enjoyed tea in the café.
The final part of our route took us down the Gleadless valley to the Bishops’ House, which was just closing as we reached it. After seeing some panoramic views of Sheffield from Meersbrook Park, we caught buses back to our starting point.