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Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs

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Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs
Author: Penistone Line, Published: 19 Sep 2017 Walk Rating:star1 Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide star1 Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide star1 Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide star1 Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide star0 Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide
South Yorkshire, Sheffield
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide
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0001_sunny Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide Today's weather
11 °C, Clear/sunny, Wind: 7 mph SSE
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0002_sunny_intervals Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide 0006_mist Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide 0001_sunny Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide 0002_sunny_intervals Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide

A 5 mile linear walk from Meadowhall Interchange rail station to Sheffield rail station in South Yorkshire, following a beautiful stretch of the River Don. The river has witnessed enormous change over the last centuries, taking it from rural landscapes to the heart of the steel industry and now providing a wonderful wildlife corridor through the modern city. Along the way you will discover five weirs, plenty of industrial heritage and lots of wildlife too. The return leg can be completed by a simple 5 minute train journey.

The route is almost entirely flat and follows surfaced paths for its entire length. There are no stiles, gates or livestock, but you will need to negotiate a couple of flights of steps plus a few generous staggered barriers. For most of the length of the route you will be sharing the riverside path with cyclists, so take care with children and dogs. There are a few road crossings that need care. One stretch of path is a permissive path which closes daily at 5.30pm, although a short diversion using roads is possible if you are walking later than this. Allow 2.5 hours.

This walk is one of the Penistone Line Collection, published through a collaboration between The Penistone Line Partnership and iFootpath to help visitors discover the beautiful countryside and attractions accessible by train between Huddersfield and Sheffield.

The walk starts at the Meadowhall Interchange station. The station comprises a rail station and bus station, making it ideal for arriving by public transport. The station also has a free park and ride car park if you are arriving by car. Approximate post code S9 1JQ. The return leg is via train, with several trains usually running per hour but please check before you travel.

Walk Sections

Start to Hadfields Weir
Start to Hadfields Weir

Start point: 53.4163 lat, -1.4133 long
End point: 53.4144 lat, -1.414 long

Arriving by car or train, use the raised glass bridge walkway towards the bus station. Do not continue on the second stretch towards the shopping mall itself, instead head down the stairs into the bus station. Leave the bus station via the doors onto the bus exit lane. Cross over the bus exit lane via the zebra crossing and turn left along the pavement to reach the junction with the main road (with the raised glass walkway into Meadowhall visible up to your left).

NOTE: During 2017 there are flood defence works underway along the River Don, meaning there are some temporary diversions in place. Follow whichever of the two options below are open to reach Hadfields Weir.

OPTION 1: Follow the pavement as it turns right along the main road and continue to reach the pedestrian crossing. Turn left across this and go ahead over the green footbridge over the river, Hadfields Bridge. Turn immediately right at the far side and you will pass the Restaurant Quarter of Meadowhall on your left and Hadfields Weir within the river on your right.

OPTION 2: Turn left along the pavement and follow it under the Meadowhall glass walkway to reach the roundabout traffic lights. Turn right across the road at the first set of lights and keep ahead on the pavement which leads you over the river. Follow the pavement as it swings right, now with Meadowhall on your left. The tarmac path leads you between hedgerows to reach a T-junction with a shared walkway and cycleway. Turn left along this, passing the (closed) footbridge, Hadfields Bridge, on your right. You will pass the Restaurant Quarter of Meadowhall on your left and Hadfields Weir within the river on your right.

Hadfields Weir is a pretty spot on the river and an ideal place to understand more about the history of your surroundings. Much of the River Don saw massive changes throughout the 1900s. Up until that time, this area was a rural setting of water mills and farmland before transforming into one of the greatest steel and heavy engineering works in Europe. In the mid-1980s the works were demolished and in 1990 Meadowhall shopping mall opened. The weir here is named after Sir Robert Hadfield (1858-1940) who invented a very hard form of steel called Manganese Steel followed by many other steel alloys. In the early 1900s, he became Sheffield’s largest employer and one the world’s leading metallurgists. The river’s water quality has improved over the last few decades, but there are still reminders of the industrial past. One of the most surprising is the number of fig trees growing along the banks. At one time, raw sewerage was pumped into the River Don and the water temperature was around 20C due to the warm water pumped out of the steel works. This created the perfect conditions for the tropical fig seeds to germinate.

Hadfields Weir to Brightside Weir
Hadfields Weir to Brightside Weir

Start point: 53.4144 lat, -1.414 long
End point: 53.4069 lat, -1.4194 long

Continue on the riverside walkway, passing under a road bridge and then bearing right to continue on the shared walk and cycle way. As you reach a road junction, cross over and turn right along the far pavement, following the cycleway sign and the Five Weirs Walk sign. As you approach the river bridge ahead, bear left passing through the black archway to continue the riverside walk (with the river immediately on your right once again). On the far banks you will be able to see Sheffield Forgemasters.

At the end of this stretch, just before the river bends right, you will arrive at the second weir on this walk, Brightside Weir. You may notice there is a fish pass alongside this weir, a man-made structure that allows migrating fish such as salmon to climb upstream alongside the weir. The River Don was once one of England’s most prolific fisheries, with Atlantic salmon migrating up the river to spawn in its headwaters. Sadly the pollution from sewerage and industry, meant that the fish had largely disappeared by the mid-1800s. Today, the fish are using the river once again.

Brightside Weir to River Crossing
Brightside Weir to River Crossing

Start point: 53.4069 lat, -1.4194 long
End point: 53.4022 lat, -1.4261 long

Beyond the weir, continue on the walkway and emerge via another black arch to reach a junction with a road. Turn right along the pavement, passing through the modern industrial buildings and then passing the opposite side of Sheffield Forgemasters as you approach the traffic lights. At the lights, stay with the pavement as it turns right and cross over an old access road. At the first roundabout, go ahead (crossing another access road which heads off to your right) and then cross over a pub access road and keep ahead to a second roundabout.

Use the two pedestrian crossings ahead and then turn right along the far pavement, following the Five Weirs Walk sign. Cross over the side road, Bold Street, and then fork slightly left (about 11 o’clock) down the tarmac slope to reach the riverside. Turn left to follow the riverside path and after just 100 metres, turn left up the steps to the footbridge and turn right to cross this.

River Crossing to Sanderson's Weir
River Crossing to Sanderson's Weir

Start point: 53.4022 lat, -1.4261 long
End point: 53.396 lat, -1.441 long

At the far side, turn left and continue with the river now on your left. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife on the far banks on this stretch. You will emerge to New Hall Road, at the red and silver road bridge. Turn left to cross the bridge and then cross over the road to turn right, rejoining the riverside path through the black archway.

Continue on your riverside journey with the river running on your right. This stretch of the river once passed through the Hecla steelworks, the first plant to manufacture Hadfield’s Manganese Steel. Cross over the next road, Stevenson Road, and continue directly ahead on the riverside path, soon passing under an old arched bridge.

Soon after this bridge, you will pass a large circular steel disc on your left, an ideal spot to perch and enjoy the river views. Continue on the riverside path and soon you will pass the third weir on this walk, Sanderson’s Weir. The weir was built to power two iron forges, probably in the 1580s on the orders of Lord of the Manor the Sixth Earl of Shrewsbury, most famous for being the jailor of Mary Queen of Scots.

Sanderson's Weir to Burton Weir
Sanderson's Weir to Burton Weir

Start point: 53.396 lat, -1.441 long
End point: 53.3894 lat, -1.448 long

Beyond Sanderson’s weir, the path emerges to a junction with East Coast Road. Cross over to the far pavement, turn right along this to cross the river and then turn left through the old stone gateposts to continue on the riverside path (with the river on your left). Pass through the open gate to join the permissive stretch of the walk. (This stretch of path closes daily at 5.30pm, although a diversion via roads is published on the gates if needed).

Pass through the next gateway to exit the permissive section and a few paces later you will reach a fork. Take the left-hand branch, staying alongside the river and passing under an arched stone bridge. Further along, your path enters trees and you will pass the local nature reserve, Salmon Pastures, on your right. Your path becomes a raised concrete walkway with old brick industrial buildings running on your right. This walkway leads you past the fourth weir on our walk, Burton Weir.

Burton Weir to Walk Mill Weir
Burton Weir to Walk Mill Weir

Start point: 53.3894 lat, -1.448 long
End point: 53.3883 lat, -1.4568 long

Standing alongside the weir, follow the concrete path as it swings sharp right between buildings and emerging to the road via a black arch. Turn left along the pavement and continue to the road junction. Use the pedestrian crossing to cross Leveson Street and take the left-hand of the two large bridge arches ahead. As the pavement splits, take the left-hand branch which leads you under the next black arch to continue on the Five Weirs Walk.

Continue through the beautiful tunnel of black arches, with the river running on your left. The walkway leads you over the river via the Sheffield Bailey Bridge, which has its own fascinating story. Bailey Bridges were developed by Sir Donald Bailey, who was born in Rotherham and trained as a civil engineer at the University of Sheffield. This bridge dates from 1945 and is believed to have been used in the D-Day landings in Normandy, before travelling the world with the British Army. It has now found the perfect home here in Sheffield, to commemorate its inventor.

At the far side of the bridge, turn right along the roadside pavement with the river running on your right. This stretch of pavement leads you past the fifth and final weir on the walk, Walk Mill Weir.

Walk Mill Weir to End
Walk Mill Weir to End

Start point: 53.3883 lat, -1.4568 long
End point: 53.3784 lat, -1.4632 long

Beyond the weir, and immediately before you reach the stone bridge ahead, turn right along Sussex Street. At the end of the road, join the suspended walkway which leads you under the rail bridge and over the river. Don’t forget to look up to see the spooky light sculptures, a nod to the fact that this suspended walkway is called Cobweb Bridge.

At the far side, turn left to continue on the riverside path, with the river on your left. Follow this path passing under three bridges and taking time to enjoy the reclaimed river artefact towers that are stacked within the river on your left. You will emerge to a junction at a road. Turn left over the bridge and keep ahead to pass a large hotel on your left. At this point, use the two pedestrian crossings to turn right over the dual carriageway. At the far side, turn left to join the pavement (signed as the Cycle Ring Route towards the rail station).

Cross over a small access road and then use another two pedestrian crossings ahead to cross the large side road, passing under the tram line to reach the sports centre in front of you. Turn left to continue on the Cycle Ring Route, passing the sports centre on your right. Now simply keep straight ahead, crossing two further side roads, and you will come to Sheffield rail station on your left. From here you can use a stretch of the Penistone Line to catch the train back to Meadowhall Interchange where the walk began.

Remember...the best way of following our walking guides is to use the iFootpath App (iOS and Android) where you will have all the information in the palm of your hand and see your exact location on the live map as you travel. You can also add comments, photos, ratings and track your own routes.

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network Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by iFootpath and the author Penistone and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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9 Gallery Images for: "Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs"

9049_0Richard1505845575 Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 19 Sep 2017
Look out for the fig trees growing along the banks.
9049_0Richard1505845822 Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 19 Sep 2017
Look out for the fish pass alongside this weir, a man-made structure that allows migrating fish such as salmon to climb upstream alongside the weir.
9049_0Richard1505846191 Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 19 Sep 2017
An example of the austere industrial buildings along the River Don.
9049_1Richard1505846191 Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 19 Sep 2017
You will be sharing the paths with other walkers, cyclists and joggers.
9049_0Richard1505846814 Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 19 Sep 2017
Sanderson's Weir was built to power two iron forges, probably in the 1580s.
9049_1Richard1505846814 Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 19 Sep 2017
Burton Weir with Norfolk Bridge and Midland Railway Viaduct.
9049_0Richard1505847406 Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 19 Sep 2017
Walk Mill Weir
9049_1Richard1505847426 Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 19 Sep 2017
The reclaimed river artefact towers that are stacked within the river
9049_2Richard1505847426 Penistone Line: Sheffield Five Weirs Walking Guide Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 19 Sep 2017
Approaching the city centre.

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