Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cutthroat Bridge, Low Bradfield, Loxley, Malin Bridge, Hillsborough...and Three Reservoirs.

Today's day out walking involved something a bit different; travelling on the tram from Hillsborough to Meadowhall Interchange - a place that probably doesn't get many mentions on Peak District hiking blogs.

I got off to a bad start with the bus being half an hour late to take me to the beginning of the walk at Cutthroat Bridge; a location which got its gruesome name due to a murder four hundred years ago. More recently a body with its throat cut was dumped in the lay-by there about fifteen years ago.

I took the path which goes to the east across open moorland, running parallel with the road I'd just travelled along in the bus. After a few hundred yards the road dips out of sight and it was a lot quieter.

After having a few problems following the route of the footpath through the farmyard at Moscar House I soon reached the road which marked the county boundary - even though there was no sign there. I continued along this road and when I reached the crest of a hill caught my first view of Boot's Tower and Strines Reservoir.



The tower is a folly built by the local landowner in 1927 to provide employment for the estate's stonemasons; I think it actually adds something to the landscape.

I soon left the road, turning left along the route of the Sheffield Country Walk, dropping down into the grounds of Sugworth Hall. The footpath here is quite interesting as it passes through a tunnel which has been hacked through a large, dense thicket of rhododendron bushes; it is very dark in here, but quite magical though...I almost expected to see a fairy sitting on a branch.

It was quite a few minutes until I saw the sunshine again; by now I was in the open field where Booth's Tower is situated, so I walked up to it to have a close-up look.



The next section of the path was through mixed terrain, looking down at first on Strines reservoir and then Dale Dyke Reservoir. Dale Dyke has a tragic history: the current reservoir isn't the original one, an earlier one was constructed, but even before completion it burst its banks, causing the Great Sheffield Flood of 1864 which killed 245 people.

The route down to Low Bradfield, where I stopped for refreshments, was along a country lane. After passing through the village I then walked along the northern shore of Damflask Reservoir; my third reservoir of the day.

Sheffield Sailing Club is based here.



Only a few yards after passing the dam wall I had left the Peak District; I was walking along a minor road at this point and there was no boundary marker.

I turned off the road at the hamlet of Stacey Bank, walking down a steep track towards the River Loxley. The rest of the route of the walk was along the banks of the Loxley, first passing a location called Storrs Bridge, which seemed to consist entirely of derelict factory buildings. Once beyond this point though, the landscape is pleasantly rural all the way to Malin Bridge.



Technically I think I passed through the Parish of Loxley, even though the village is at the top of the hill. Of course, Loxley is famous as supposedly being the birthplace of Robin Hood, known as 'The Earl of Locksley' in the stories.

Another mile or so I was at Malin Bridge and walking through the streets to catch the Meadowhall tram at Hillsborough Interchange. There are plenty of trains going from Meadowhall to Doncaster, and I didn't have to wait long for one.

Wildlife I saw today, without even trying - a rabbit and a grey squirrel.

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