Winter is right around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get outdoors. There’s nothing quite like wrapping up for a crisp winter walk – so get your hat, scarf and gloves on, and travel to Sheffield this wintertime.
The English countryside is especially dramatic in winter and Sheffield’s proximity to the Peak District makes the city a fantastic place to explore it from. When the hills are blanketed in snow and a touch of frost carpets the moors, there is an enchanting atmosphere in the air. Alongside pretty parks, welcoming woodlands and a thriving city, walks in Sheffield are some of the best in the UK.
From the hills of the Peak District to the streams of the woodlands, here are four warming walks you can take straight from Sheffield train station this winter. Take advantage of great prices when you book an Advance Ticket with CrossCountry.
Sheffield City Walk
Best for: those short on time
Distance 2.8 miles/4.6 km
Typical duration 1 hour
Start and finish Sheffield Cathedral
Start postcode S1 1HA
If you’re visiting Sheffield for the day and would like a short walk to explore your surroundings, this walk is for you. From its ancient cathedral to its woodlands and industrial heritage zone, the City Walk offers a glimpse into Sheffield’s past. On a winter’s day, pubs around the city welcome you in from the cold with a roaring fire, and, if you visit in December, you might just catch a Christmas market in town.
Start the walk at the cathedral in the centre of town and head along the River Don to Kelham Island and past the Kelham Island Museum. Pop into the museum to learn about life during the industrial revolution (and for a break from the cold), and then keep an eye out for ducks and kingfishers as you follow the path of the river.
Once you’ve had a glimpse into parts of the city’s industrial heritage, you loop back onto much quieter woodland paths to enjoy pretty views of the city centre.
Then, head back through the Denholme Close open-space to the cathedral where you began. Pop into Nursery Street Pocket Park before you cross back over the river.
When you get back to the cathedral, you’re in the perfect location to explore the city centre. Make sure you check out The Winter Gardens, the largest urban greenhouse in Europe, the grand Victorian Town Hall and the tranquil Peace Gardens.
Where to stop off: Head to the Fat Cat pub on Kelham Island or treat yourself to a pint of ale from Kelham Island Brewery, which can be found down the road from the pub.
Getting there: The cathedral is a 10-minute walk from Sheffield train station. Buses 95, 120 and 121 go from the station to the cathedral.
Sheffield to Stanage Edge
Best for: a first time visit to the Peak District
Distance 7.95 miles/12.80 km
Typical duration 4 hours 45 mins
Start and finish Endcliffe Park, Hathersage
Start postcode S11 7AB
This walk in Sheffield is the perfect introduction to the peaks. You can walk directly from the city into beautiful heartland countryside, finishing at the popular rock-climbing ridge Stanage Edge. It’s a great varied walk and will definitely warm you up this winter.
The walk starts in Endcliffe Park, near Sheffield’s popular student area, Hunter’s Bar. If you need anything for your walk this is a good time to get it. Follow the river that runs through Ecclesall Park. You will pass some lovely cafés but it’s a bit too early for a tea break, surely? As the river opens into farmland, stay on the path and continue into open moorland – this is your first peek of the Peaks!
Pass Brown Edge Farm, before coming across Redmires Reservoirs. Edge around the Redmires plantation until you reach Stanedge Pole, a 438-metre pole that marks the border between Derbyshire and South Yorkshire. From here, head west to look at the impressive gritstone cliff of Stanage Edge and the peak of High Neb. Take a well-earned rest and appreciate the stunning views over the Hallam Moors and the Hope Valley.
Follow the path down the hill towards the campsite and continue down into Hathersage for the bus or train home.
Where to stop off: When you get down to Hathersage, you will find various pubs and cafés offering you some warming refreshments and shelter from the wind. Visit the Scotman’s Pack for some traditional pub grub or the Plough Inn for a more modern menu.
Getting there: From Sheffield Station, you can walk to Ecclesall Road in just over half an hour – a good warm up for the rest of your walk.
City to woods
Best for: families
Distance Trail dependent
Typical duration Trail dependent
Start and finish Endcliffe Park
Start postcode S11 7AB
Taking a walk in the woods is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get closer to nature and leave behind the hustle and bustle of modern everyday life. From twisting tracks, tangled roots and unexplored pathways to leafy tunnels, sparkling streams and waterside wildflowers, Ecclesall Woods are enchanting.
The woods offer miles of great walking trails to try – with over 300 acres to explore you’ll be spoilt for choice. In winter the woods are particularly magical. Enjoy the sunshine glistening off the snowy paths as well as icy trunks standing tall over partly frozen streams. Additionally, with the trees bare for winter, it’s easier to spot robins hiding amongst the holly and mistletoe.
Head to the Woodland Discovery Centre at the Abbey Lane entrance, here you can pick up walking trails to follow. Explore the routes given in guides such as the archaeological walking map or listen to a family-friendly audio adventure.
Where to stop off: If you fancy a cuppa and a piece of cake whilst you’re in the woods, head to the Woodland Coffee Stop. All their produce is sourced from small local businesses and the cakes are truly scrummy!
Getting there: If you want a decent walk, the walk to Ecclesall Woods from Sheffield Station is 1 hour and 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can jump on a bus and get there in half an hour.
Sheffield Round Walk
Best for: serious walkers
Distance 15.2 miles/24.5 km
Typical duration 6-7 hours
Start and finish Endcliffe Park
Start postcode S11 7AB
One of the most popular walks in Sheffield, the Sheffield Round Walk is a 15-mile loop from the urban to the rural. Take in leafy parkland, woodland streams, and pretty suburbs at the southwestern edges of the city.
The walk connects central Sheffield with its surrounding countryside, showcasing the natural beauty, greenery and wildlife that this once industrial city now boasts. It starts and ends at Endcliffe Park, a popular spot near the bustling independent cafés, pubs and shops of Ecclesall and Sharrow Vale Roads. From here the route continues alongside rivers, through woods and over parks. You will feel like you are deep in the countryside when, in fact, you are just a stone’s throw from the city centre.
You will pass sights like 16th century Shepherd Wheel, medieval Beauchief Abbey and Bishops’ House. Keep an eye out for some cheeky animals when you pass by Mayfield Alpacas Farm. And don’t worry about getting lost, Sheffield Round Walk acorn signs are dotted along the route to keep you on track. This walks a big’n so make sure you pack enough water, food and layers!
Where to stop off: There are enough pubs scattered along the Sheffield Round Walk to warrant a group of students making a pub crawl out of it, so you’re sure to find a pitstop. Check out Norfolk Arms Hotel or Summer House.
Getting there: Your long walk starts as soon as you arrive in Sheffield. From the station, Endcliffe Park is around a 40-minute walk.
CrossCountry runs services to Sheffield from all over the country and there are plenty more trails to get your walking boots on for. Whenever you decide to visit, remember to buy an Advance ticket to Sheffield on our CrossCountry app.
Written by Julia