Limb Valley – a hidden woodland walk

Jessie Leong By Jessie Leong

Length

7.7 km / 5 miles

Duration

2 hrs  0 m

#GetOutside Champions adventure

Easy difficulty

Free, on road parking available outside of Ecclesall woods.

Be sure you're winter-ready for your next chilly hike. GetOutside Champion Jessie Leong shares her top tips, plus a Limb Valley woodland route that's not to be missed this winter season.

Rory walking across snowy bridge

Winter is coming...

Earlier this year, the UK saw the 'Beast from the East' hit with some fiercely cold weather, and the hidden valleys neighbouring the rocky edges of Sheffield became a walking winter wonderland.

As the temperature gauges plunge, the familiar feeling of FOMO will hit as winter walkers find themselves scrolling on their newsfeed for the first glimpses of the elusive snow dusting the mountain tops. Whilst it's still unknown whether we'll see round two of the winter conditions, here's my top tips on making sure you are 'winter ready' for your next winter hike.

It's essential to make sure you are well prepared with the suitable kit and equipment to head out into the outdoors and if in doubt, don't head out.

OS map
Rory checking his map

Top tips

  • Plan your route accordingly - consider time of year, terrain and nature of trip and choose accordingly. It gets dark early- so make sure to carry a headtorch, extra layers and know when sun sets.
  • Make sure you charge your phone before you head out- and carry a spare phone charger in a drybag. Most phones don't like the cold and will see battery levels drop, and so shouldn't be relied upon solely for navigation.
  • Carry an OS map & compass - and know how to use it!
  • Check the weather forecast - via Met Office and MWIS and have a Plan B if weather conditions change.
  • Make sure to bring plenty of snacks - slow releasing foods as well as sugary snacks which avoid taking gloves off to eat them. Pies, 'treat bags' with sweets and nuts and dried fruit are all ideal.
  • Carry a flask - a hot drink (preferably something like hot squash or soup) will hydrate and keep energy moving round the body.
  • Let someone know where you're going- and leave a note out in case of emergency.
Jessie walking across snowy bridge

Limb Valley – a hidden woodland walk

Escape the bustle of the city and find tranquillity amongst the trees a stone’s throw away from the city centre. Part of the Sheffield Round Walk, Limb Valley is a woodland wonder with plenty of history and options to extend.

Once part of an ancient border between Yorkshire and Derbyshire, the river Limb Brook dates back to the Anglo-Saxon era. It offers a leisurely yet explorative route through the woodlands rich in old growth. Its linear route makes it simple enough for a perfect ‘rainy day’ escape, plus less than 10 minutes drive away from Sheffield city centre on the edge of the Peak District National Park.

Start
SK 325 827


Starting from Ecclesall woods, follow a residential tree lined road of Whirlow before reaching a small curved road with several different footpath entrants, known as Whirlow brook. Take the third footpath sign and follow the green ‘Sheffield Round Walk’ signs (denoted with an acorn) to explore the woodland area known as the Limb Valley.

Along the walk, see if you can spot the various bridges across the water - perfect for a moment’s rest and taking in the views as the path contours a gently rising valley.

Rory walking in winter woodland

Continue until you reach a right-hand fork, which involves a gentle climb uphill and out of the woodlands towards the hamlet of Ringinglow. Follow the footpath signs and top out on the old playing fields. With the woods behind you, this route provides a fantastic view over the city from a South West direction at 300m.

The next part of the route includes a walk alongside the main road - take care with passing traffic. There are options to continue along the road for 1.5km towards Ringinglow, where you can find the nearest pub, The Norfolk Arms to quench your thirst and grab some home-made food.

There are plenty of options to extend the route and spot the mountain bikers on the trails at Lady Cannings Plantation.

Jessie in the snow
Rory knee-deep in snow

If you fancy exploring two free Mountain Bike Trails after the walk, there is free parking opposite ‘Lady Canning’s Plantation’, a coniferous woodland developed by Sheffield City Council and Ride Sheffield which offers mountain bikers a fantastic chance to develop their skills on two mountain biking trail routes at a blue grade called ‘ Blue Steel’ and ‘Cooking on Gas.’ Please note the woods is unsupervised.

Opposite the pub, join a footpath back towards the edge of Limb Valley. Take a left turn and re-join the woods, where the route will lead you downhill through some of Sheffield’s most intriguing forests. Don’t forget to take in and take in the variety of old mature woodlands, including beech, sycamore, ash and hazel trees.

Rory kicking snow
Jessie by a directions signpost

With the Limb Brook on your right, retrace your steps towards Whirlow brook. There are options to take a footpath and extend the walk through Ecclesall woods to add an additional circuit before finishing back at the car.

Nearby amenities

Finish your walk by heading to the Woodland café, based in the Discovery Centre in Ecclesall Woods, which sells homemade cake, including vegan and gluten free options.

If you’re in the mood for a posh Sunday lunch post walk, The Summer House at Dore and Totley is a great place to sample a delicious roast dinner.

Rory having a coffee break
Rory swinging from a direction sign

LIKE THIS STORY

3

Jessie Leong By Jessie Leong

About:

Jessie is a professional Adventure Photographer who lives for the outdoors.

Find out more about Jessie Leong here.

View all #GetOutside adventures