Last week a friend and I walked along the five weirs walk, a path that runs alongside the River Don out from Sheffield city centre towards Meadowhall shopping centre. Given that we live on the doorstep of the peak district national park, you might think this was an odd choice of route, but I do like a bit of urban hiking.
If you follow the route to the end, you do indeed see five weirs, although we only managed two. It’s not as picturesque as some walks round here… and at times we found ourselves ambling through car parks on industrial estates, and through rubbish strewn deserted back streets. Still, it’s good to explore your city, and there’s always something new to see.
Aha! Early last year we joined the local wildlife trust, and I promised myself I’d visit all eleven local nature reserves. I managed three last year, but then got a little sidetracked. But here, without me even planning it, was number four!
Getting a little peckish, we decided to return along the canal. I’ve always loved canals. I used to live on a narrowboat, and I’ll always have affection for canals. I love peeking through missing windows into abandoned factories, and I love the tranquility of a canal, even when it runs through a city centre. I especially love looking through the windows of narrowboats, which always look cosy and inviting (although having had lots of people peer through my narrowboat windows, I do try to be discrete!)
It was very hot that day – the first day I’d been out without a coat, or even a cardigan. I remembered all the times I’d run along this canal when training for the marathon last summer, and appreciated that this time I was walking instead. It felt familiar though, and I found myself counting down the miles and the landmarks, just as I did last year.
See? The cafe is just around the corner. Not far now.
Have you had a local adventure lately? Explored anywhere local that you’ve not been before? What did you find?