Go East Young Cyclist!
What is it about the East? West of Sheffield we have the fabulous Peak District, an easy ride with just a little tussock of a hill between us and there, or the Hope Valley train if you want to cheat. To the North lies the Rust Belt, forty miles of post-industrial wasteland before the Dales beckon. South lies the Promised Land, where the cycle routes are paved with gold or at least tarmac. But east? East lies an hour’s worth of suburbia before you so much as see a hint of countryside. If you take the trail it’s a litany of broken glass, stolen cars, roaring motorbikes and rough (but improving) surfaces. On the road, the man with the biggest 4×4 rules. You’d take the train, but on a Sunday morning that train don’t run here anymore. This is land that has been thoroughly worked over for it’s natural wealth – trees, coal, iron ore – and is now starting to recover and regenerate.
Still the East calls to me. There’s something about that corridor of green running along the Parkway, those patches of ancient forest amongst the urban squalor, the shoots of renewed vigour in an exhausted scene.
If you manage to make it out of town, Rother Valley will offer you a cup of your favourite beverage, and once you’ve made it up that last hill, there is rolling countryside to enjoy. Worksop might not have too much to entice you, beyond an easy canal route through town, and you might not want to linger long in Manton town, but beyond this Clumber Park and Sherwood Forest await, with plenty of off-road to tire you out and greenery to sooth your aggravated brain – and did you just see Robin Hood and his merry men slipping away into the forest? Lincolnshire and the Wolds await you further east, and if you head south through Nottinghamshire you might just find yourself in Nottamun Town, sampling the ales in the Trip to Jerusalem or the Lincolnshire Poacher.
Somewhat more prosaically, here we have a commuting route between Worksop and Sheffield, with some off-road alternatives.
Road route from Worksop to Sheffield avoiding the A57
(Note the A57 now has an off-road cycle path between the M1 roundabout and Todwick crossroads – it’s not well-connected to the rest of the cycle network though.)
From Worksop Town Centre, Bridge Place, follow NCN6 along Dock Rd and around the fishing lake. Continue along the Chesterfield Canal towpath – but at Sandy Lane we recommend taking to Shireoaks Rd for a quicker journey. As you pass the church in Shireoaks take a left towards Thorpe Salvin.
This takes you on to the signposted NCN route 6. Its slightly uphill to Thorpe Salvin but not really noticeable unless there’s a blasting headwind. Continue through Thorpe Salvin to Harthill (link to Creswell and Welbeck here) and turn left at the T-junction. Need to be a bit careful here as its difficult to see what is coming from your right. Go past the Beehive pub and then a small collection of shops before turning right at a mini-roundabout.
NCR6 leaves this route at this point, following a bridleway across some fields (not in very good condition when last checked, and a tedious access barrier has recently been installed) coming out in Wales and then heading for Rother Valley Country Park.
Keep following this road through Woodall, under the M1 and then up, down and up again until you get to a T-junction. Turn right here and enjoy the downhill towards Killamarsh. Its left at a mini-roundabout and then continuing downhill into Killamarsh itself. The road surface starts to deteriorate at this point as you get nearer the Halfway tramstop but at the time of writing resurfacing works have started. You pass under the disused railway bridge that carries the Trans-Pennine Trail, and at this point you can switch either to the Connect scheme to get you to Halfway avoiding a very dangerous piece of road, or onto the TPT itself which will get you to Sheffield by a more circuitous, but mostly traffic-free route.
Straight ahead at the roundabout next to the Halfway tramstop towards Mosborough. From this point you have about 2 miles or so of climbing ahead of you. Its not steep (probably about 4% average) but it does drag. Turn right at the traffic lights in Mosborough and keep going along Mosborough Moor.
Turn left to go up Quarry Hill (fairly steep but short) and follow the road up and down all the way through Ridgeway to the next set of traffic lights next to the Old Harrow pub. You need to contend with the tram lines now! Best bet is to stay on the left of the tram lines and turn left on to Carterhall Road before you need to cross the tracks at the White Lane tram stop – or use the service road on your right. Follow the road round on to Charnock Dale Road and Bowman Drive before it comes out on the ring road (Norton Parkway).
Now normally I wouldn’t recommend cycling along here as the traffic is heavy and fast. However, its no worse than carrying on down Gleadless road and its only a short stretch until you need to turn right at the next roundabout on to Hemsworth Road. Just be careful. On Hemsworth Road follow the signs for Graves Park and then turn right down Warminster Road opposite the entrance to the park.
Lots of options from the bottom of Warminster Road but my preferred one is to turn right and then descend through Meersbrook Park (not actually allowed if we’re being strict) to Beeston Road and straight across at the lights to Heeley retail park and the Sheaf Valley cycle route towards the City Centre.
Future improvements to this route:
Connect2 has provided a link between Killamarsh & Halfway tramstop, (the 2 Bridges route) which is one of the busier bits of the route, especially over the bridge.
Worse though is the section between Halfway and Mosborough, especially on the way In to Sheffield when you are going uphill. However, you can get onto Bridle Stile here, an ancient bridlepath that takes you up to Ridgeway. From here there’s a busy section of road until you get to White Lane – cross the tram tracks with care and take the service road adjacent to Gleadless Town End.
A link between Beighton and Woodhouse Station is needed.
Off-road alternative route from Killamarsh
From an easterly direction, you can turn access the the Trans-Pennine Trail at Forge Lane. ( You can follow the trail all the way into Sheffield (Mosborough to Sheffield) from here.
Another side-trip you can do if you are in need of a coffee is take the access road to Woodall services, just on the west side of the motorway crossing. If you walk your bike over the bridge you can get onto a footpath that takes you to Woodal village (not signposted), where you can get back onto NCN6. This is best done in the West-East direction though, as there are a lot of steps on the East side of the motorway bridge!
Mr Straws house
This is a preserved National Trust property, virtually unchanged since the 1920’s – pre-booking required, call 01909482380. To get to it, when you emerge from NCN6 from the west at Worksop, stay on the pavement and use the pedestrian crossing to reach Carlton Rd. Negotiate the level crossing at Worksop Station (the Mallard public house at the station is a useful stop-off) onto Blyth Rd and you will come to Blyth Grove on the right. It’s a just a few yards up on the left, car park with benches on the right (no secure cycle parking though) Closed on Sundays.
Extending to Retford, Gainsborough & Lincoln
Heading in the opposite direction, if in a hurry, from Worksop use the B6079 to Ranby, A620 through Retford to the A631 which has an off-road option into Gainsborough (National Byway.) Then take the A151 to Lea, left onto the B1241, to Sturton by Stow, left on minor roads to Aisthorpe, B1398 into Lincoln. If for some strange reason you don’t need to visit Gainsborough take A638s from Retford then minor roads through Woodbeck, Rampton (join route below) s, to Dunham on Trent A57(T) r. to Thorney, Wigsley, Harby, Eagle Moor, entering Lincoln via Hartsholme which has a campsite. )
For a more leisurely ride, from Worksop follow NCN6 to Clumber Park. This will take you through the lovely Manton Estate – watch out for missing signs & broken glass, especially when crossing the A57 from Rufford St. However, it soon gets nice & the NT Cafe at Clumber is worth a stop-off. Now there’s a new route through to Lincoln – Follow the NCN6 through the Park and throw a Left onto NCN647 at South Lodge. (If you get lost head for Clumber Bridge and pick it up there.) Exit the park near the Clumber Park Hotel. Then it’s r. A614, left towards Bothamstall, Tuxford then cross the Trent on the spectacular viaduct at Fledborough. The route continues on the Railway Path into Lincoln.
You can trace this route from Lincoln on Sustrans Mapping.
From Lincoln you can head south towards Norfolk, or north to Hull, on NCN1 or South-East to Newark on NCN64, hence to Nottingham.
There are also direct trains Sheffield – Worksop – Gainsborough – Lincoln. (Not on Sunday morning though – we’re working on that.)