Route audited: 24th August 2022
Update August 2022
““In that pleasant district of merry England which is watered by the river Don, there extended in ancient times a large forest, covering the greater part of the beautiful hills and valleys which lie between Sheffield and the pleasant town of Doncaster. The remains of this extensive wood are still to be seen at the noble seats of Wentworth, of Warncliffe Park, and around Rotherham. Here haunted of yore the fabulous Dragon of Wantley; here were fought many of the most desperate battles during the Civil Wars of the Roses; and here also flourished in ancient times those bands of gallant outlaws, whose deeds have been rendered so popular in English song” – Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe.
The route described here is the shortest known viable route between Sheffield and Doncaster along the Don Valley. It is possible to get from Sheffield to Doncaster on the Trans-Pennine Trail, but it is a longer way round via the Dearne Valley.
From Doncaster Station as you leave turn right and take St Sepulchre Gate West to Cleveland St at which point you should dismount and walk along until you reach Roberts Rd, on the other side of the railway bridge. Turn left onto Littlemoor Lane, and you are on a signed cycle route which you follow straight towards Warmsworth. You will emerge from Tenter Lane and turn left onto Mill Lane, reaching the A630 (T) shortly thereafter. Turn right here and you are heading for Rotherham. A new section of good quality cycle track has been installed here although it doesn’t quite reach the trail access point. (The last Street View, talen oct 2021, shows it being installed) At Conisbrough, just past the Water Tower, and J36 Service centre the trail entrance is on the right – don’t blink or you might miss it. Once over the viaduct, turn left to continue on the TPT towards Conisbrough.
Take the Trail to the Kingswood Dearne Valley a children’s outdoor centre formerly the and go down the off-ramp to the left. Cross the river via the Don Bridge entrance and, leaving the car park, turn right onto the A6023 for a short time. (If you need a tea break, go left on the A6023 instead and follow the signs to Conisbrough castle. There is a cafe at the old castle lodge.) Just before the level crossing at Denaby Main turn left and follow this minor road through Old Denaby to the B6090, turn left then first right to the A630 (T), turn r. and proceed with care towards Thrybergh.
If you are stuck for time at Conisbrough, continue on the road. The A630 is mostly not too bad for a trunk road but gets busy at Thrybergh. If you feel intimidated by fast traffic take to the pavement – there’s unlikely to be anyone about and if the authorities can’t be bothered to protect you it is my view that you have the right to protect yourself.
A chance for a cup of tea and a sticky bun here, Thrybergh Country park has a cafe popular with cyclists. This is on the A630(T) opposite the junction with Carr Lane, where our TPT option rejoins the road route.
To continue towards Sheffield on the National Cycle Network, at Mushroom roundabout cross with care and take A6123 Aldwarke Lane. on the dual carriageway towards Rotherham. About half a mile from the roundabout having crossed the river bridge (note hydro turbine) turn left and take the heavily traffic-calmed road down to the sewage treatment works then take to the canal towpath. Although there is no right of way along the canal to Rotherham it is rideable but not suitable for tricycle, tandems or trailers.
For an alternative on-road route, take the first left , at the Thrybergh roundabout, Herringthorpe Valley Road, and the first right onto Doncaster Rd. Follow to Doncaster Gate and High St (you may have to dismount in some sections) Turn left on Westgate, then right onto Sheffield Rd. Follow through to Tinsley (You pass the Magna centre on your right). Just before Tinsley M1 Junction 34 we would recommend that you take the track leading to the canal (recently furnished with access controls to make it that bit more difficult to get to) and follow the towpath underneath the viaduct, even if you intend to return to the road on the other side, which you can do easily.
From Tinsley there are four main options for continuing to the city centre :-
(A). You can use the Sheffield Canal towpath all the way into the city. (Not shown on map)
The canal towpath is narrow in places, unlit, rough in places and muddy in all but the driest weather. Follow the towpath for 1.2 miles from Tinsley viaduct, (this section is closed as of August 2022) where you will be directed to cross to the opposite bank by the Sheffield Arena and onto the road. Turn left and head back along the road away from Sheffield for 50 yards, then left again down a short little track to regain the towpath. This little loop will avoid using the steps to get back to the canal. From here the track deteriorates and there are a couple of squeezes under narrow bridges between Attercliffe and Victoria Wharf. 3.2 miles after leaving Tinsley you will pass under the Cadman Street bridge, and then the railway viaduct. Under the viaduct, follow the signs through a small doorway in the wall onto Blast Lane. The towpath beyond this point is part of the Victoria quays development. Turn right on Blast Lane and follow the red tarmac cycle path towards Park Square roundabout and the city centre. Follow Sustrans NCN6/627 signs from here.
(B) The Five Weirs Walk cycle/pedestrian route is a generally faster and more pleasant way, but does have some road crossings, a diversion and a short section of on road cycling. From the canal towpath at Tinsley, cross the pedestrian/cycle bridge over the railway track and the river. Cross the tram tracks by the level crossing, then turn right on the red tarmac cycle path.
Follow this to where it divides, taking the right hand fork under the road bridge. The path runs parallel to the river and crosses Weedon Street, then turns left on to Carbrook St. Just before the junction with the main road, turn right to follow the cycle path on the pavement. This crosses Milford St and then Janson St. Follow the pavement cycle path along Janson St, then left on Bold St. After 150 yards, turn right on the cycle path and cross the river by the footbridge. The 5WW is easy to follow from here, it crosses Newhall Rd, Stevenson Rd and East Coast Rd.
The stretch between East Coast Rd and the next bridge on Attercliffe Rd (Washford Bridge) is closed due to flood damage so follow the yellow diversion signs. The trail temporarily leaves the river and emerges on Warren St. Go straight across Leveson St and follow the signs along the walkway, across the Bailey Bridge and along the the shared use pavement to the amazing Cobweb Bridge which passes under the railway arch. Follow the final section of the walk to Blonk St, turn right and use the shared use pavement to the traffic lights. Turn left and use the bus gate to reach Waingate & the City Centre.
In either direction using the 5WW and Cobweb bridge is the quietest and most interesting way. Note however that as of March 2020 the section between Attercliffe Rd and Stephenson Rd is closed. Follow on-road diversions.
(C) Route via Olympic Legacy Park
(this route recommended for cyclists who wish to avoid the City Centre and continue heading south) follow NCN67 (TPT) to the the road bridge at Broughton Lane, then pass via the Arena Car Park and Stadium and Olympic Legacy Park. This will take you as far as Woodbourn Road, and you have to take to the road here along Cricket Inn Rd. If you’re continuing south take Bernard St >> Talbot St >> Shrewsbury Rd which will bring you out at Granville Square to the south of the station – beware tram tracks.
Once at City Centre cross Park Square by the toucan crossings. If you’re continuing south take Bernard St >> Talbot St >> Shrewsbury Rd which will bring you out at Granville Square to the south of the station – beware tram tracks.
(D) On Road. (Not shown on map) If you wish to keep to the road, the A6109 to the North of Meadowhall is straight and fast (the traffic is fast too) , whilst the A6178 is slower and more congested. An Active Travel scheme around Attercliffe due for construction in the winter of 2022 should improve things.
For Sheffield University, from the Markets take Queen St, first left and then right onto Campo Lane – it’s a marked cycle route. This will bring you up to Townhead St which you should cross and go up Trippet Lane which will bring you up to University precincts. If you are heading towards Hillsborough stay on Queen St and you can use the West Bar Green Cycle Crossing to Scotland St.
For the Moor take Pond St, Paternoster Row and follow the cycle route signs.
Use the cycle crossings to get around Park Square off-road.