|Statistics and Files|
|Start: Wentworth||Distance: 7.2 miles (11.6 km)||Climbing: 277 metres|
|Grid Ref: SK 33628 94208||Time: 3-4 hours||Rating: Moderate|
|GPX Route File||Google Earth File||About Grenoside|
|Start: Wentworth||Distance: 7.2 miles (11.6 km)|
|Climbing: 277 metres||Grid Ref: SK 33628 94208|
|Time: 3-4 hours||Rating: Moderate|
|GPX Route File||Google Earth File|
Summary: A lovely woodland themed walk north of Sheffield. Greno Wood is an ancient woodland, rich in wildlife and full of historic interest while Wharncliffe Wood, which edges Whalejaw Hill, has some steep terrain thus creating an ideal opportunity for some serious walking. Both Greno Wood and Wharncliffe Wood also have a ancient and more recent industrial history with many quarry workings hidden within them. Finally, amongst the trees, numerous streams meander down the hillside and some of those feature in this delightful walk.
The last but one day of October and it was as warm as toast. Plenty of foliage still hung on the trees as I walked from near the A61 crossroads in Grenoside to access Greno Woods. As well as the leaf on the trees there was plenty of fallen leaf on the woodland ground too, a sure sign of winter coming. Light and Russet Browns and shades of Red dominated the scene. Set before a canopy of bright blue sky it was a consuming sight. Lovely and drawing me onwards, deeper into the rich woodland. I was heading north into the heart of the woodland, first to Woodseats and from there north-west to Greno Knoll. Sometimes low stone walls fringed my path but more often just the woodland floor. In places, seemingly random but in open glades there were benches and tables provided for visitors to rest and/ or to enjoy some light refreshment. I chanced upon a few groups of walkers on the way to Greno Knoll, nobody hurried, all enjoying their day in the woods.
I knew when I had reached Greno Knoll, my first checkpoint. I had climbed 120 meters in two miles without really noticing and I had arrived beside an Ordnance Survey Trig Pillar, 306 meters elevation. Once an instrument of surveying it could not serve that purpose now. Nobody would be able to see it in the dense cover of woodland. Once lines will have been cleared to the adjoining trig points for maps to be made. From Greno Knoll and now heading south I continued on to the car parking area marking the boundary between Greno Wood and Wharncliffe Wood. Many folk were there and more arriving in cars, vans and other small vehicles. More than half were walkers, singles, couples and family's, some with dogs. a fair few were bikers. It is a popular pastime here. Not surprising with the big city conurbation just south and down the road. In Wharncliffe Wood I followed some substantial trackways, generously wide and suitable for both foot and pedalled traffic. Mouse Park Gate was one such route which I followed. Looking up a wide band of light pointed the way.
The beauty of early winter sunlight is that it streams into woodland at such a slanted angle that it amplifies the beauty of the surroundings. Tree trunks appeared bold and dark with a halo of light filtering either side. The glisten of light flooding through heightened the sensuality of the shades of ground cover. Greens and Browns with tones of red. Leaf sparkled when hot by sunlight. It was enchanting. Continuing on my way, ambling somewhat, groups of bikers came and went. All were polite enough though some younger show-offs just had to race by doing an exaggerated wheelie. "Why not" I though. I used to do the same.
My route meandered as much as my mind did during my daydream in the woods. I walked south then turned north, back on myself, before turning southwards again, following the line of Sough Dike and crossing it a couple of times. no rush to this walk, enjoying it to the full. In a couple of places I came to clearings where the sun seemed to shine even brighter and warming the late Autumn day further. Not many had coats on. I didn't, mine was stowed in my backpack and staying there. While the trees and grasses were holding on to some colour the masses of ferns I walked beside on the way to Whalejaw Hill had given up any effort to stay fresh. The ferns were all light brown and crumpling. On their way out for another year. Eventually I began to climb and for the second time I ascended without really giving it a thought. soon I had reached Stanley Hill and heading out of the woods.
Into the open I followed the ridge line from Stanley Hill to Whalejaw Hill. At the road crossing linking Grenoside and Oughtibridge a sign said 'Cote d' Oughtibridge 241 m'. A cycle sign, perhaps from a recent Tour De Yorkshire cycle route. Immediately on crossing the road I arrived at the Whalejaw Hill viewpoint. A landmarks indication board showed me what I was looking at on the extensive view spanning south-west to north-west. Highlights were Sheffield's premier buildings including the Town Hall and University Arts Tower, Crookes and Walkley Bank, Wadsley, Stannington, Bradfield, the Peak District, Oughtibridge village, West Nab Radio Mast, Pike Low Hill, Bolsterstone village and Hollin Edge Height. It was an impressive view.
After taking in the great views to the west, thanks to the unseasonal clear weather, I headed back into the woods, this time by way of Prior Royd and Wheata Wood to Greno Wood and finally back to Grenoside. Nothing had been a rush, all a vast pleasure. For many years I had driven past these woods, looking in and wondering during a commute along the A61. Often to work, sometimes to watch a football match at nearby Hillsborough Stadium. I had never known what a pleasure I had been missing out on. I do now. This is a great walk.