Water plays a massive role in the landscape of Sheffield and the reservoirs, which were originally created to serve the city during its industrial boom, now have a dual role.
Importantly, they provide Sheffielders with some of the freshest – and tastiest – water about. Now, thanks to the efforts of the likes of Yorkshire Water, they are also destinations for lovers of the outdoors.
Along the shores of reservoirs around the city, you can enjoy a walk through dappled sunlight and fresh breezes, or choose more adventurous routes that take you up and away from the water’s edge for a greater challenge and spectacular views.
All of the reservoirs are well-serviced by roads too, so it’s quite easy to incorporate one or many of these beautiful bodies of water into a cycle ride.
Damflask, just west of Hillsborough, is perfect for a short stroll. A loop around the banks of this small reservoir is about 3-4 miles and remarkably flat, with well-maintained paths running through the woodlands that border the water. This walk is good in winter but best in mid-summer, when the strong smell of elderflowers drifts across the water. The reservoir is also used by a local rowing club, and is good for jogging and running – either as part of a longer run from Owlerton or as an easy-to-follow loop.
The dams at Redmires and Rivelin offer good walking as well as excellent bird watching in the Wyming Brook nature reserve, while in the north of Sheffield, near Ewden Village, Broomhead and More Hall reservoirs are beautifully serene all year round.
At the other end of the scale are the giant reservoirs, out into the Peak District, such as Derwent, Howden and Ladybower. The latter is unmissable as you make your way over Snake Pass from Sheffield. These reservoirs are flanked by more dramatic, rolling hills covered in moorland, forests and fields.
At Derwent, a good walk from Cutthroat Bridge on Snake Pass takes you up to some imposing rock formations and expansive views. Alternatively, hire a bike from Derwent Cycle Hire and loop the reservoir on two wheels. Look out for information boards about the former village that was consumed by water when the reservoir was made.