Low Bradfield - The easy urban escape nestled amid lush country vistas

Few cities in the country are better located for access to the countryside than Sheffield.
TRANQUIL: Low Bradfield, with its neighbour looking down upon it, is a popular spot for day trippers. PIC: Gary LongbottomTRANQUIL: Low Bradfield, with its neighbour looking down upon it, is a popular spot for day trippers. PIC: Gary Longbottom
TRANQUIL: Low Bradfield, with its neighbour looking down upon it, is a popular spot for day trippers. PIC: Gary Longbottom

Just a short drive west and a Steel City resident can find themselves in the glorious, hilly surrounds of the Peak District National Park.

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Many people do indeed make that trip on a sunny weekend to Low Bradfield, a village located a little over six miles from Sheffield city centre but nestled amid lush country vistas.

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The village is positioned close to Agden Reservoir which is ringed by a popular walk and takes in Agden Bog, a protected wetland area managed by the Wildlife Trust for Sheffield and Rotherham.

This is a community with a history linked to water. In 1864, Low Bradfield was reported to be the first populated place to be flooded in the Great Sheffield Flood. When a nearby dam broke, the village was left devastated.

Two stone bridges were said to have been swept away, as well as the village corn mill, blacksmith’s shop, schoolroom, schoolmaster’s house and a farmhouse. Tragically, a newborn infant lost its life.

But this traditional farming community was rebuilt and today it forms part of Bradfield civil parish, which is said to be the largest in England.

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A trip to the village over the summer will suggest that Ibbotson’s Memorial Field is at the centre of community life. The large recreation ground is a popular site for picnics and also acts as the village cricket ground.

On a warm day, visitors and locals may find the prospect of a trip to the village pub tempting. The Plough is a former farm building that has been serving liquid refreshment for more than 200 years.

There is every chance of finding beer from the local brewery at the bar, because in neighbouring High Bradfield, where the Old Horns Inn provides another option to raise a glass, is Bradfield Brewery.

Based on a busy working farm having opened in 2005, it brews more than 100,000 pints of beer every week.

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In one corner of the memorial field is the village hall which hosts a rolling programme of activities, from exercise and tai chi classes to monthly film showings.

Touring jazz act Ian Millar and Dominic Spencer will perform at the hall on Friday. A charity ball next month in aid of St Luke’s Hospice and the Ibbotson Memorial Field Trust is a sell-out.

Lynn Russell, the village hall’s secretary, was involved in helping to raise £750,000 in grants and donations to rebuild the hall in 2007.

A friendly community, she said, locals “muck in and keep the area in a nice condition” – efforts that have seen the village pick up a string of In Bloom competition wins in the


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Low Bradfield and neighbouring High Bradfield are commonly known collectively as Bradfield. Both lie in the shadow of the 15th century St Nicholas Parish Church which rises 860ft above sea level.

Bradfield has a village shop that doubles up as a post office. It also boasts a cafe serving homemade cakes and offers a self-catering cottage in a converted barn.