Weekend Walk: Upper Don Valley

On the Trans Pennine Trail
On the Trans Pennine Trail
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The Don is one of the great rivers of the industrial revolution in Yorkshire but you wouldn’t know it from its beautiful origins to the north of Sheffield

Here it meanders through a quite valley unfrequented by many walkers, and it is well worth seeking out. The route starts by following a section of the Trans Pennine Trail along the old Sheffield, Ashton-Under-Lyne and Manchester railway line, opened in 1845 but closed in 1983, and includes the 924ft long Thurgoland Tunnel which is lit between 6am and midnight. Tin Mill Dam, near the end of the walk, dates back to a 17th century tin plating mill. Birds to look out for in woodland include tree creeper and great spotted woodpecker. There are herons and kingfishers on this part of the River Don.

Railway viaduct over the Don at Black Moor Common

Railway viaduct over the Don at Black Moor Common

1. In the car park walk towards the information board to access the Trans Pennine Trail, which follows the course of a disused railway line. Once on the trail turn right and go under a bridge to keep with the clear path for about 1 1/2 miles, passing through Thurgoland Tunnel. On the other side look for a footpath forking right.

2. Go over a stile and follow the path down the side of a house. The route descends through trees to eventually arrive at the River Don. Turn left at the riverbank and cross a field to go under the railway viaduct. Cross another field and at a gate go right on a path which becomes a track leading out onto a back lane. Continue ahead past Woodman Farm.

3. Turn right at a public footpath sign and cross a footbridge over the River Don. Follow the path as it climbs up the opposite bank and at a sloping field take a left fork. The path joins a track past Trunce Farm and continues ahead. Ignore turnings and keep straight on the path as it climbs up to Green Moor Lane.

4. Turn left and walk with care along the road. Beyond the derestriction signs go right at the second public footpath sign. Follow the tarmac lane past Holly Hall and, round a bend, go through a gate and continue downhill a short distance to a stile on the left.

Stepping stones over the River Don near Finkle Street Lane

Stepping stones over the River Don near Finkle Street Lane

5. Follow the clear path through woodland, eventually joining a good track past Tin Mill Dam, now a fishing lake. Cross the River Don further on and follow the footpath sign over a field to the road. Cross with care and follow the Trans Pennine Trail signs back to the car park.

Difficulty Rating: 2 stars

Time: 2 hours

Distance: 4 1/2 miles

Trans Pennine Trail signpost near Thurgoland

Trans Pennine Trail signpost near Thurgoland

Map: OS Explorer Sheet OL1 The Peak District, Dark Peak area.

Parking: Trans Pennine Trail car park, signposted off Finkle Street Lane (minor road leading off A629 south of Wortley). Grid ref: SK299993.

Public transport: No 23 bus service between Barnsley and Penistone operated by Yorkshire Tiger runs past the car park. For info visit www.travelsouthyorkshire.com or phone 01709 515151.

Refreshments: Thurgoland (off route)

Toilets: For refreshment customers only