1. CLIMBING, Sheffield's 2nd favourite sport
For years, Sheffield has been well known to climbers for its easy access to the gritstone edges.
You've probably seen them topping out on Curbar or Froggatt as you’ve ridden the Eastern Edges route, or seen them huddled around the giant boulders below Stanage Edge on your descent under the crag.
Well did you know that Sheffield boasts a great collection of indoor walls.
For roped climbing, try The Foundry, one of the original indoor walls and home to the world famous Wave bouldering wall. Additionally, Awesome Walls is one of the biggest venues in the country Both walls have a good selection of both lead and top rope routes, with grades from easy to ridiculously hard.
One word about roped climbing - if you’re a complete beginner, you’ll have to enrol on a course before you're let loose on the big walls. Learn the ropes as it were.
If, on the other hand, you have no intention of tying onto a rope but still want to give climbing a go then The Climbing Works is the place for you. It’s a dedicated bouldering only venue where some of the best in the world come to train. However, don't worry, the route setting is legendary with problems from easy to World Cup standard. With competitions like the CWIF and the BIFF, it's also a great place to watch the best in the world battle it out.
If, however, you want to stay outdoors there are plenty of outdoor adventure companies offering instruction/guiding. One example is Peak Mountaineering based in Castleton who offer outdoor climbing introductory courses.
2. Grab your running shoes
Sheffield has some great parks bordering the edge of the city and the Peak District with way marked running routes.
They're all colour coded giving you the choice of Easy, Medium, Hard or Challenging.
With 30 routes available across 14 locations in parks and woodland around the city, you can explore Sheffield from a different perspective whether you choose to run or walk them.
Details can be found at The Outdoor City Run Route
3. Open air swimming in Hathersage
Some of you may know Hathersage, famed for its collection of outdoor retailers.
Did you know that behind the High Street, across the road from the main pay and display car park, there is an open air swimming pool.
It’s open all year round and is heated, although does also offer sessions of cold water swimming if you feeling brave/daft enough.
Details of opening times etc can be found at Hathersage Pool
4. Put your boots on
The Peak District was the first National Park in the UK. It’s home of the Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout (where hundreds of ramblers took to the hills to highlight the fact that walkers in England and Wales were denied access to areas of open country).
It’s thanks to these protesters that we enjoy the freedom of access we have today, so why not celebrate that fact by seeing the glorious Peak District at a leisurely pace and explore the myriad of footpaths that now crisscross the peak.
Check out Vertebrate Publishing's guidebooks for inspiration.
5. Lend A Hand
Both groups have done great work in keeping the trails running sweet and are working with land owners and land managers to improve relationships between all users and improve access to more trails.
The opening of permissive bridleways along the eastern edges is only the start.
6. And Your Bonus for sticking with me
You’ve come all this way and you simply must ride your bike!
Well, Sheffield might not have the likes of Gisburn or Llandegla in terms of trail centres but what it does have are a series of purpose built trails in various locations around the city.
These were the first trails in the UK to be built with crowdfunding.
There are 2 tracks to chose from (Blue Steel and Cooking On Gas) which are both blue grade trails, professionally built by BikeTrack.
There is a red/black grade trail planned for the future in nearby Redmires plantation.
This is another blue grade trail, but with red grade options, offering jumps, rollers and berms in this 2km long XC style circuit. It has 65m of ascent and descent and is a great place to throw in a few laps to get you fit when the rest of the trails are a mud bath.
Home of the ‘Biggest Little Race’ Peaty’s Steel City Downhill, Greno has 2 red routes, Pub Run and Steel City (with black options) and DH3 which is a black grade trail with several large but rollable jumps which get steeper towards the end.
All trails are connected by bridleways taking you back to the top for another run. These tracks were also built by BikeTrack with permission from Sheffield Wildlife Trust and funded by Peaty’s Steel City Downhill (which gives all profits back into building and maintaining the trails).
Rother Valley Country Park
Situated a short drive off junction 31 of the M1, Rother Valley Country Park is home to the Rother Valley Riders who have built a network of trail to suit all abilities.
Details can be found here: Rother Valley Trails
Finally, if you really must sample the delights of riding in the Peak, up to date trail conditions can be found by following Keeper of the Peak on Twitter @KoftheP
The good people at Vertebrate Publishing have also put together a free download of what is considered an all weather loop, although this too can be impassable after heavy snowfall.
I hope you find this useful and hopefully I’ll see you out on the trails (once they dry out a bit that is).
Oh, one more thing!
When you're out and about, please remember to.....