New dog owner Ros Arksey shares her tips and pictures from a month of pooch walking in and around Sheffield with Bob the Border terrier…
In the last month I have become a dog owner. We took the plunge after deciding that it would be a good idea as a way to get more exercise, as well as the social element: it’s amazing how once you have a dog so many people talk to you and fuss over your pooch.
As Sheffield is one of the greenest cities in the UK with over 200 green spaces, parks and woodlands, it makes for a great place to own a dog , as there are plenty of options for walks.
Added to that, the city is a stone’s throw from the Peak District, so you have scenic locations such as Ladybower Reservoir, Castleton and Hathersage to enjoy the great outdoors with your four-legged friend.
So here are my recommendations of dog-friendly places in Sheffield.
Where to get the essentials
Our first essential purchase before we could get out and explore was a collar and lead. On the recommendation of Millhouses Dog Training we went to Bradway Pet shop. Not only is it an independent shop packed with everything you could need for your pet, you will also get really friendly knowledgeable service, which we appreciated as we are new to this dog owning business.
Equipped with a collar, lead and treats to help (hopefully) persuade Bob not to run away, we were ready to explore and have some adventures.
Bradway Pet Shop, 180 Bradway Road, Bradway, Sheffield, S17 4QX, (website)
Where to walk your dog (and where to get a refreshment)
1. Forge Dam & Whiteley Woods
Forge Dam is a scenic spot in Fulwood, Sheffield on the border of the Peak District. It is very popular with walkers (with or without a dog), cyclists and joggers. There is a small amount of parking nearby and from this point you can do a circuit of a few miles from the park, and through the beautiful woodland of Whiteley Woods.
You can get refreshments at Forge Dam café, which has been on the same site for over 80 years. The owners have dogs and there will be water bowls outside, so you can sit in the open air and enjoy a coffee, ice cream, a slice of cake or a chip butty. If you are in the mood for some local beer, then you can take a diversion to the dog-friendly Greystones pub to try some Thornbridge ales.
2. Endcliffe Park
Family and dog-friendly Endcliffe Park is located a couple of miles outside of Sheffield’s city centre and marks the start of the 14-mile Sheffield Round Walk. If you stay in the park you can do a loop of 1-2 miles with paved routes and woodland tracks to choose from. The sound of the flowing Porter Brook keeps you company as its streams criss-cross the landscape. There are a couple of well-sized green spaces to let your dog off the lead to run and chase balls.
For refreshments there is ‘EPIC’ – Endcliffe Park Independent Café where you can sit outside and watch the world go by. It does get busy on the weekend so expect to queue for your drink, breakfast or cake.
Endcliffe Park Café, Rustlings Road, Sheffield, S11 7AB, (website)
3. Ecclesall Woods
If you are after a tree-lined dog walk then Ecclesall Woods will give you plenty of that. This popular area of ancient woodland in south-west Sheffield covers 350 acres, including a nature reserve protecting bird species. There are many different paths you can take through the woods to make up a short or longer walk, routes can be downloaded from Sheffield Council’s website.
As Bob is only young we took him on a 20-minute stroll around the outskirts of the wood. He enjoyed sniffing in the undergrowth and having a chance to be off the lead.
The Woodland Coffee Stop (open Friday-Sunday, 10am – 4pm and school/bank holidays), which is part of the Discovery centre sells hot and cold drinks as well as sandwiches and homemade cake. We tried the sticky prune cake and that was lovely with a pot of tea. This bijou café built from wood (of course) blends perfectly into the natural surroundings.
Woodland Coffee Stop, Ecclesall Woods, Abbey Lane, Sheffield, S7 2QZ, (website)
4. Dam Flask Reservoir
Out at Loxley Valley you will find the scenic spot of Dam Flask reservoir, which is owned by Yorkshire Water. This area at Low Bradfield is frequented by joggers, walkers and dog-owners and the water is utilised by keen rowers and sailing clubs.
The 3.5mile (roughly) route around the reservoir covers woodland and waterside with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. It is ideal for dog walking and to escape the hubbub of the city.
For a beer and some homemade pub grub, there is the dog-friendly and traditional Old Horns Inn (above) in High Bradfield. As it is positioned on a hill you have more of Sheffield’s fantastic views to enjoy. We indulged in the steak night and after a hearty meal we enjoyed a short walk with Bob around the neighbouring St Nicholas churchyard.
The Old Horns Inn, High Bradfield, Jane Street, Sheffield, S6 6LG, (website)
5. Rivelin Valley
At the popular Rivelin Valley Park you can take a stroll of a couple of miles along the tree-lined paths with your dog (on or off the lead) and enjoy getting close up with nature. There are a few different woodland and riverside routes to explore depending how far you want to walk, as well as entertainment for kids with a playground and small water paddling play area.
The Rivelin Park Café is right by the park with seating inside and outside, so you can rest your weary feet and get yourself a cup of tea and a slice of cake.
Rivelin Park Cafe, off Rivelin Valley Road, Sheffield, S6 5GL, (website)