Friday, 21 February 2014

A57, A625, A61, A621

It seems that Sheffield Council provides a footpath to the city boundary on all the main outbound roads.  I don't know when I first realised this, but I've made walking the 15 miles to the Derbyshire border along the Manchester Road a regular exercise.  

At points the footpath is a bit grim.  Invariably there's evidence that a car has recently skidded off the road.  This is the route to the Snake Pass (A57), and ice hangs around long after it's cleared in the suburbs.  It's usually headwind on the way out, and buses only run on Saturdays: I recently got soaked when heavy rain started when I was well out in the countryside.

Last summer, I fancied a change.  I did the equivalent walk on Ecclesall Road (A625) towards Castleton.  This is a shorter distance (about 12 miles).  My attempt to take a 'selfie' with the Peak District National Park millstone as a background, was ruined by the direct sunlight from the south.  The footpath has disappeared at some points, so you only want to walk the roadside verve bits in dry weather.

For years we've passed the city boundary sign at Lowedges as we've returned from trips down the M1.  We usually use the A61 to Chesterfield, then head along the A617 to junction 29.  I hadn't been attracted to this route because it's all built-up area.  But the other Monday I had to call in at Skaino's office, round the corner, so just kept on walking.  Returning is down hill all the way (some six miles), which is a compensation.
Skaino's offices also run onto the Abbeydale Road, which heads towards Bakewell.  Twice I've got out to Totley, only to be soaked by rain, and forced to catch a bus home.  This week I completed the walk to the boundary, only to find the footpath goes about two and a half miles further on.  So this was an 18 mile there-and-back marathon.  And I got caught in a brief hailstorm, but it produced a lovely rainbow.

Our dentist surgery lies on the A6102 Stocksbridge Road.  The city boundary intersects this on the main A616 Bypass.  It's way beyond the end of the Middlewood tram terminal, but countryside all the way from that point.  It's next on my list.

It's a great way to get familiar with the city's main radial routes.  And a shame not to make full use of amenities that our Council Tax has paid for!

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