Every previous time, when I've got to the bottom of the Sheffield Canal, I've turned round and come back. But not last Sunday, when instead I turned left across a bridge, and found myself on the towpath of the River Don, heading towards Rotherham. For much of its length, the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation is embanked and canalised, but there are some rivery stretches too.
Along the way we saw a fair few local people enjoying the river. Some were just strolling the wide, well-made paths. Others were fishing, or magnet fishing, and one lot had lit a fire on the bank - they weren't all what everyone would consider the most desirable characters, but they were all minding their own business and didn't cause us any trouble. The only moving boat we saw all day was Ethel, the wide community boat from the Basin, which was taking a small party of children in enormous lifejackets as far as the top lock.
And so we approached Rotherham
From Tinsley bottom lock to here was just under two and a half miles - as Paul pointed out, it's easier to keep going to Rotherham and get the tram back than it is to turn and walk back to Sheffield.
Life on the down slope
1 week ago