Peak District walk - Wyming Brook, Rivelin and Redmires Reservoirs
- Credit: Helen Moat
Join Helen Moat on a waterside ramble near the Derbyshire and Yorkshire border
This walk in the Peak District’s eastern fringes - just a stone’s throw from the Derbyshire boundary in South Yorkshire - is a magnificent waterside and moorland walk. It leads the rambler through a wild and romantic landscape of woodland, ravine, mossy crags, cascading streams and the tranquil waters of five reservoirs. After the sheltered serenity of forest and glen, the expanse of Hallam Moorland, with its far-reaching views, quickens the heart.
1. Starting from Wyming Nature Reserve Car Park, take the broad path heading down through the steep-sided ravine, keeping the brook on your right. Once a private hunting forest for the nobility, the nature reserve is now a favourite with ramblers, bird watchers and photographers. The Site of Special Scientific Interest is managed by the Wildlife Trust and teems with flora and fauna. Keep an eye open for resident crossbills and dippers and wood warblers in summer. It’s hard to believe this broad pathway, surrounded by nature, was once busy with cars at the beginning of the 20th century. Where the pathway curves west towards the bottom of the valley, views open out to Rivelin Reservoir. Drink in the vista of the dam before continuing west along Wyming Brook Drive. You’ll catch an occasional glimpse of the Rivelin Reservoirs through the thick woodland of beech and conifers. Where the dams end, the path continues west to follow the river up the valley.
2. Cross the stone bridge and turn left to head upstream, the brook now on your left. Watch your step here: the narrow path is uneven with protruding stones and tree roots. But this is a gorgeous stretch of river - a canvas of bright colour in winter: orange pine needles, mustard lichen and emerald moss.
3. When you reach a little wooden bridge, cross over and head up onto the moors. It’s a steep hike but you can stop frequently to look back at the wide-reaching views of meadow, moorland, valley and the urban edges of Sheffield. Late summer, the ground beneath your feet is covered in purple heather, while in winter the pale-yellow grasses of the uplands look like savannah. Follow the well-defined path south, crossing over the conduit to continue to Redmires. Walk over the boardwalk, then follow the dry-stone wall downhill, with superb views of the reservoirs coming into view.
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4. Turn right to walk along Redmires Road. This is a good place to stop for a picnic lunch on one of the benches overlooking the water. Look out for raptors catching a thermal above the moors, and waterbirds on the reservoirs. Canadian geese, tufted ducks and mallards are all commonly sighted.
5. At the end of the road, take the moorland path that skirts the south side of the three reservoirs. Redmires Reservoirs are fed by a series of small streams that flow from Hallam Moors. The dams were built between 1833 and 1854 to quench the thirst of Sheffield’s burgeoning population.
6. Follow the path along the base of the dam wall, then head through Redmires Plantation Works to reach Redmires Road further east.
7. Turn right along the road to return to Wyming Nature Reserve Car Park and your starting point.
At a glance
Distance: 5.5 miles
Map: OS Explorer Leisure 01, The Dark Peak
Grid reference: SK26898 85820
Difficulty: Moderate. The broad path of Wyming Brook Drive offers easy walking, sloping gently downhill before levelling out to cross the hillside above Rivelin Dams. There’s a long and steady climb up onto Hallam Moors. The path around the Redmires Reservoirs is fairly level. Be prepared for muddy sections, especially in winter.
Parking: There’s a small car park at Wyming Brook Nature Reserve. Best arrive early to secure a parking space.
Refreshments: None on the route but there are plenty of benches along the way for comfortable al fresco dining. The Three Merry Lads, less than a mile further east along Redmires Road from Wyming Brook Nature Reserve, offers decent pub grub.
Easy alternatives: For a shorter more level walk, park opposite the Upper Redmires Reservoir and follow Redmires Road and moorland path around the three reservoirs. Alternatively, walk down through Wyming Brook Nature Reserve to the junction above Upper Rivelin Dam, then turn right and follow the path eastbound above the reservoir. Take the first path on the right to follow the banks of Wyming Brook back to the car park.