Sheffield, Sheffield, wherefore art thou Sheffield
Sheffield, the STEEL CITY of the North of England. The largest city in South Yorkshire, the greenest city in Europe and a place I am proud to call my home! Having lived in Sheffield my entire life you might consider me somewhat of an expert of the area and the different things that you can do! Something that I pride myself on doing is showing you that just because you suffer from mental health doesn’t mean you can’t travel. As yes it adds extra things to consider but I cover a lot of these possibilities here, here and here! You see I have worked incredibly hard on myself to enable me to travel despite suffering from complex mental health, and I hope my website allows you to do the same. As let’s face it mental health is shit enough without it stopping us doing the things we love!
Something that I have found incredibly useful when my mind is being a dick and I’m feeling anxious is getting out and about! Surrounding yourself with nature, filling your lungs with fresh air and seeing something other than the four walls of your room. Yes I know it’s hard and yes I know it’s difficult and it’s always as easy as just putting on some clothes heading out the front door. As then there’s the question of, where do you go? what is there to see? How will I know how to get there? What if there isn’t parking? How do I know if I’m doing the right walk, to see all the beautiful places that IG has shown me.
This is where I come in. As I understand that having donned the name ‘steel city’ it may be hard to believe that Sheffield has any greenery at all. But I promise you it is filled with beautiful woods, stunning parks, unknown trails and beautiful gardens. You can be driving down a busy rod, find a park and within minutes you are surrounded by green fields. It’s one of the reasons we are such a loved city.
But I’ve gone on a tangent…..
My point is, Sheffield is such an undiscovered city within the UK, and although our centre may not be the biggest, what we have to offer in regards to the outdoors far outweighs this. And here is where I would like to introduce you to Greno Woods. Now having lived in Sheffield my entire life it is only this year that I have even heard of Greno Woods. I was wanting a walk that was relatively easy, and no more than a couple of hours. Within 30 minutes of where I live, that had easy access and was child friendly, BUT that I hadn’t done before. When a colleague told me about Greno Woods! I immediately googled it and found out it was 18 minutes from my house! How had I never heard of this place?
And best of all I was assured it was super quiet, with lots of picnic spots and gorgeous woodland.
Sounds perfect right?
Well let’s get to it!
How do I get to Greno Woods?
Greno Woods is part of the Sheffield Nature Reserve trust it is one of their largest woodlands and spans over 169 hectares. It is a local treasure for walkers, horse riders, mountain bikers alike. Though saying this you’ll rarely come across more than half a dozen people whilst you’re there. This is certainly my experience.
Located in the North of Sheffield, by Grenoside village you would begin to question if it’s even part of the same city, as you go from built up city centres, football stadiums and shopping centres. To beautifully quiet and windy country roads. You might even think you are in the Peak District! If you type into your sat nav
This will take you to Greno wood car park, located on Woodhead road. As you’re driving up (from Sheffield) it will be on your left. This is a huge car park with plenty of spaces. Cross over the road and here is where you will find plenty of trails for you to walk along.
Though if you are wanting to do the loop walk, I highly recommend driving about 200 metres down the road and there is a lay-by on your right with a sign saying Greno Woodland. Park up here, walk a couple of metres past the entrance and then you can either walk up or down. This is the start of the loop walk. Which can sometimes be difficult to find from the main car park.
Greno Woods – The Locals Hidden Gem
So why I hear you ask is this such a local gem? Well Greno Woods is known as an ancient woodland, with an abundance of wildlife. Located right here in South Yorkshire! From butterflies,birds, badgers, foxes and deers! Though the latter three are more difficult to find unless you are out at dawn or dusk! What more could you want? It really is as magical as it sounds!
There are several walks you can do though the two I highly recommend are the Loop Walk and the enchanted forest trail. Above I have already mentioned the Loop Walk, and where to park, this will take you around 1.5-2 hours to do depending on your speed. We like to take a leisurely walk, veer of a little into the woods and see what other hidden trails there are. If the weather is dry I strongly suggest bringing your own picnic as there are plenty of picnic benches along the way for you to stop, refuel and enjoy the stunning views!
Maybe even get a glimpse of some of that wildlife I was talking about. One thing I love about Greno Woods is it’s HUGE ferns, guiding your way through this mystical land. It’s as if you are in your very own Jurassic Park. On this theme – there can sometimes be horse poo along the way so we then pretended to our lil one that it was dinosaur poo! This added further to our exploration!
It also encompasses part of the Trans Pennine Trail which for the more adventurous of you, is a walk all the way from Sheffield to Manchester!
The second walk is the enchanted forest trail. Perfect for kids and adults alike I loved it! And it’s completely free! For this walk park in the main car park, cross the road into the main entrance. Here there is a track that goes slightly up hill, follow this for around 200 metres and look out for the Green Man. Here is where the trail begins. IT is based all around the tradition of the Green Man. A creature who is featured in a lot of English folklore, believed to symbolise the cycle of life, death and rebirth.
You can see straight away the mystical, magical and ancient aura Greno Woods has within itself. With such a rich history leaning heavily into our English heritage it’s a wonder more people don’t know about it. But then again that’s the beauty of it. As it’s off the beaten track only locals have discovered it. It took me 28 years as I live on the opposite side of the city!
As I have previously mentioned this is also a space for mountain biking trails. DON’T let this put you off, as they have specified trails themselves. So they won’t be wheezing past you and shattering your peaceful walk. And when our paths do cross they have people there to ensure there are no collisions on the mountain bike trails.
Greno Woods has worked hard to create an accessible walk, as there are very clear pathways and signs so you know where you are going. The majority of the trails are flat, though there are some which are a little uneven. Just so you are aware.
Get out and enjoy yourself
As I mentioned at the start, I understand how difficult it is, to get outside when your mental health is particularly heightened. You can’t make choices and even the simplest of tasks can seem difficult. This is why I have written this blog. So that you already have all the information you require to go and experience this beautiful mystical woodland.
And let your mind breathe.