Review of the week: a good review for a bad route


Phillipa Norwood deals with an unexpected closure of the path between Rotherham and Sheffield and uses her review to warn others

Our weekly celebration of volunteers’ efforts usually picks up a feel-good review about a walk which went well. This week, we’re featuring a good example of how to review a route that isn’t suitable for the network. After all, if all reviews are positive ones, why write reviews at all? The goal of a Slow Ways walk (besides just enjoying it) is to review a route to say whether it is suitable for future walkers. Volunteers can also go a step further with a survey, which describes the level of accessibility of a route.

Around this time last year, Phillipa attempted to walk from Rotherham to Sheffield on Sherot one. The other reviews show that Mary (who has since completed 200 walks!) had also spotted that the path was closed, which is a shame as reviewers in 2021 had described the route as a five-star walk. Phillipa’s review stands out as an example of how to fairly describe a route which has problems and provides us with an alternative, the Five Weirs Walk, which Mary uploaded as Sherot three.

Sherot one
Philippa Norwood
13 July 2022

This review is applicable in July 2022. Started in Rotherham to head back to Sheffield from Rotherham Station, and we were aware that some of the route was shut, but expected clear signage to get back onto the canal route via main roads. Alas, whoever designed the signs did not actually make these clear. There were no clear indications of which direction to go, so we spent a long while even attempting to work out how to get back on the route. Rotherham Council have done an absolute disservice in how they have dealt with the closure of the path, which could have been sorted out by having clear signage of how to get back onto it. Until everything reopens again, this is not a route for a casual expected route as there is not enough guidance to let you know where you need to go. There is nothing on any signage about when the route will be re-opened.

In the end, we found ourselves back on Canal Path via Bessemer Way, which we took walked to Meadowhall. Afther this point, we moved over to the Five Weirs Walk as this was more familiar and got us back to Sheffield.

This route is not straightforward for the moment, while half the path is closed. I can imagine that this will be resolved once reopened, or signage much improved to support people to know how to get back to the route.

To recap; in 2021, several volunteers walked this path and reported it as a good route. In 2022, both Mary and Philippa reported it as closed and therefore unsuitable for use on the network. There hasn’t been a recent update, but according to the sign Mary pictured the path should be open again, so this could be a good opportunity for another walker to Waycheck the route for 2023!

For more of our favourite reviews from Slow Ways volunteers, click here. Want to help us grow the network of verified walking routes? Sign up to walk and review Slow Ways. You can also join our community on on InstagramTwitter and Facebook

Slow Ways
Slow Ways is an initiative to create a national network of walking routes connecting all of Great Britain’s towns and cities as well as thousands of villages. It’s designed to make it easier for people to imagine, plan and go on walking journeys, walking further and for more purposes.