The Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham is situated in the southern end of South Yorkshire. It was created as a result of local government reorganisation in 1974. It absorbed the Rural Authorities of Maltby, Wath and Swinton as well as the old County Borough of Rotherham. Since then, the sites occupied by steel making and mining industries have been restored and a green and pleasant countryside has emerged out of the heavy industrial environment that once typified this corner of South Yorkshire.
Although Rotherham is now noted for its diverse industries it also has an attractive surrounding countryside which accounts for approximately 70% of the square miles within the Metropolitan Borough. The gently rolling rural landscapes, through which the Rotherham Ring Route journeys, are a pleasure to observe throughout the seasons.
With its comprehensive network of footpaths, walking is the ideal way to see the Metropolitan Borough of Rotherham in all its guises from townscape to rural landscape, reservoir to river and rolling farmland to the open spaces of the Country Parks.
The realisation that many people, local as well as visitors, were unaware of the walking potential of the area encouraged members of The Ramblers Rotherham Metro Group to promote the Rotherham Ring Route and publish a series of guides in 2002. The guides were prepared on the basis of the original route devised by Rotherham Harriers’ Athletic Club.
The Rotherham Ring Route stays close to the Borough boundary, and follows designated rights of way along most of its length. It is waymarked by a Bell Motif with a white directional arrow. The motif recalls the practice of Bell Founding in and around Rotherham which dated from around 1615, with manufacturing continuing through a number of different companies up to 1808. There are 16 churches within South Yorkshire that are credited with having bells manufactured in the Rotherham area.
In 2016 the Group decided that it was time to re-launch the Ring Route, and members undertook the checking and waymarking of all the ten sections with the aim of publishing a new guide booklet, with the help of funding from Ramblers.
Although the 50-mile Ring Route could be walked in its entirety, or even in two or three days using public transport, it was felt that most walkers would prefer to complete it one section at a time. By adding the option of an alternative return route back to the section start the authors have created a series of nine circular walks in the Borough, mainly through attractive countryside, of between 8 and 14 miles in length.
The use of coloured photos taken by Metro members and Ordnance Survey maps have greatly enhanced the booklet’s appearance while retaining legibility for use on the walks. Whilst the authors have tried to ensure the accuracy of the walk descriptions, they would appreciate any discrepancies being reported (contact details p32) for correction in future editions. Rotherham Metro Ramblers hope the booklet will greatly add to your enjoyment of the wealth of countryside round Rotherham.
On July 27th 2018, The Rt Hon the Lord David Blunkett, as President of S Yorks & NE Derbyshire Area of The Ramblers, launched the revised booklet at a special event at Wentworth followed by a walk of Section 9 to Keppel's Column. The booklet is now on sale for £2.00 per copy - see section Buy the Book.