It’s been a glorious day here in Sheffield, UK. Most unusual for a bank holiday weekend. Yet only two days ago it was cold enough for gloves. Such is our changeable climate. This afternoon I took Harry and Dixie out for a good 3-hour ramble, from their house down to the river and woods at Rivelin and back.
This is one of my favourite walks because it’s so varied and interesting. There are so many footpaths to choose from that the walk is different every time. Starting off in suburbia, it then covers parkland, woodland, fields, rocks, and allotments. There are sheep, horses, fishermen, a cafe, ice-cream, and lots of other dogs. A cool river to paddle in, and once you’ve climbed back up the hill, a simply stunning view.
My route today took in Walkley Cemetery. I find cemeteries fascinating. They are so full of history and hidden life stories. I find them mysterious and atmospheric. This particular cemetery is all the more interesting because it isn’t neat, tidy and well-attended. It is neglected and dilapidated. In a wood on a steep hill, it is overgrown with ivy and creepers. There are clearings, footpaths, and stone walls which have fallen down. The ancient trees provide lots of shade, so it’s like wandering through a rambling old house, from room to room, full of antiques in various stages of decay. Some of the headstones are spectacularly ornate, with stone statues of angels and draped urns.
A little further on, we were treated to a lovely display of bluebells.
We weren’t far from the river and I could already hear the happy sounds of children larking about. Down at the cafe and kids’ play area it was crowded with families having picnics and barbecues, and playing in the river. I put the boys on their lead as they are terrible scroungers when there’s food about. Further up the river it was much quieter so I let them off again. Someone had dropped a packet of crisps in the path and Harry was onto it: opened and devoured in two minutes, cheesy wotsit crumbs all over his chops.
At the big pond we usually have a rest because it’s a good place to paddle in the river and get a drink before we leave the valley floor and climb back up the hill. I let the boys have a good mooch round. They went and made friends with (i.e., scrounged food off) all the other people there. After a while I couldn’t see Harry anywhere. Then I noticed he was up on the footpath around the pond, talking to a fisherman. Uh-oh! I hadn’t noticed the fishermen there. I always put them on the lead around fishermen because in general they don’t like to be disturbed and they certainly don’t want dogs trying to eat their bait. So I grabbed Dixie and ran round to get Harry, full of apologies. But fortunately the man was laughing. ‘I have to tell you, love, that your dog’s just eaten some raw bacon’. Well I wasn’t too bothered, as I raw feed my cats and I think dogs should be raw fed too, ideally. The man then offered Dixie his last rasher, and it vanished without touching the sides. Well pleased with their pickings, the boys had one last dip in the river and we headed up the footpath, through the fields to the allotments at the top.
The view is well worth the climb. We had a rest in the meadow which was full of lush long grasses and buttercups. The lads rolled around in the cool grass and had lots of belly-rubs.
Back home, Harry and Dixie flopped onto the kitchen floor and nodded off whilst I related our adventures to Ken.
I would never have found these places and pieced this walk together if I wasn’t a regular dog-walker. All thanks to the Cinnamon Trust.
Where shall we go next Sunday?
Till next time,