Mortimer road and the surrounding area of Strines is a true gem, a diamond in the rough that is often overlooked by those traveling along the A57 out of Sheffield, it’s a haven for wildlife and hides some gorgeous trails. The rugged natural beauty of this area brings me back time after time. In parts it is the manmade reservoirs that draws me here, but I also adore the stunning heather moorland that is a breeding ground for grouse and many other ground nesting birds. The meaning of the word Strines or Strynds as stated in The Oxford Dictionary dates back to the 13th Century and means a stream or rivulet.
I can’t speak of Strines without a mention of The Strines Inn which is a lovely spot I have mentioned before in a previous blog about the Snake Pass. At this picturesque inn Est 1275 there are Peacocks roaming everywhere, a kids play area for the little ones and they serve a hearty home cooked dinner as well as, of course very good liquid refreshment!
From the Strines Inn location there’s great views over Strines reservoir which was built in 1869 when the Sheffield Water Committee decided to build 4 reservoirs in the Bradfield Dale area. The previous water supplies were growing insufficient for the growing town of Sheffield. The other three reservoirs are Damflask, Dale Dike and Agden.
While on our tour of the area by car, my family, the dog and I found a relaxing trail through the Wigtwizzle Plantation. We had a very peaceful meander through the pines watching little birds flit from tree to tree and butterflies fluttering by. There are little streams trickling through the pine plantation which feed into the Broomhead reservoir below.
After a relaxing stroll through the pines we found ourselves at Broomhead reservoir. The main water feed for the reservoir is the Ewden Beck which flows down from Broomhead moor. Any excess water from the reservoir overflows down into the river Don, a beautiful sight to see if you happen to be at Broomhead reservoir at the right time. On this occasion we had arrived on a warm and sunny day so no water cascading over, just gorgeous views and curious sheep! (A perfect spot for a picnic too!)
Mortimer road is the start of many adventures for me, lots of stunning views and sweet or sometimes exciting locations. Mortimer road links the A57 with the A616 and there are hidden adventures along the way, in the pine woodland area a short distance from the Strines Inn there’s a paintballing centre, if you like the excitement of paintballing then this is the place for you to get your kicks, the Delta Force Paintball centre.
I really do enjoy walking through the beautiful shady beech woodland along the back lanes with the family and Max the dog, I feel these areas are well worth exploring and make a change from the pines that grow in the plantations around the reservoirs. Even the sights along the way make me smile, the highland cattle grazing on the hillside and the views from the back lane looking over the contours of the moors and the woodland copses.
I can’t complete my tour without a quick mention of the now derelict Thornseat Lodge, it’s a grand looking building on Mortimer road which looks over the valley to the Dale Dike reservoir, I find it a fascinating location, but at the same time it is such a shame to see this lovely building in its current state of disrepair. Thornseat Lodge was built in 1855 by William Jessop steel maker as a hunting lodge and in the 1930’s it became a children’s home until the early 80’s when it was left to become derelict.
There is so much to cover within this area that I feel another blog coming on, I can’t do the area full justice with a single post, there’s much to be said and much to be photographed, and so I am destined to return and explore further along the Mortimer road and Strines area. Here I must sign off and hope that I have at least inspired you a little with a glimpse of another of my favourite gems.