1. Ford public car park Start at the small free public car park next to the Bridge Inn at Ford (not the pub car park) The entrance to the car-park is marked by a large by a large grindstone. Ford is approached either off the B6054 at Highlane, Sheffield, or the B6056 at Marsh Lane, nr Eckington. Ordnance Survey grid ref: SK 402 804. Listen to track 1 here.
2. The Ford Wheel Dam From the car park head towards the fishing pond and take a look at the John Haslam’s Donkey information board. Take either of the gates and listen to Track 2 on the opposite side of the pond.
3. Never Fear Dam We are going to follow the stream along a section of twisting, turning path known as “the lion and the donkey”. Cross the footbridge and keep right along the level path. After passing through a wooden kissing gate look for the now dry goyt, which runs from the weir on your right and beneath the hedgerow on your left. This once fed the pond 200m further on. Listen to Track 3 when you arrive at this pond.
4. Upper Carlton Dam Lets continue on the path to soon cross another footbridge. Head along the left hand field edge and onto a wide track through the woodlands. The beech wood on our right is called Twelve Acre Wood and is in an area called Eckington Park owned by the Sitwell family of nearby Renishaw Hall. We will head into the beech woodland and follow the wide track. In about 200 metres stop and listen to Track 4 when you can see the remains of a wall down to your left.
5. Seldom Seen Engine House Remain on this track until a major junction of wide tracks is reached. Our route continues ahead to reach the path on the right leading up to the Seldom Seen Engine House. Walk up this path to explore the remains and listen to Track 5.
6. An ancient packhorse bridge We retrace our steps back 200m to the major track junction, known locally as the end of the horseshoe. Turn left, downhill, and listen to Track 6 on the footbridge. Here the stream marks the boundary between the County of Derbyshire and City of Sheffield.
7. The Tramway Cross the bridge and take the path to the left of a large oak tree, and then turn left again to follow the route between the woodland and a hedgerow. Continue along this woodland path, which is full of Bluebells in the Spring, to reach the top of Cadman Wood. Listen to Track 7 at the crossing of paths.
8. Plumbley Farm Turn right to head up the sunken path of the tramway for approx 150m, where you will reach a stepped footpath crossing Climb the steps on our left to reach a large field. Take the right hand field-path uphill. There are good views around here – look behind at this point and the spire of Eckington Parish Church is visible rising above the trees.
Climb the stile into the next field and head diagonally downhill towards the cottages, surrounded by holly bushes, in the distance. Turn left onto the lane by the houses, walk left up Plumbley Lane and listen to Track 8 when you reach Plumbley Farm.
9. Ridgeway Village Continue straight ahead leaving the farm buildings on our left. Head down a track to cross a minor stream and then uphill to follow the path across a large open field with splendid views over to Ridgeway and the upper Moss valley. At the top of the Gorse covered bank is good place to pause.
Follow the path and steps downhill and cross the stream by a footbridge to leave Sheffield and re-enter Derbyshire. Climb the field to the top right-hand corner, towards a stile, and follow the hedgerow around the field to the stile by a field gate. Now head straight for the church in the distance. Listen to Track 9 when you arrive at the road.
10. Sloadlane After passing the church we turn right along the metalled road. Pass by the ‘Old School Room’, join the footpath and head down the flight of 99 substantial steps-known locally as Jacob’s Ladder. Cross Robin Brook-one of the few local streams never dammed due to its fluctuating seasonal flow-to reach the hamlet of Sloadlane. This was once an area of small workshops and smithies, but now with very attractive houses. Turn left along the road until the ford, with its water crossing for cars, is reached and listen to track 10.
11. Birleyhay Take the path that is signed into the field on the left just beyond the buildings. There are more fine views, with Eckington church in view again. Drop downhill to join a minor road (Geer Lane) and continue straight ahead on this road for a short distance to the Geer Lane/Birleyhay junction – your prompt to listen to track 11.
12. Ford – nearly home When you are ready, follow the lane left alongside the Móss to reach the main road. Carefully crossing the road and turn left to pass Ford Farm – a fine example of a 3-storey farmhouse from the early 1800s. Listen to track 12 on the footpath of the stone bridge. Return to the start Walk past the pub (or detour in!) and enter the picnic area. Cross one of the 2 footbridges over the goyt to the car park, and the finish of the walk.
Bus Service – 252 (TM Travel, Sheffield-Eckington) stops at Ford. It’s a half hourly service, but none on Sundays. Its possible to do the walk in 2 parts by using the bus from here for the brief ride back down to Ford.