A Guide To Cycling In South Yorkshire



When it comes to cycling in South Yorkshire, the main draw is the Trans Pennine Trail. This long-distance cycle route and its offshoots are a key part of the National Cycle Network, which crosses the whole of the north of England, much of it on country lanes, quiet roads and traffic-free footpaths.

If you’re planning a cycling holiday in South Yorkshire, the eastern and central sections are the ones to look at. Whether you’re a dedicated sporty type, a family looking for a day out, or just curious about the local countryside, there’s a route to suit you.

From Dunford Bridge in the east to cities like Sheffield and leafy country parks, our quick guide to cycling in South Yorkshire gives you the lowdown on some of its best bits.

Need a bicycle built for two?

Dunford Bridge to Penistone or Wortley

One of the most popular sections of the Trans Pennine Trail, this traffic-free route follows an old railway line, starting in rolling moorland in the Peak District and passing through wildflower-dotted countryside to the market town of Penistone. Depending on your energy levels, there’s the option to continue on to Wortley – a section that includes a ride through the railway’s old Thurgoland Tunnel.

Rother Valley Country Park

This 750-acre reclaimed nature reserve centres on four artificial lakes that are a magnet for birdwatchers. Marked trails for mountain bikers range from the flat gentle Green Route around the water to the more challenging Blue and Red woodland trails. Bikes are available to hire by the hour at the cycle centre in the park; they can also sort you out with a handy map.

Midhopestones to Grenoside

Allez, allez…

Here’s one for the road cyclists among you. This undulating 10-mile route north-west of Sheffield includes four hill climbs and several steep descents. Its big draw is that it formed part of the 2014 Tour de France route, so if you decide to take it on, expect a challenge. 

Barnsley to Old Moor RSPB Reserve

This 6.5-mile route begins, conveniently, at Barnsley station, where bikes are available to rent. Following a short section on the road, it picks up a traffic-free trail that crosses the river Dove on the way to the lakeside Old Moor nature reserve in Dearne Valley, run by the RSPB. You’ll have to park the bike when you get there, but then you can head off to try and spot kingfishers, lapwings and barn owls. There’s also a café where you can have a well-deserved drink.

Sheffield to Rotherham 

This unexpectedly green trail follows the River Don from Sheffield, along the aptly-named Five Weirs Walk, through Salmon Pastures nature reserve, and along the canal towpath into the centre of Rotherham. The eight-mile route is a greenway, so there are no cars. On the way, you can’t fail to notice the huge Meadowhall shopping centre, but watch out too for Carbrook Hall, once a 12th-century pub, said to be haunted, and now a drive-through coffee shop.


Planning a trip lasting more than one day? Find places to stay along the way with our ultimate North East region camping guide.

Fancy a detour or a day off? Take a look at our top things to do In South Yorkshire.

Prefer your own two feet? Then our guide to the 8 best scenic walks In South Yorkshire is the one for you.