The cluster of reservoirs around Bradfield, to the north of Sheffield, are not only calm, stunning places to spend time: they're also excellent spots for runners of all abilities.
Yorkshire Water-owned Damflask has a well-surfaced path all the way around that forms a mostly traffic-free and flat loop of around 5km. You can extend this to 10km by including a loop of Agden Dam. Further on from Bradfield, towards Strines Reservoir, is Dale Dyke. Dale Dyke is a great starting point for this more challenging off-road 10km route, on varied terrain and with brilliant views.
As you run down the track leading from Dale Road to the reservoir, you'll pass information on the Dale Dyke disaster of 1864, when the dam wall burst and caused the Great Sheffield Flood. Take a left fork to run under the dam wall. The path climbs some steps to take you back up to the dam wall on the other side. Follow the track round the reservoir until you see a fingerpost for a track off to the left.
Cross the wall and head up the hill away from the reservoir, to a T-junction. Turn right – watch out, it can be muddy in places here. Cross over a stile and turn left, heading uphill. This is the steepest part of the run, but is thankfully only short! Cross a road and head up the last steep section beside a rocky outcrop – it soon becomes gentler as you run straight on across a field towards another road crossing. Head across the road up another path to a crossing, where you turn right. You'll soon see a track off to the left, and you're now cutting through open moorland with amazing views.
The track continues to climb uphill until you reach the highest point at a gate above Moscar. Descend through a gate and soon after, take a path to the right. Cross numerous fields and stiles descending to another road. Turn right on the road to a driveway on the left. Head down the driveway and follow the marked footpath around the top of the house. This path is lined with rhododendrons, so watch your head!
You'll reach Boot's Folly, with a great view over Derwent Edge and the reservoirs. Cross the field containing the folly and head right on a path (that can be muddy), descending toward Dale Dyke. After a wall crossing, turn left to a style towards the head of the reservoir. Cross a bridge to head down the left bank of Dale Dyke for some lovely running on a great wooded path that brings you back to your starting point.
Start: Dale Road, S6 6LE.
Distance: 5km or 10km.
Parking: On the side of Dale Road, next to the track down towards the reservoir.
Public transport: Supertram blue route to Hillsborough, followed by the 61 bus to Annet Lane – it's then a 20-minute walk to the start point.