From Sheffield city centre, runners have easy access to plenty of traffic-free urban trails. You can run along the canal from Victoria Quays, which extends all the way to Rotherham, or link up with the trails alongside the River Don. This 5km route takes in the Cholera Monument and Norfolk Park, and affords great views over Sheffield and the hills beyond. Paths are well-surfaced and there are some short climbs.
Ponds Forge Leisure Centre is a good place to start. Head away from the city centre on the flyover at Park Square roundabout, towards Park Hill flats. Cross the tram and railway tracks. Turn right up a gentle slope lined with red lamp-posts beside Park Hill. Take another right onto a path leading to South Street park, past the back of the railway station. This open space is an amazing urban playground for runners, with steps, grassy slopes and flat sections. It’s ideal for intervals or strength work.
Continue on the path until you meet Shrewsbury Road. Cross it and pick up another track rising up the hillside, following signs for the Cholera Monument. The path zigzags right up to the monument. Stop awhile when you get there, take in the view over Sheffield and learn some of the area’s history.
Turn right at the monument to follow the track through Clay Wood, sign-posted Norfolk Park. When you meet a road, turn left and then take the first right. Ahead of you will be the grand entrance to Norfolk Park: use the zebra crossing on Granville Road.
Norfolk Park is one of the oldest public parks in the country. As you enter, run along the grand oak tree-lined avenue to start your lap of the park. Continue on the main path as it curves round the edge of the park and keep bearing right. You’ll return to your starting point, and a left turn brings you back to the park entrance.
Retrace your steps back through Clay Wood to the Cholera Monument and descending to cross the road into South Street park. A downhill path on the left takes you to a graffitied bridge over the railway. Once over the bridge, turn right at the front of the station and admire the fountains.
Cross over the main road towards the bus interchange and continue straight on for the final climb on the Park Square roundabout flyover back up to Ponds Forge.