A walk from Potter Hill to Greno Woods

Distance: 5 miles
Time: Allow 2 hours

A circular walk of around 5 miles through fields and ancient woodlands on the edge of High Green and Grenoside. Good views towards Barnsley and beyond from Greno Knoll at the top of Greno Woods.

Walking from Potter Hill to Greno Woods
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The Route Points of interest are shown in bold
  1. From the top of Springwood Lane take the public footpath by the side of the house with the ‘spider’ metal gates. Go down the footpath, across the stile by the gate and continue down into the field, keeping the hedge on your right. Ignore the path off to the right and enter the wood at the bottom of the hill. Cross the stream on the stepping stones and continue uphill through the woods, following the path bearing right to the A61 main road.
  2. Cross the road (with care!) and take the public footpath straight across into the woods. Carry straight on, aiming for a large holly tree. Go left around the tree, then right to follow the footpath across farmland, and round the side of a metal gate. The red buildings to your left are the former Hallwood Isolation Hospital. Continue on the path up the field until you reach the woods. Go through a gate and straight on up the hill, following a wide track passing Toll Bar house on the right, to Woodhead Road. There are good views from here across on to Wharncliffe Chase and the moors above Stocksbridge beyond.
  3. Turn left and go along the road (take care as there is no pavement!) for about 300 yards until you reach a public footpath to the left into the woods.
  4. Turn left onto the footpath and bear slightly right up to a wooden seat. Turn right and continue straight on through pine trees on a stony track into Greno Woods. Watch for the triangulation point set back in woods to the right. Ignore the two narrow paths off to the left, continuing on the track until you come to a wide track heading downhill to the left edged on the left by a mossy bank.
  5. Continue down the track to come to a dell (former quarry?) on the left. At the main path turn left and go downhill on the track towards a large holly tree and signs for the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) pointing to the right. At the bottom of the hill the path joins a level, wide, straight track. Turn left onto this track and after about 50 yards turn right and pass through an A-frame onto a wide lane (Sandy Lane) Go down the lane to the A61 main road.
  6. Cross the main road (with care!) and turn right to reach the junction with Elliott Lane. Turn left down Elliott Lane. Take the public footpath on the left just after the bungalow. The path goes diagonally right across the field towards the woods. (There may be horses in this field). At the top of the hill on your left is Barnes Hall.
  7. Go through the gate into Foxfield Spring Wood and continue on the path through the wood to emerge by a green space and children’s play area. Continue on the path, keeping the play area on your left and follow the path between the houses of Sweet Pea Row to emerge on Chapel Road.
  8. Turn left and go along Chapel Road to the junction with Burncross Road. Cross the road and turn right to go down to the junction with Blackburn Drive. Follow Blackburn Drive round.
  9. About 150 yards after Blackburn Crescent (on your right) take the signed public footpath down to the left across the grass and through the trees to cross Charlton Brook and join a wider path. Turn left on this path and follow it up to Charlton Dam, which is on your left. Continue up the path to the road (Hollow Gate). Go straight across the road up Springwood Lane to return to the starting point.
Possible extensions You may wish to combine this walk with one at Grenoside or explore the village or other woodlands in the area.

Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer 278 Sheffield and Barnsley

Start: Top of Springwood Lane, Potter Hill, High Green, S35 4JF

Public Transport: For information on public transport ring the South Yorkshire Traveline on 01709 515151 or visit www.travelsouthyorkshire.com

Car Parking: On road at Potter Hill. Please park sensibly.

Public Toilets: None on route

Refreshments: None on route

Points of Interest
Hallwood Isolation Hospital

The hospital was opened for the care of smallpox patients in 1916 and closed in 1982. It had a reputation among local children as the ‘haunted hospital’. It is now a private house.

High Green

As its name suggest, High Green began life as a hamlet around a green and remained largely agricultural until the establishment of Thorncliffe Ironworks at the end of the c18th. It became a separate ecclesiastical district in 1872 with the building of St Saviour’s Parish Church, built in memory of Parkin Jeffcock who lost his life during a heroic rescue attempt at the Oaks Coillery disaster in Barnsley in 1866. His mother’s family came from High Green.

Greno Woods

The woods are now owned by Sheffield Wildlife Trust but the woodland has been managed since at least medieval times. Timber was used for building and the underwood for making charcoal, clog soles, brushes and baskets. From 1950 the Forestry Commission managed the woods for conifer production and planted large areas of larch and Scots pine. Some remain, interspersed by sweet chestnut, beech and oak. Grenoside and District Local History group have produced two historical walks leaflets, one featuring Grenoside village and the other exploring Wheata Wood. For more information see www.grenosidelocalhistory.co.uk.

Toll Bar House on Woodhead Road

This house was probably a toll house on the Sheffield to Manchester and Huddersfield / Halifax turnpike road, built in 1777. An old milestone at Cundy Cross further along the road towards Wortley shows the number of miles from Sheffield to Manchester and Huddersfield. In the c18th this route across the top of the hills was probably more easily navigated than the lower-lying Don Valley, where the Sheffield - Manchester road runs today. Tolls for maintenance of turnpike roads were collected from travellers at a gate, or bar, across the road. In the 1830s over 1,000 turnpike trusts administered around 30,000 miles of turnpike road in England and Wales, taking tolls at almost 8,000 gates.


The name Grenoside was first recorded in the c13th as ‘Gravenhou’ from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘graefan’ meaning a quarry, ‘o’ from the Old Norse ‘haugr’ meaning hill and the modern word ‘side’, altogether meaning a quarried hillside. In the c19th quarrying was an important industry in Grenoside. Woodland crafts, such as basket making and clog-sole making were also specialities in this area, and light metal trades such as nail making, cutlery manufacture and file-cutting also took place. Grenoside was also the birthplace and location of the Walker brothers’ first foundry and steel furnace. They later operated iron and steel works at Masbrough.

Potter Hill

Potter Hill was previously called Chapel Lane, after the Primitive Methodist Chapel (now demolished) that used to stand at the junction with Burncross Road.

Potter Hill Camp

The Potter Hill (also called Bracken Hill) camp was erected on fields near Barnes Hall to accommodate up to 1500 people made homeless by the war. During the war, Italian prisoners and American servicemen were billeted there. After the war it was used to house Dutch refugee children and later homeless families from Sheffield were settled there. The site was eventually developed as a housing estate.

Sweet Pea Row

This attractive row of cottages lies off Chapel Road. In the photograph from the early part of last century we can see the row lived up to its name as most of the houses seem to have had sweet peas growing up the front wall.