The Don Valley Way is a walking trail that follows the River Don from Doncaster to Sheffield. It’s 29 miles long. The whole trail can be used by walkers, approximately half of it can be used by cyclists.
The trail is part of a Heritage Lottery funded project celebrating the history and wildlife of the River Don. In the past the river played an important role in the industry of the area. You can see many of the buildings and structures associated with this industry as you follow the trail. The Don provided power and water to the many mills and factories along its banks.
Before the industrial revolution the Don was rich in wildlife, and was full of salmon, so many that one area on the banks is called Salmon Pastures, where factory workers went to eat their salmon sandwiches for lunch.
The salmon disappeared when the river became too dirty and the many weirs blocked their progress upstream. Today it is clean enough to support salmon again. Living Heritage of the River Don project is working to install fish passes at the weirs with the aim of reintroducing salmon the River Don.
Following the trail takes you on journey of discovery. In places the Don passes through green fields with wildflowers and dragonflies, if you are lucky you might see the flash of a kingfisher. In other areas you pass mills and factories, buildings that show how important industry was along the Don.
The trail is never far from the railway line, making it perfect for a walk and return home by train. It’s well waymarked and easy follow.