Sheffield is well known for its active sports. In fact, it’s known as ‘the outdoor city’ because of its climbing, walking and, of course, biking. Lady Cannings is one of the newer official trail centres that Sheffield now offers and offers two different runs from top to bottom.
Although it’s named as a ‘trail centre’, Lady Cannings isn’t what you’d normally expect from a trail centre. There are no loops of great distance, there’s no cafe or even a toilet. The parking is minimal (and there’s no charge!). It’s more a case of two trails running down the side of a hill which can be lapped again and again.
Don’t let that dissuade you from going, though! Although there’s no loop and the trails are short (1.4km and 1.6km), they are incredibly good fun. If you like flow and speed then Lady Cannings is absolutely designed for you. The blue-graded trails don’t offer anything too technically difficult for total novices, but are also fun at full-speed for those more advanced riders. Put shortly, the quicker you ride the trails, the more fun they become as some of the rollers suddenly become doubles.
The trails themselves are well groomed, have perfect drainage and run quick in all conditions. They seem to be regularly looked after by a group of volunteers and have been mostly designed to be a barrel of laughs. There are a few sections, however, where the flow of the trail suddenly seems to cut out (particularly when riding the lower half of Cooking On Gas) so some hard pedalling is required if you’re planning on keeping up your speed.
Blue Steel, the original trail at Lady Cannings, runs 1.4km downhill over a total of 50m vertical drop. It doesn’t seem like a lot but the whole thing can be done without any pedalling from top to bottom. With some winding berms, a few double-able rollers and even a spot where the trail forks into two to offer different line choices, it really is great fun.
Cooking on Gas, the newer of the two trails, is marginally longer at 1.6km with the same 50m vertical descent and, whilst keeping the feel of Lady Cannings, offers something different to Blue Steel. In the place, of tight berms and narrower trails, Cooking on Gas offers wide, swooping berms one after another. Again, most of the trail can be ridden without pedalling, although there are a small number of sections that could be redesigned to give even more of the fun factor
If Lady Cannings sounds up your street but you’d really like to tie it in with a longer ride, that’s perfectly doable too. Running from the top of the trails (or to the top of the trails, depending on the direction you’re travelling in), is a multitude of different trails that go off across the Peak District and across the moors.
All in all, Lady Cannings is well worth a visit for anyone who wants to session fun, fast and flowy trails and leave at the end of the day with a smile spread on their face. Yes, you’ll need to take your own food (or visit the pub down the road) and you’ll have to use nature’s wash closet… but that doesn’t stop me wanting to go back and ride there again.
Photos taken by Gareth Noble.