Advantages Quiet and peaceful
Disadvantages Can only be reached on foot, limited parking.
I consider myself to be very fortunate living within such a short distance of so many of the Peak District’s attractions, but because there are so many different places to choose from so close to me, many of them like those in the Strines Valley often get overlooked.
Dale Dike Reservoir (also sometimes spelt dyke) is a reservoir on the north eastern fringe of the City of Sheffield on the edge of the Peak District National Park. It is one of four reservoirs in the valley, the others being Strines, Agden and Damflask. They are all owned by Yorkshire Water and provide a supply of fresh drinking water for Sheffield and the surrounding area.
Dale Dike Reservoir is locally a very famous reservoir due to the events of that took place on the night of 11th March 1864. When I was at school (many years ago) we learned about The Great Sheffield Flood that was caused when the dam wall at this reservoir burst and sent a torrent of water hurtling downstream that claimed 270 lives. As a child I was always interested in the story of the Sheffield Flood as my father's aunt who lived to the ripe old age of 99 told me all about the role that her grandparents played in it. They lost their home but survived, although almost of all their neighbours died. The story goes that they had a new born baby and were up feeding it in the middle of the night when they heard the strange noise of the rumble of water rolling down the valley. Within just a few minutes the water had covered a distance of 9 miles and had reached the city centre, washing away everything in its path.
If you are approaching Dale Dike from Sheffield then it is the third reservoir in the chain. An extensive plantation of coniferous trees fills the valley and surrounds all these reservoirs so there is surprisingly little of them to be seen from the minor road that runs up the valley from Bradfield to the Strines Inn and it’s actually very easy to miss them all. There are several ways to access it but they all involve a walk through the woods of between 10 and 20 minutes depending on where you park. It is possible to park in several spots at the side of the road but most of the spaces only hold 2 or 3 cars so it can be difficult to find a parking space at the weekends, especially if the weather is nice.
I've always laughed at folk who have an image of Sheffield as a dull, drab dirty place. It's true that 40 years ago there was a lot of heavy industry but all of that has now gone and even the city centre is clean and modern these days, but what Sheffield has always had is easy access to some of the finest countryside in England. Within just a few minutes I can be high on the moors above the city and I could be anywhere in England and for that I've always been grateful.
Since I know this area quite well I always try to park in the same place and if I'm lucky to find a space then it’s only a quick walk through the woods to the water. The path is good quality with a nice soft carpet of pine needles but it is quite steep and there's a few exposed tree roots so it wouldn't be suitable for the infirm.
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