LORD David Blunkett officially opened a revived 50-mile circular walk around Rotherham's boundary today (Friday).
The former home secretary had his walking shoes on in Wentworth this morning for the launch and joined ramblers on a 3.7 mile stroll through rural Rotherham.
Rotherham Metro Ramblers has worked in conjunction with Rotherham Borough Council to revive the route and produce a £2 walking guide.
The ring route is a walk of contrasts and covers the old steel industry in the west, rolling farmland in the south east, former mining areas in the north east and the Wentworth Estate in the north west.
Lord Blunkett, president of the South Yorkshire and North East Derbyshire Area of the Ramblers, said he thought the booklet was a “great idea”.
Addressing the crowd of around 40 ramblers, he added: ”I think what’s happening now is we are beginning to sell the whole of South Yorkshire as a wonderful, green, place to live because people don’t think of it in those terms.
“I went to a meeting at the university yesterday where they are trying to get people together to work out how to sell the wonderfulness of our countryside and make it a real plus in terms of selling Rotherham, Barnsley and I suppose, Doncaster and Sheffield, to actually say to people; ‘You’re missing something wonderful’.
“And you’re not, because you’re all involved in it.”
The ramblers have spent two years reviving the route for walkers and putting the guide together - which includes ten linear and nine circular ring routes. Roche Abbey, Keppel’s Column, Firbeck and Wentworth Church are some of the landmarks included.
Metro chairwoman Rosemary Boyle said it was a big day for the group and they were very honoured to have Lord Blunkett as guest of honour, along with the Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Alan Buckley.
The Rotherham Ring Route booklet is now on sale for £2 at the Tourist Information Centre on High Street, Rotherham.
For more information visit www.ramblers.org.uk/rotherham-metro, email email@example.com or phone metro chairwoman Rosemary Boyle on01709 546746.