Travel along the Hope Valley Line & enjoy a day out in Sheffield
Join guest blogger, David Bamford as he travels along one of Britain's most attractive railway lines before spending the day exploring the famous city of steel.
Flying in to Manchester? Staying in Northern England? Why not visit the home of Sean Bean, the Arctic Monkeys and 'Britain's coolest mayor (2018)'.
Sheffield is just 50 minutes from Manchester on the beautiful Hope Valley line, through the centre of the Peak District, the world's second most visited National Park, which a third of the city is in.
There's no need to be in a rush (don't forget you are on holiday!) so take the scenic stopping train along the Hope Valley Line to explore the quaint villages of Edale (start of the Pennine Way) or Hope & Castleton (home of three spectacular caverns), explore the alternative town of New Mills or why not visit Britain's best lido in Hathersage.
The journey itself, largely through the Peak District is stunningly beautiful, passing first through the Vale of Edale, the Hope Valley and finally snaking its way through Sheffield’s leafy South West suburbs.
On the way in to Sheffield you may have noticed a large mosque, this sits near the city’s Abbeydale Road, heart of its antiques quarter. The antiques quarter is a twenty minute walk from Sheffield station, past Bramall Lane, home of Sheffield United and training club for two of the England Squad (Harry Maguire, Kyle Walker), with Jamie Vardy being trained by Sheffield rivals Wednesday and Gary Cahill from nearby Dronfield. While in the antiques quarter, there are good pubs (a reoccurring Sheffield theme), such as The Broadfield and the legendary Picture House Social.
At Sheffield station it would be remiss not to go the Sheffield Tap, in 2016 voted the Great British pub of the year. Although converted from the first class waiting rooms, you no longer need a first class ticket for entry, just an appreciation for beer and beautiful architecture.
Sheffield has a do it yourself attitude as a city, leading to a large amount of festivals. These range from the well known, such as Tramlines, now a short tram ride away in Hillsborough Park in north Sheffield, to Cliffhanger, dedicated to outdoor pursuits, to more cult gems such as Festival of the Mind, Peace in the Park or Sensoria.
Sheffield’s position nestled in the Peak District foothills and its abundance of parks give in a reputation as a green city. An often quoted fact amongst city residents is that Sheffield has the most trees per person of any city in Europe, and this can be seen throughout the city including in its excellent parks.
My personal favourites include the Winter Gardens, a giant greenhouse right in the centre of town, Millhouses Park, visible from the train on the way in, the Five Weirs Walk along the River Don and the Botanical Gardens, beautiful tropical gardens that in the summer host concerts and theatre, and check out the bearpit!
So to sum up, Sheffield really does have it all excellent museums, Western Park and Magna are particularly good for families, great pubs, including my favourite, the Riverside in Kelham Island, my favourite café, the Blue Moon in town, my favourite restaurant, Vito’s in Walkley, with an honourable mention to Zara’s in Crookes, and the friendly spirit of Sheffield.
For more info visit: www.welcometosheffield.co.uk
Heading from the West Yorkshire market towns of Huddersfield or Penistone? Then catch the picturesque Penistone Line straight to Sheffield. Click here to find out more...
Hungry for more scenic rail adventures? Check out www.scenicrailbritain.com
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