Journal: 19 March 2018
Both Bobby and I had visited the Peak District as teenagers, but I’d never been to Sheffield. My best friend lives in Leeds, so I knew all too well about Sheffield’s creative scene and I was excited to explore the surrounding area as a family.
We drove straight to the Peak District. Our first stop was the David Mellor estate, closely followed by Castleton and Edale. We promised Stanley that we’d explore a cave and he was hoping we’d find a dinosaur fossil! Even I, being claustrophobic, thoroughly enjoyed exploring Treak Cavern.
Whilst you can’t guarantee the weather out of season, boy do I prefer it. We didn’t have to queue for anything and we were lucky enough to have a the tour guide all to ourselves.
The views were just breathtaking. It was like living in a painting.
Rather than hike up hills (with Stanley), we decided to explore by car and incorporate smaller walks at regular intervals. Over our two hour journey, I developed an even greater respect for mother nature. The weather turned from beautiful blue skies to a deep fog (severely reducing visibility) in just minutes. Another six hours later and snow was falling.
We really did see all the seasons this weekend.
As is becoming a staple for our city trips, we incorporated the local museums and galleries. Fortunately, our hotel was the definition of central. Next door to the Winter Gardens, Millennium Gallery and a few short steps from the Graves Gallery.
We first took Stanley to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) in spring, when he was two. Despite being April, all of us donned shorts and t-shirts. The park looked very different this March, covered in a blanket of snow. We agreed it made it more fun exploring and ‘finding’ the exhibitions.
N.B. YSP is part of Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle – read more about the Hepworth Wakefield (also part of the group).
My highlights from YSP were explaining to Stanley about activism at the Revolution and Revolt exhibition and discussing the Ai Weiwei heads in the grounds.
The Winter Gardens were a welcome haven when the weather turned. It was also a beautiful view whilst we enjoyed breakfast from our hotel, Mercure Sheffield St Paul’s. The hotel was rather aptly located on Norfolk Street which made me smile. It was a light and spacious hotel and we took great advantage of the swimming pool.
Eating and drinking at independents is a big part of our ‘8 cities in 8 months’ journey. We stumbled across Craft & Dough in Kelham in the midst of a snow storm. It really was like a little oasis. The food was great and the staff really attentive. We also enjoyed coffee at the Grind Café and breakfast at Steam Yard.
The weather and my camera (developing a fault) severely hampered this trip but, both Bobby and I agreed, the food and drinks scene is great in Sheffield and we’d love to return for a night just the two of us.
Our next stay is our capital, London.