Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, is another of my favourite destinations, I travel; there by train from Manchester, the route goes through the Hope Valley in the beautiful Peak District passing through the villages of Edale, a stopping off point for the Pennine Way and Castleton a village dominated by Peveril Castle. Grindleford, also popular with hillwalkers, the station sitting at the mouth of the 3.5 mile Totley Rail Tunnel through which you leave the stark beauty of the Peaks behind and enter the bustling outskirts of Sheffield, it’s centre sat on a cluster of hills. The railway station nestles at the foot of the city Centre and was built by the Midland Railway and still keeps its Victorian elegance.
There were once two railway stations, the other, Sheffield Victoria, now long gone apart from a few scraps, was owned and built by the Great central Railway, a company that was the last hurrah of the Victorian idea of railways. You leave the station onto the bustling Sheaf Square, a pedestrianised precinct formed by the diverting of a busy road to give the station a easier to use setting. A black & white image of the water features and the stainless steel wall fountain that forms part of it head this post.
One of the places I like to visit when I am in the city is the Botanical Gardens off Eccleshall Road, you can use the bus but I prefer to walk, it provides me with more camera time as I make my way through the busy streets. There as been much modernisation over the years but much remains.
The waterworks offices now have a new life selling something a little stronger than before, it’s now a Lloyds Bar.
The Botanical Gardens sit on a hilltop, away from what would have been the smoke and fumes of the steel industry which made Sheffield it’s fortune and opened in 1836.
As well as the Garden’s own restaurant the area around is well provided with places for the hungry photographer to refresh his or herself either before or after whiling away a couple of very enjoyable hours in Sheffield’s little paradise.
There are a couple of routes I can take back to the city centre, depending on time. weather and my mood. I always fit in a walk through the streets for candid images, something the city rarely fails to provide. One spot I visit is the old General Cemetery , opened as a private burial ground but now used as a public park. It contains memorials of the high Victorian style along with chapels, all now at rest beneath a spreading carpet of trees and wildflowers.
Once back into the city it’s time for a look around the streets before the train home, Fargate in the city centre is always a hive of activity.
Generally I make time for a quick visit to the very civilised ‘Sheffield Tap’ a bar on the railway station that has been opened in what was a former waiting room, it also has it’s own micro brewery which you can watch in action as you enjoy a drink. It’s a very pleasant way to wait for a train. Try it if you are ever in the area.