I made it through the night in the Sherwood forest, nor Robin Hood nor the Sheriff disturbed my sleep 😉 Today I rode for 144km, broke through the symbolic 50% of the whole journey barrier which made pass through a lot of places and such I decided to divide the daily post in two parts for make it easier to consume. All about Sheffield and Peak District Park below.
61% of Sheffield is green space. Known as the ‘largest village in England’, like Rome – or so the locals will tell you – Sheffield is built on seven hills. Home to two universities, the city is undergoing a very strong revival after a period of economic decline, caused by steelworks closures in the 1980s.
Sheffield also has a strong association with football, laying claim to the world’s first football club, Sheffield F.C., in 1857. The city now has two professional teams, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday – the Blades and the Owls respectively. In 1989, Wednesday’s ground, Hillsborough, was the site of tragedy, when 96 Liverpool supporters were killed in a stampede and crush during a match.
Sheffield is something of an artistic powerhouse, with the largest theatre complex outside London. Musically, it rivals Manchester and Liverpool for talent, spawning The Human League, Heaven 17, ABC, and Pulp, and the city regularly hosts big name bands at the Sheffield Arena. Community and commercial radio are thriving, and the area also boasts two newspapers, one of which has been in circulation since the end of the 19th century.
Sheffield also provided the backdrop for two moments of 20th century zeitgeist – blown to smithereens in the Cold War classic ‘Threads’, the city appeared to have recovered fully 13 years later when six unemployed men removed their clothes but regained their dignity in ‘The Full Monty’.
Britain’s first national park, the Peak District is not only easily accessible by road and rail, it’s one of the few outdoor walking and trail spaces that also has easy access in certain areas for less physically-able walkers, wheelchairs, and other mobility vehicles. Those who’d like to cover the trails by bike won’t be disappointed either, and there are even options available for wheelchair users.
Adventurous climbers won’t be disappointed by what are some of the finest and most challenging sites in the world. Former mining sites combine with caves to make the Peak District a potholer’s paradise.
If you fancy a little sedate sightseeing instead, go and see the magnificent Hardwick Hall. Built for the formidable Bess of Hardwick, this extraordinary Tudor figure was not just a woman that married increasingly well – four times – but along with her husband, the Earl of Shrewsbury, she was both jailer and protector of Mary Queen of Scots for 15 years.
If Bess married well herself, she arranged even better matches for her children – she arranged for one of her daughters to marry into the Lennox family, who had a claim to the throne through Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII. Although Bess’ immediate manoeuvring upwards failed, she did get a descendant on the throne eventually through the Dukes of Portland – Queen Elizabeth II.