Look out for the Good Journey Mark – where car-free visitors are welcome and enjoy a discount
Car-free adventures aroundSheffieldSouth Yorkshire
Chatsworth House, with art from four millennia and hundred-acre gardens, is a 45 minute bus ride from Sheffield and makes an entertaining day trip (see 2 below). Several scenic train rides radiate out from Sheffield, providing further great car-free days out, whether it's a journey through the wild heart of the Peak District towards Manchester or along the Rother Valley to Nottingham (see 4). Within the city itself, you can walk very easily from the railway station to some great art galleries and Europe's largest urban glasshouse (see 1). Or ride the Supertram for panoramic views (see 3).
1. Millennium Gallery and more on foot
An easy five-minute walk from the train (and bus) station, up pedestrianised, studenty Howard Road, the Millennium Gallery is a small but perfectly formed museum of arts and crafts in the heart of Sheffield. And Europe’s largest urban glasshouse, with nearly 3000 tropical plants, is just outside the doors at the far end of the Millennium Gallery. The gallery and the energy-efficient Winter Garden were created as part of the £120 million Heart of the City project in 2001.
- This landscaped city hub could hardly be easier to reach: it’s a fun, five-minute walk from Sheffield Railway Station (or the bus interchange next door). Cross the road outside the station and head up past the half-timbered pub. Look out on the way for huge murals and a mosaic water feature.
- The Millennium Gallery has some big-name exhibitions, like Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings, alongside shiny permanent displays of the city’s famous metalwork and a great, revamped cafe downstairs.
- This summer’s exhibition (May 29 – Sept 15) is John Ruskin: Art and Wonder to celebrate the second centenary of Ruskin’s 1819 birth. He may be a grumpy Victorian art critic, but Ruskin’s passions for wildlife and social justice feel more relevant than ever.
- Don’t miss the Graves Gallery – just over the road with a really interesting selection of paintings. All the museums are free to visit.
2. Bus to Chatsworth
Thirty rooms of art and elegance are on show at Chatsworth House, forty-five minutes bus ride away from Sheffield in the Peak District. There’s a hundred-acre garden, full of ponds and cascades, flowerbeds, rockeries and a maze. And – beyond the gardens – the thousand acres of parkland, criss-crossed by walking trails and grazed by cattle, sheep and deer. Picnic, play or have a wander. As if all that’s not enough, there’s a petting farm and adventure playground to keep the kids entertained.
- Bus 218 (Peak Line) runs every day, including Sundays, from Stand D2 at the Interchange near Sheffield Railway Station heading for Bakewell. The bus that leaves at ten past each hour stops outside Chatsworth.
- On the way, the bus goes via the pretty Beauchief area, passing a lake and wooded gardens, before going on into the Peak District National Park. Miles of dramatic moorland stretch out to the horizon, dotted with cairns and ancient monuments.
(Thanks to Chatsworth House for the images and to Simon Broadhead in particular for the photo of the maze below).