The Club’s top five things to do in Hathersage
The Peak District is one of the UK’s most beautiful national parks, and here at Hathersage Social Club we’re lucky to be in the thick of it, surrounded by craggy hills and lush forest. Hathersage is a large, vibrant village where there’s loads to do for explorers of all tastes and inclinations. Easily accessible from Sheffield and surrounding areas by road, Hathersage is also well connected by train to Manchester and local stops along the route. We may be biased, but we can’t recommend Hathersage enough for a day out with the family or your squeeze. On your day out, call in to the Club to replenish your energy with a luxurious lunch or topped waffle, but beforehand here are our staff’s top five picks for things to do in the village.
Milo’s climb on Stanage Edge
The brooding, 4-mile long gritstone Stanage Edge stands tall on the hilltops north of Hathersage, and is a mecca for walkers, climbers and intrepid explorers alike. Our very own Milo will often be spotted scrambling spider-like up the sheer rock faces (eek!). There are several car parks nearby which make for easy access from the centre of the village, and the views of the village and the surrounding Hope Valley are truly stunning. Stanage Edge was recently featured in Pride & Prejudice starring Keira Knightley, so be sure to make the most of the dramatic setting by wearing a pensive look and standing proudly on the rocky outcrop (billowing gowns not advised).
Kerry prescribes a dip at the open air pool
Kerry thinks there’s nothing better in the summertime than a cooling swim, and it’s improved tenfold by the surrounding views of beautiful moorland at Hathersage Swimming Pool. The 30 metre pool caters for lane swimmers and family splashers alike, as well as hosting aqua fit, lifeguard training, water polo, Swimathons, live music events and even a 24-hour swim for the summer solstice! In the winter of 2017 the pool stayed open throughout – unheated – with a host of wetsuited adrenaline junkies making the journey from Sheffield and beyond to swim in 10-degree water. Nowadays the pool is heated year-round, thankfully! Finish off your aquatic experience with an alfresco shower, and a cone of chips and plenty of vinegar from the adjacent pool caff.
There are also plenty of wild swimming opportunities for thrill-seekers like our own Joe W: check out this great video of nearby dipping spot Slippery Stones!
Sam recommends a visit to Little John’s grave
A brief but scenic walk from the centre of the village will lead you to one of Hathersage’s most famous historic sites. The peaceful, verdant grounds of St Michael and All Angels is the alleged resting place of Robin Hood’s best merry man, Little John (legend has it he was born here). The grave itself is fairly understated but can be identified by its surrounding picket fence and location near to the front doors of the church. It’s worth taking a quick peek at the beautiful, shady interior of the church too, and keep your eyes peeled for the ‘Eyre brasses’, said to have inspired Charlotte Brontë to name her most famous character Jane Eyre. Sam claims that if you put money in the collection box next to the grave, little John rises from the grave but that really is folklore!
Simon says: visit David Mellor Cutlery Factory and Design Museum
Royal Designer for Industry, David Mellor, was born in Sheffield, where he trained as a silversmith and went on to develop award-winning cutlery designs and noted key designs for everyday items like traffic lights and bus stops. The design museum stands shaded by trees on the outskirts of the village, showcasing broad and varied work that’s well worth checking out. Tours are available of the Round Building, a purpose-built functioning factory designed with architect Sir Michael Hopkins. The building has been called a ‘masterpiece of modern architecture’ and has received several awards, and the whole complex stands as a monument to craftsmanship of all kinds. Find Simon checking out the sharpest knives and sturdiest chopping boards at their shop on a rare day off! There’s even a fabulous cafe where you can have cake or light lunches with a glass of wine.
Lucy’s suggestion: the secret bluebell walk
Following the steep incline of Church Bank, at the head of the village, leads to some lovely secret footpaths – one of which will take you to one of Hathersage’s most intriguing and enchanting sights. A painted wooden door stands in a section of wall, incongruous against the surrounding forest. Open this little door (remembering to close it after you!) and at certain times of year you’ll be greeted by the most fantastic swathe of bluebells in a shady wood. This walk is great all year round, though! Head up through the woods, then head up through the garden of a rather lovely house (there is a right of way that takes you up their drive, no nebbing in their windows!) and then carry on up the very, very steep path to a stile and across the fields to bring you out on Stannage Edge – you’ve definitely earned a waffle after that!