Hope Valley Line
Sheffield to Manchester - the scenic route
Some train journeys can be depressing, but one route which traverses the heart of the Peak District stands out as a particular delight.
One of the aces up the Peak District’s sleeve is its ease of access from so many towns and cities in England. Sheffield and Manchester – two of northern England’s most pre-eminent cities – flank the National Park and are served by a classic railway route known as the Hope Valley Line.
The Let’s Stay team can’t profess to have tried them all, but there can’t be many more scenic routes in the whole of Britain. Every weekend, particularly in the summer, the Hope Valley Line is routinely packed from both directions with people headed for the Peak District to explore, be it on foot with their bikes in tow.
The trains are often busy but that doesn’t diminish one’s enjoyment of the trip, as it chugs through Grindleford, Hathersage, Bamford, Hope and Edale - stopping at them all - and taking in the most stunning scenery and landscapes. Kinder Scout, Lose Hill, Win Hill and many more sights can be seen on this journey which, at little over an hour from start to finish, is all too short.
While the hourly train is busier in the summer, some of the most breathtaking sights are on offer in the colder months, as the Peak District is transformed into a magical winter wonderland.
All of the stations in the Peak are unmanned and tickets can be purchased once aboard.
Check timetables here, ROUTE 23 - https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/travel/timetables - REMEMBER NEW TIMETABLE OPERATES MAY 2017
Following the same line is The Edale Rambler Folk Train. For over ten years fun-loving folk musicians have been gathering in Sheffield, boarding the train and jamming all the way to the picturesque vale of Edale - where everybody alights, finds a local boozer and the musical frivolities continue.
The Sheffield Tap
An added bonus for Folk Train regulars sprung up at the end of 2009, when The Sheffield Tap opened. This one-time Edwardian Refreshment Room, located on Platform 1 at Sheffield station, has been immaculately converted into an elegant yet earthy boozer, serving only the best real ale and quality lagers sourced from all over the world.
Given its location, you’d be forgiven for assuming a trip to The Tap might be something of a moribund experience, half full of rude commuters. The pub, however, is vibrant, attracting ale lovers and revellers from far and wide. The one obvious downside to the Tap is if you are there prior to catching a train, there’s every chance you’ll miss it. But it’s well worth the risk.
SEAN M CUMMINS
Last Updated: 27 Apr 2017