Monday, December 14, 2009

Deck The Halls – 13 December 2009

After spending the night in Sheffield, we started the day in the very attractive city centre. The Winter Garden is the largest city centre glasshouse in Europe, and a really lovely place to enjoy.
Sheffield Winter GardenMurray's mechanical mates
There seemed to be a large percentage of New Zealand plants, and in fact we saw our first kauri outside New Zealand. (It is going to be a real problem to them in a few hundred years.)Sheffield Millennium Gallery The Millennium Gallery can be entered from the gardens. This has an interesting history of the Sheffield Steel and Silver manufacturing history. Behind the Winter Garden is the Peace Square, another pleasant place on such a nice day, with the chateau-like backdrop of the town hall.

LSheffield Town Halleaving Sheffield, we headed for the Peak District again., this time to visit Haddon Hall. En-route we stopped in Bakewell to visit their markets and treat ourselves to a selection of Bakewell pies and puddings. The original Bakwell pudding was made by accident (as things so often are) and the derivative, the Bakewell tart, has become a UK-wide favourite.

Haddon HallHaddon Hall is an amazing place to visit at any time, but it really suited the Christmas treatment. The house was abandoned at the end of the 18th century, so totally avoided being 'improved and modernised'. The old hall was decked out with holly and other greenery. The Long Gallery had an excellent group of singers, giving new and old versions of Christmas carols, then there was a chance to listen to 'Charles Dickens' read from 'A Christmas Carol'. Christmas fare was on offer too and we tried a turkey cob with mulled wine, both of which were delicious.
Medieval banquet Haddon Hall'Charles Dickens' reading from 'A Christmas Carol'
No trip to the Peak District is complete without a stop in Hartington at the cheese factory, and after stocking up, we set off for London via Milldale, one of the Peak Districts best kept secrets.

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