- Tell us a little about yourself...
I’m a non-native citizen of Sheffield who unintentionally became acclimatised and addicted to the city and its outdoors. I live and work in Sheffield and unconsciously seem to take any opportunity to get out into the city’s outdoor places and spaces cycling, running, walking or swimming.
- Where's your favourite outdoor spot in Sheffield?
My favourite outdoor spot within the city itself would have to be Bolehills. I have great memories of travelling over from Doncaster as kid to ride the old track and DIY dirt jumps there when BMX wasn’t as popular as it is now. The track has now been completely revamped by the Sheffield Dirt Society and is used by a new generation of riders, which is great to see. Now that I very luckily only live just a 5 minute walk from Bolehills my favourite use for the space is as a spot to take a casual walk, sit on the rocks and just enjoy the views. In my opinion it’s one of the best views in Sheffield; looking straight out over Rivelin and Loxley Valleys, up towards Bell Hagg and Wyming Brook, out to Dam Flask and Bradfield, and the rocky outcrops of Derwent Edge visible on the horizon. With this westerly vista Bolehills is the best spot in central Sheffield for lingering and stunning sunsets.
- What, for you, makes Sheffield the ideal "Outdoor City"?
Firstly it has to be ease of access. For a start we’ve got the countless parks and green spaces within our city borders, which gives most residents the easy opportunity to get outdoors. These provide routes that link into one another and provide connections to the surrounding countryside. The Peak District is the obvious example of this. From my house, which is within a short distance of the city centre, I can walk out of Crookes all the way to Hathersage in the Peaks and only have to cross 5 minor roads. The rest of the route I can use the green network of parks, allotments, bridleways, nature reserves and finally a National Park. There I can get a country pint and a pub lunch and then a bus home. There’s not many cities in the UK which give you that kind of access to the outdoors.
Secondly, I think that the topography of the city gives it much of its allure. If it wasn’t for the hills of Sheffield, it wouldn’t have as much appeal for outdoor pursuits. The hills give a real character and depth to the city, encouraging exploration onto, over and around its landscape.