We said goodbye to Nottingham without really seeing it, due to Angie’s unfortunate dental shenanigans. From what we did see, it has some glorious buildings and kind and friendly people. Our hearts were particularly touched by the compassion at the chemists’ shop (pharmacy) in Chapel Quarter, near our hotel, who made sure Angie had the meds she needed and oohed and aahed appropriately over her swollen jaw. We also appreciated the friendliness of the ticket agent who set us up with our tickets for Sheffield and London. This involved a bit of maneuvering, since bikes also need reservations, and the East Midland railways trains only have room for two bikes. We managed to get sorted though, and left the station carrying 16 ticket vouchers for the two trips between us. One goes on the bike, one stays with us for the bike, then there’s one train ticket and one seat reservation ticket. It’s nuts, but it got us where we wanted to go on Wednesday morning. Oh, and Nottingham station is one of the cool buildings.
On Wednesday morning we checked out of the hotel (a basic Holiday Inn Express I booked so that Angie would have somewhere to recuperate in a somewhat “known” setting) and loaded the bikes for the short trek to the station (made a smidge longer by the one-way system) via Maid Marion Way. Really.
We had a cup of tea in the station and worked our way to the platform. The station guard helped us through with our bikes and it was so much easier to wrangle our bikes onto the train. We were even able to sit in our seats for this ride, which took just under an hour. Angie got this shot of a fascinating church steeple while I was checking on the bikes.
Angie googled it. It’s the Church of St. Mary and All Saints in Chesterfield, which is a Grade 1 listed building. Built in 1362 and known as the Church of the Crooked Spire, apparently the twisting is because someone covered the spire in lead, so it expands differently on the sunny side, plus the spire was not built to bear the weight of the lead, which was added 300 years later.
We alighted with not much hassle at Sheffield, despite people having blocked the train doors with their bags, which got me a couple of extra bruises. Next, the “short” ride to the home of Angie’s cousin Philip and his wife Nicola. Short in distance but not in climbing. Nicola had warned us that the biggest hill in Sheffield was part of our route, but not that the entire route was uphill! Sadly, I can’t yet get a map that shows the elevation but I will try to record it on the way back down if Angie doesn’t have it on the Garmin.
Once we arrived at Nicola and Philip’s house, we’re were welcomed by them and their dog and cat. We were made to feel very at home, and after drinking some water and visiting, headed out to get a bite to eat. They drove us to one of their favorite places, The Inn at Troway. This was clearly a place that caters to people who love good food and the menu was so expansive I could hardly decide what to eat. I settled on a set menu of whitebait for the first course and chicken for the main, though Nicola gave me a bite of her delicious steak and ale pie and introduced me to the delights of Henderson’s Relish. Angie had leek and potato soup and fish and chips. She seemed to enjoy it and definitely has her appetite back despite still having a swollen face.
Here’s the view from the restaurant, and it’s symptomatic of the views around here. Nicola loves the location of the house because it’s close to town and close to the countryside.
Philip wanted to show us another great view, from another pub, and took us to the Phoenix, where it was also Golden Agers night. It was busy, but we enjoyed an amazing view and popped in for a quick one. This is where we discovered how incredibly cheap it is to drink Scotch in the UK. Two singles of single malt cost less than £6! Many places you can’t even get a shot of blended Scotch for that! Philip says this is due to the lack of import duties as we have in the US. Wonder if that will change if Scotland devolves further from the government in London?
After returning to the house, we enjoyed a slideshow of wedding photos (and shared ours), and had some Indian takeaway before calling it a night. I’d met Philip before and thought he was a cool guy, but I’m really enjoying Nicola. She’s good people with a good sense of humor.