A few months ago I started looking for somewhere new to go over Memorial Day weekend. We knew international travel probably wouldn’t be open and UK staycation prices were intense with it also being a UK bank holiday weekend in addition to our USA holiday weekend. I priced out numerous hotels in different places and fell upon Sheffield for about £100 for 3 nights (so about £33/night) in a Premier Inn. In case you’ve missed it, Premier Inn and Travelodge are my go to budget hotels here in the UK and I’ve gotten some awesome rates. Sheffield isn’t some super amazing city honestly, but it has lots of breweries and also public buses to the Peak District which I wanted to mark off my list.
Friday- Friday morning we caught an early. I booked through LNER because it again worked out cheaper than Trainline which I normally use for our trips. It was about £100 roundtrip for the 4 of us with a Family and Friends railcars. I will say again how much I hate the Peterborough train station. But we ended up getting to Sheffield fine, even with our connecting train only having two cars (don’t use East Midlands Rail if you don’t have to… we learned the hard way coming back). Once we arrived to Sheffield we decided to just take a taxi to the train station instead of walking the 1/2 mile or so to the hotel. It was only £5 and being the American I am I tipped him another £5. Hotel was clean. It was only a 10 minute walk into the shopping area of downtown Sheffield so we walked in and got some dinner and just relaxed.
Saturday- This was our day to explore locally. We had lunch reservations at Triple Point Brewery and my husband did a little beer shopping in town. His plan was to go hit some pubs that night (he rates beer, it’s his thing, we lightly plan some of our trips around it). Lunch was better than expected and kids also enjoyed it. We spent the afternoon shopping. We took the tram out to the Smyth’s Toy Superstore and IKEA and then continued on to the mall which was packed and we left almost as soon as arriving. Tram was easy to use after I initially went the wrong way… oops. I’m usually so on it, but was a bit too scatter brained I guess.
Sunday- This was the day I was most looking forward to. I had done a LOT of research on where we could go in the Peak District by public transport and do a little hiking and exploring. I had narrowed it down to Castleton or Lady Reservoir. We ultimately decided on Castleton due to better bus times and the fact that it was a small town and would be easier to find food and keep the kids slightly entertained if the weather turned on us. There is a small visitors center that has a lot of info on local walks also. I was definitely happy with our decision. The weather was beautiful all day for us. Heads up, Sunday buses are kind of sad but we made it work and caught the first bus that morning from Sheffield Interchange. We ended up doing the Cave Dale walk which was what you feel like the Peak District should look like, got some ice cream, did a little shopping and then went back to Sheffield.
Monday- We did the lazy morning thing and then started working our way home. The trains were disastrous with stranding us in Nottingham for a couple hours and then missing our connecting train which got rerouted to Ely due to the next train also being delayed… so we got home about 4 hours late. I was not happy, but at least I was refunded the cost of our train tickets!