This was the scene as we set out for the station this morning on the way to Sheffield.
It was still dark as our train pulled out of St Pancras at 7:25. We were feeling warm and comfortable after porridge and coffee at the Camden Food Co. Our reserved seats were in the front coach of the train but reservations were not needed as we were alone in our carriage. We chose a two-seat table and settled in.
As we left the city behind, the sky began to lighten. Low dark clouds like streams of smoke drifted past and behind them the sky was dimly blue. As the journey continued, the light grew stronger and around 8 am, the sun hauled itself above the horizon. There was snow in shaded areas of the countryside and although it was warm in the train, I was glad that I had dressed warmly as I guessed it would be cold in Sheffield.
We reached Sheffield as scheduled at 9:52. The delivery address was in town and the deadline was midday so there was no need to take a taxi. The bus would get us there in time and, in fact, we didn’t even need to buy a bus ticket as the FreeBee free bus dropped us nearly at the door.
The package was fully addressed except for one detail, the name of the addressee. This meant that they would not accept delivery at reception and it was necessary to go right around the building to the post room. As this has happened before, Tigger was expecting it and knew where the post room was. The job was completed by 10:15.
We returned to the bus stop and caught the FreeBee again and got off near the Winter Garden, where we walked through to the cafe. It was still only around 11 am but as we had had an early start and only a light breakfast, we ordered our vegetarian fish & chips lunch.
After lunch the question was “What shall we do today?” It was fairly cold but we were warmly dressed and the sun was shining. Our train was at 17:27 so we had over 5 hours to fill. Rather than traipse around Sheffield, we thought it would be good to take the bus to one of the nearby towns. We plumped for Bakewell and soon found a bus that was going there.
We had been to Bakewell before but only briefly. It is a small and picturesque town in Derbyshire’s Peak District and a destination for walkers. Indeed, despite the conditions (we heard that walkers encountered knee-deep snow in some parts), we saw quite a few walkers, both individuals and groups. In Bakewell, there seems to be countryside at the end of every street.
We had a look around the town and took photos. We thought we should take the bus back to Sheffield at around 15:30 to guard against delays on the way of the sort we had experienced on the outward leg.
Checking the timetable, we found we had about 50 minutes to wait for the next bus at 15:30 so we crossed the road to the Red Lion and ordered hot chocolate. We went to the stop in plenty of time. This was just as well because it departed at 15:27 – anyone who had reached the stop with a minute or two to spare would have missed it.
The journey back was quicker and there were no delays. We walked down from the bus stop to the station, pausing to take photos on the way. On reaching the station we found we had about an hour to wait for the departure of our train.
Sheffield station in its present incarnation consists of platforms and a relatively small area serving the purpose of entrance hall and station concourse. In this part there is an open-air Ritazza cafe (open-air within the covered area of the concourse) and we went here for coffee. Very soon, they started to close the cafe and so we made our way to the platform for our train and sat in the waiting room.
The train arrived at about 17:00 and we went aboard. The light had faded and it was now dark. We found our reserved seats, which were perfectly to our taste, and settled down for the journey, scheduled to take 2 hours and 7 minutes.
We arrived at St Pancras and took the 214 bus home. Tigger had delivered her document on time and we had enjoyed a good day out.