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" Sheffield and Hardwick Hall "

Date & start time:      22-23rd December 2022.  

Location of Start :     Abbeydale, Sheffield, S. Yorkshire, Uk. ( SK 325 850 ).

Places visited :          Broadfield Inn, Eccleshall Woods and Hardwick Hall (Chesterfield).

Walk details :              One wet local walk, one stroll around Hardwick Hall.

Highest point :           Seeing family and my new granddaughter at Christmas.

Walked with :              Jenna, Matt, Emily, myself and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                     Not brilliant !


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Twas the night before Christmas, actually a couple of nights before Christmas,

when I had the opportunity to visit Sheffield to stay with and exchange Christmas presents with my family.

I was guest of my daughter Jenn and her partner Matt, plus young Emily of course.

Emily is eight weeks old now and starting to develop her character, well at least she's achieving some predictability.

She is a lovely baby, though she has given these two a few sleepless nights, as all new babies do.

Still quite small at just under eight pounds but a lovely smile.
Baby and grandfather doing well !

Jenna and Matt have taken to parenthood so well that they've already taken Emily to the pub !

There we met friends some of whom were also new parents from her NCT Group.

Tonight's attraction was also the Christmas music from the Dodworth Colliery Band, who were playing in the beer garden of Jen's local hostelry.

A covered area at the back of the open air space was able to ensure the musicians stayed dry as they played.

A lovely selection of carols, plus Christmas music from the charts as well.

- - - o o o - - -

My next morning in Sheffield was pouring with rain, but the dogs needed a walk . . .

Jenna, Emily, myself and the dogs all enjoying . . .
. . . a muddy walk through Ecclesall Woods, close to Jen's home.

- - - o o o - - -

In the evening Jen and Matt had arranged to visit Hardwick Hall near Chesterfield, where there was a display of festive lights.

The Hall, built in the first Elizabethan era for another Elizabeth, "Bess of Hardwick".

Bess was a shrewd and successful business woman of her day.

She married well and ultimately became the Countess of Shrewsbury.

The house dates from the 16th and early 17th century.

For the Christmas period the National Trust had illuminated the grounds and invited visitors to view the display.

The company behind the display was "Luminate" who have done light shows for many other large buildings around the country.

There was a real variety of lighting styles including this laser light shining on a mirror ball in the adjacent tree.

A projector shone images of the Countess and her household on the walls of the garden.

The walkway to the central square of the garden. 

Jenn confused me by turning and walking back this way just as the picture was taken.

[ The flooring was overlain with rubber mats to protect the path from the heavier than normal foot fall in this poor weather.]

Presumably a figurine of Bess in the central alcove . . .
. . . so we had our image taken there too.

The Magic Garden with small light images set into the formal garden.

A bird cage held a dancing fairy  . . .
projected from a waterproof computer screen onto the frosted glass above.

Sadly the raindrops probably spoilt the illusion somewhat

but from young eyes closer to the ground than me, the top magic dancing fairy would have been the only image to see.

- - - o o o - -


The Sound Garden.


Here were a selection of coloured hand bells

and in the garden ahead of us

a series of ever changing coloured lights.



If three of you had held the hand bells

and played them in sequence with the colour change

then together you would have created the tune of

" Jingle Bells "


- - - o o o - - -

Large and small globes lined the path towards the main house.

Lights flickered on the main house facade

but from here the major impression was of that the long white wall alongside the lawn.

When we turned the corner, the wall took on a third dimension, and we could walk through a tunnel of light.

Beyond it a rich, Red Mushroom Tree with hanging icicles below.

- - - o o o - - -



At the front of the main house

the projected coloured light display could be added to

by superimposing laser figures on the stonework.



The garden had three or four laser projectors

which could be operated by the us, the public

and with care you could walk Bess across the terrace

to meet a suitor walking in the opposite direction.



- - - o o o - - -

The path took us on and around to the back of the Hall where we could fully appreciate the illuminations we had glimpsed earlier.

The illustrations were inspired by the Hall and the famous tapestries within it.

An ever changing sequence . . .
. . . depicting scenes from the house.
A deer walked across the lawn close to the house . . .
. . . and turned to walk towards us.

Presumably this was Bess herself welcoming you to Hardwick Hall.

[ The display runs from the end of November till January 2nd 2023.]

As we walked out of the arch the skies cleared . . .
. . . and we could see the stars and a bright red planet

My phone App (right) identified the star constellation of Pisces and the red planet as Mars.

The gardens were full of colour and a delight on this rather cold damp night.

. . . and to get you in that festive Christmas mood, lets step back to Sheffield to end.

Click here or on the photo for a short 1 min YouTube video.

Play it twice of you are feeling Christmassy !

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a warm glass of mulled wine.

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 14th December - Winter walk and Christmas

A previous time up here - 28th October - October Ramblings (including first visit to see Emily)

Next walk - 24th December - Sheffield and Millstone Edge


The last box but still chance for you to buy . . .

The 2023 Loweswatercam Calendar.

On sale now !

For the 14th annual edition of the calendar

we have been looking back at the year

to bring you twelve months of

Loweswater pictures and Cumbrian scenes.


Click here or on either picture to see the full details.

£12 a copy (plus postage + packaging if required)

£1 of every calendar sold goes to support

the Air Ambulance and Cumbrian Mountain Rescue.

Order your copies here