Things To Do
Hathersage is a bustling village located east of the Hope Valley, in the heart of the Peak District; once an industrial powerhouse, Hathersage, today, is a popular magnet for hikers, rock climbers, and classic literacy fans. Starting out as a minor agricultural village, Hathersage was transformed by the arrival of the Atlas Works in 1750, and soon became the manufacturing epicentre of millstones, wires, needles, and pins. The towns positioning makes it an immensely popular starting point for hikers, with easy access to the stunning gritstone escarpment, the Stange Edge, and the Hope Valley at large. Stanage Edge is also one of the more popular destinations for rock climbers in the Peak District, with its alluring natural cliffs of varying gradients. Classic literacy fans often make the pilgrimage to Hathersage, most notably fans of the Charlotte Bronte, who used Hathersage as the main inspiration behind much of the setting in Jane Eyre. Hathersage also has strong links to the legend of Robin Hood; the character of Little John, Hood’s righthand man, was allegedly born in Hathersage, and even has a gravesite marked out within the grounds of the town’s St Michael’s Church.
Hathersage Swimming Pool -For being such a small village, it may come as a surprise that Hathersage boasts an impressive 100 ft x 33 ft open air swimming pool in the heart of the town. Dating back to the 1930s, the pool was funded by local businessman, Mr George Lawrence, who also funded the local tennis courts, bandstand, a bowling green, and the War Memorial Hall. Today, the pool is still used regularly by locals, with the pool kept to the temperature of 28 degrees, which is perfect for the, at times, harsh weather of the Peak District. Such an integral part of Hathersage that the Parish Council were able to raise £100,000 to update the facility, which mainly went towards installing disabled toilets and updating the 1936 changing rooms.
Hathersage to Stanage Edge Walk – For a lengthy walk set to the backdrop of the scenery that inspired Charlotte Bronte, try the 9-mile Hathersage to Stanage Edge. Hathersage is a popular place for Peak District tourists, namely for its literacy connections. As you pass to the outskirts of town to begin the hike, you will see the old Bronte house on Birly Road, closely followed by North Lees Hall, the inspiration behind Thornfield Manor in Jane Eyre. The hike itself, although long, is moderately easy- but it is worth noting that it involves several different terrains- so dress appropriately. After traversing through a field a small woodland area, you will reach the awe-inspiring Stanage Edge, a gritstone escarpment with some of the most unique views in the whole of the Peak District; stretching out for miles, the Stanage Edge is the perfect place to take in the views of the Hope Valley and Hallam Moors. With its steep edges, Stanage Edge has become a popular location for rock climbers. This beautiful setting was also utilised in the 2005 adaption of Pride and Prejudice, starring Kiera Knightly.
Landmarks / Museums
Little John’s Grave – Whether or not you believe in the much-fabricated tales of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, it is worth visiting the alleged resting place of Hood’s right-hand man, Little John, within the grounds of St Michael’s Church, where there is a headstone commemorating the legendry subordinate outlaw. Although Hollywood would have you believe that Nottingham was the true setting of Robin Hood, many of the original fables and ballads originate to the Peak District, particularly, Derbyshire. It is well known that John’s nickname is ironic, as the man himself was reputably of large stature, a fact reflected in the large plot of land in which John is supposedly buried.
Robin Hood’s Cave – While exploring Stange Edge, look out for the unusual gaping hole in the side of the rock face, this is where Robin Hood, allegedly, regularly went into hiding. Access into the cave is easy, however, caution is advisable, as there is a 30 metre drop over the edge of the gritstone balcony. This cave makes for a fantastic viewing platform, or as a convenient place to shelter from the rain. Graffiti decorates the inside of the cave, with some engravements dating back to 1928.
David Mellor Design Museum – A must see for anyone interested in design and innovation, this museum showcases the very best of one of the best designers in Britain, the late David Mellor. Specialising in Mellor’s metal work, visitors can admire many of Mellor’s designs including the tubular steel chair, his embassy silver teapot, and his extensive, and highly praised, cutlery designs. Visitors will be amazed when they realise that it was Mellor behind some of the most ubiquitous designs still in use in Britain today, including bus shelters and traffic lights.