'The best things about Sheffield after spending ten years down south'
Former Sheffield High School girl Sophie Parkin is back on home ground, reconnecting with old haunts and discovering new places to visit.
A career at England’s biggest house brought Sophie, aged 27, home to South Yorkshire after ten years away.
After growing up in Oughtibridge she headed to Exeter to gain a degree in law and a masters in marketing, then began her career in the south of England. She is the new digital marketing manager at Wentworth Woodhouse, the Grade I listed stately home in Rotherham now owned by a Preservation Trust and fast becoming a major cultural and leisure attraction.
“I cannot think of a more exciting project to be involved in than the regeneration of Wentworth Woodhouse,” said Sophie.
“I am passionate about heritage buildings. I had wonderful history teachers at the High School who ignited my interest and my parents taught me about the importance of preserving our national heritage by taking me to historic sites all over the country.”
The pandemic sparked Sophie’s interest in relocating.
“It made me reflect on what I wanted out of life and also meant my partner James was able to work remotely,” she said. “We decided we would move up to Yorkshire, then the job at Wentworth Woodhouse came up and I knew immediately I had to apply. I’m delighted to be back home."
Four Lanes in HillsboroughHaving lived ‘down South’ for almost ten years, I can confirm there are simply no fish and chip shops as good as back home. A chippy tea from Four Lanes is one of the best things about coming back to Yorkshire and the fact it’s next to my beloved Hillsborough Stadium is an added bonus. I would challenge anyone to find a better batter!
Joni in OughtibridgeAfter a busy week at work, a Saturday morning stroll through Beeley Wood along the river is just the ticket. Since returning home, a new favourite I’ve stumbled across is Joni, a lovely cafe in Oughtibridge village. Having opened during the pandemic, I’m glad to see it has survived to become a village staple. Their pesto mushrooms with spelt and beetroot bread and a cup of apple mint tea certainly hits the spot (oh, and the cocktails aren’t bad either!)
More Hall ReservoirAnother hidden gem in North Sheffield is definitely More Hall Reservoir in the Ewden Valley, close to Bolsterstone. It’s off the beaten track and less ‘touristy’ than other reservoirs in the area. I’ve been going here since I was a child for bike rides, dog walks and even blackberry-picking. It’s a really secluded spot where you can fill your lungs with crisp, fresh air rolling off the water.
Whitley Hall in GrenosideWhitley holds so many memories for me as the ‘go to’ place for any family celebration I can remember. We’ve spent many a Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day there and it was also where I held my 18th birthday party.
Nestled away on Elliott Lane, this 16th century hotel and restaurant has always provided top-notch service and food. It’s great to see how it has grown over the years and how their resident peacocks continue to thrive.
The Gardens at Wentworth Woodhouse
Since the first lockdown, my passion for the outdoors has grown and I have made a point of visiting parks and gardens across the country. I can truly say the gardens at Wentworth are one of my favourites.
Now I work here, there’s no better way to recharge than by heading into the gardens to stretch my legs, explore the 50 acres and say hello to a friendly pheasant en route to the Ionic Temple, my favourite spot.