As I have grown older, I’ve learnt to appreciate my city so much more than I ever used to. When I was a child, I never really took much note of my surroundings. To me, Sheffield was just the street I lived on and the city centre, and I never had much of an opinion about the city I lived in.
When I was in my mid to late teens, my brother started taking me on day trips to cities such as Manchester and Liverpool for a bit of shopping and sight seeing – I used to always feel shocked at how huge they felt against Sheffield! I remember thinking the high street in Manchester was never going to end, it was almost the opposite of Fargate in Sheffield, which is home to a few large names and retailers. While I used to adore these trips, and love seeing new sites, there was something about coming home and walking out of the train station to a city that felt it was giving me a hug when I returned.
This sensation of Sheffield being my home has grown since choosing to stay here for University. In fact, my course has allowed me to travel to London twice and while it’s great to experience the hustle and bustle of the capital, it’s not home. Sheffield is my safe place. The Car People have asked me to challenge the phrase ‘It’s grim up North’ with a series of photos from a favourite spot of mine.
Due to the introduction of this post, you can probably tell which city this spot is in. I have selected Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens which is placed almost just before the city centre. It’s a beautiful vast open space surrounded by wildlife and nature. It’s beautifully kept by volunteers I believe. If you’re not one for the outdoors so much, they have a large green house full of exotic plants such as succulents and cacti – so big that I’ve never seen anything quite like them. There are a few reasons as to why this is my choice. One being that it’s somewhere I have visited frequently both in my childhood and now early adulthood.
When I was younger, my mum would take myself and my brother to feed the squirrels monkey nuts. The squirrels here are so friendly that they come right up to you and don’t budge. I remember one of the first photos I ever took was of a botanical Gardens squirrels and it’s still framed today (somewhere!?). My mum also brought me here to help me practice on my first pair of roller skates too. In my teenage years, my friends would often gather here in the summer and we’d sometimes have a wander in – not often though.
Recently I have re-visited with my boyfriend, and my best friend and I had a catch-up picnic in here when she visited home from University in Newcastle. The best part about this place is that it’s free. You can donate to help its maintenance, but it’s open to the public!
Check out the full gallery here!