Hometown glory: my guide to Worksop

This entry marks a small but significant milestone for Continental Breakfast Travel: my 100th post! So first-off, I would like to thank anyone who has supported, contributed to, tweeted, shared or simply read any of the first 99 posts – it means a lot.

To celebrate the significance of this momentous occasion, I wanted to do something a little different, so I thought I would finally get around to talking about something I haven’t got round to before: my home town.

Since I left Worksop at the age of 18, I’ve lived in a fair few places (Manchester, Yaroslavl, St. Petersburg, Leipzig, Manchester again, Düsseldorf…) but much like Jenny from the block, no matter where I go, I know where I came from. So here it is: my guide to Worksop.

Where is Worksop?

First things first: Worksop is located in North Nottinghamshire, but Sheffield is by far the closest city and the town is only five miles from the Yorkshire border.

Have I heard of Worksop?

No.

Or at least not for particularly good reasons. Worksop has a fairly questionable list of ‘claims to fame’, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • The Sun named Worksop the UK’s obesity capital as the region (Bassetlaw) has the highest number of obesity-related hospital admissions per 1,000 people in the country
  • Worksop is home to Wilko’s national depot
  • The country’s supply of oxo cubes are produced in Worksop
  • Lee Westward (the pro golfer) is from Worksop and he lived there until very recently
  • Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden was born there
  • Worksop was once mentioned on QI for the headline “Worksop man dies of natural causes” printed in the Sheffield Star

Is Worksop worth visiting?

Actually – yeah, it is.

While the town centre isn’t too exciting (apart from the huge Matalan and the new cinema), there are some quite big draws not far from town.

The Dukeries

Thoresby Hall
Thoresby Hall (courtesy of pilk_f)

Worksop is often called ‘Gateway to the Dukeries’ – a title referring to the four ducal residences that used to exist south of the town: Thoresby Hall, Clumber House, Welbeck Abbey and Worksop Manor.

Today, Welbeck Abbey is owned by the ministry of defence and used as an army base and Worksop Manor is used as a stud farm.

Thoresby Hall is now luxury hotel but its grounds remain open to the public and it has a few craft shops and a great plant centre (The Roundhouse).

Though Clumber House was knocked down, Clumber Park is now owned by the National Trust. Clumber is the only place to be when the sun shines for more than five minutes. It’s also quite popular with doggers.

Creswell Crags

Creswell Crags
Entrance to one of the caves, Creswell Crags

This school field-trip staple is actually the site of the oldest discovered cave drawings in Northern Europe. The network of limestone caves was inhabited during the ice age and engravings, cave art and tools have been discovered over the years, some dating back 13,000 years ago.

The area is hoping to become a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today, you can take a tour of the caves.

Sherwood Forest

Sherwood Forest is actually located far closer to Worksop than Nottingham. The ‘forest’ is quite small and fairly underwhelming, but the Major Oak is still standing (thanks to a LOT of supporting girders).

Rufford Park and Sherwood Pines are both within driving distance and worth a visit, too.

The grounds of Thoresby Hall, near Worksop
The grounds of Thoresby Hall, near Worksop (courtesy of pilk_f)

So how does one get to this magical place?

I’m glad you asked. For a fairly shit small town, Worksop is actually pretty well connected: the train station has links to Sheffield, Lincoln and Nottingham (and Cleethorpes on a Saturday) and Robin Hood Doncaster/Sheffield airport is only a stone’s throw away, with year-round flights to Poland, Romania and Lithuania (courtesy of WizzAir) and Belfast (Links Air).

How do I really feel about Worksop?

Like plenty of other people, I have a bit of a complicated relationship with my home town.

Jokes and whimsical blog posts aside, I do have a genuine fondness for my home town: I grew up there, I made friends for life there and like it or not, it made me who I am today. Nevertheless, it was a particularly grim place to grow up as an awkward gay teenager and a lot of people were not very nice for quite a number of years.

That said, I still have a lot of friends in Worksop and do now really enjoy going back to visit – and not just for a pilgrimage to Matalan.

Creswell Crags again
Creswell Crags again

Got a taste for Worksop and want more?

Then check out Country Corners – a brilliant blog by a cracking local photographer (and long-suffering father of Sensible Sister and Silly Sister) covering the local area and beyond.

Some images provided by my sister, who you can follow on instagram. Recommended for those who love photos of Starbucks coffee cups and cats sitting on things.

0 thoughts on “Hometown glory: my guide to Worksop

  1. Thanks for the mention John. I’m away in Kent at the moment so fond thoughts of Worksop come easily to me (they come a little harder when I’m actually at home!).

    I’m looking forward to the next 100.
    James aka CountryCorners aka Dad to SSx2

  2. Huh, I didn’t know Wizz Air has flights to Sheffield. The pictures make it look like a very nice place, I promise I’ll visit if I ever find myself in a larger tour in the UK. Also, the whole time I kept reading it as Workshop and thought it was a very unfortunate name.

    PS: Here’s to another 100 great posts! 😀

    1. Introducing myself to new friends at uni half of them thought I was saying I lived in a workshop, so I wouldn’t worry about it! And don’t be fooled, the airport is in Doncaster, not Sheffield and I don’t think there’s even any buses direct to Sheffield… Classic budget airport…

  3. Congratulations on the 100th post! And thanks for the intro to Worksop – I had heard of it but certainly couldn’t have pinned it on the map. Good to know there are lots of places still to see in the UK too!

  4. That first stream photo makes me want to just dive in. It is so much like my Russian countryside! Oh the memories of teenage summers…

  5. Like the searing honesty here! I’ce always wondered about Sherwood Forest too, and whether it’s worth a visit (it would appear not!). The other natural attractions near Woksop, however, look marvellous.

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