Gorse in flower on the Edge of the Skye

Over Christmas, the Welsh Rose and I decided to clear out some of the cobwebs of our colds by walking a “heritage trail” through the remaining greenery of the Duke of Norfolk’s old hunting grounds. The trail itself heads down into the city centre, but there’s a map by the Cholera Monument that shows you how to loop back round via the Skye Edge grounds (where apparently some of The Full Monty was filmed.)

The Rose and I scrambled breathlessly and coughingly up a 30-degree incline from Manor Oaks Road, scaling muddy turves in order to cut a long corner off our recommended route, but were then rewarded by views of the city centre like this:

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In the distance you can see the dominating St Paul’s Tower, with Sheffield Hallam buildings clustered in front of it. Back up to the left, we could see a small green diamond of Norfolk Park, from where we began our circuit:

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In that photo above, the buildings in the centre are I think the Exit 33 brewery (formerly Sky’s Edge Beer.) Beyond it, above a couple of streets of houses, is the spire of the Victoria Methodist Church.

We were still well within the city, if not its beating heart; yet all around us gorse was in flower:

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Vanilla-butter yellow flakes like armfuls of confetti caught in these otherwise clutching, clawing shrubs.

The weather was strikingly clear, but there was a vicious wind blowing over the top of the city, straight from the Peak District, at us: when we got to Skye Edge Avenue on the crest of the hill, we could hardly stand upright in the teeth of it. No wonder the gorse seems to grip the hillside so possessively.

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