The glorious Sightseers was released in UK cinemas this weekend, and those of you looking for a winter break might want to consider a bit of sightseeing yourselves. Or, of course, you might want to wait until the Spring!
As soon as TVO saw the film, we pictured the pilgrimages which will take place in years to come to the various locations and attractions seen on screen. Here then, are the official Sightseers stops shown in the movie, as outlined by Eddie Oram – Steve’s dad, and exclusively annotated by Steve.
So get yer cagoules on, slip into a pair of crotchless crocheted knickers and grow your ginger beards -and join us on this hilarious, murder-filled journey. If you want to set off from Redditch to make it feel even more authentic, who are we to dampen your ardour?
Cromford Rd Crich, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 5DP
STEVE: “Lovingly restored trams and working tram line. Also Victorian village complete with sweet shop. Tram line uses DC current rather than the more common AC. DC is lethal!”
After paying the conductor with an old penny (don’t worry – they provide you with one!) you can ride the trams all day along the mile-long track. There are different stops along the way, including the Exhibition Centre – currently hosting a fascinating display looking at a hundred years of tramway development.
There’s even a sculpture walk and plenty of little shops, pubs and eateries within the Village to keep you happy after your Tram-based needs have been satisfied.
Mam Tor, Castleton, Hope Valley, Derbyshire S33 8WA
STEVE: “Still a working mine, you can buy ‘Blue John’ in the shop. Eerie.”
Blue John is Britain’s rarest mineral, and these caverns are the only place in the world that it can be found. Considered by some to be among the best show caves in Western Europe, and if you look at the natural water-worn caves on the website gallery it’s not hard to see why. Guided tours of cave system run throughout the day and last around an hour, showing Blue John in its natural state along with stalactites, stalagmites and huge caverns.
Prophecy House, Harrogate Road, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire HG5 8DD
STEVE: “The birthplace of Mother Shipton, a crone who lived in a cave and predicted the future, such as that cars would exist. Has a petrifying wall with petrified shoes belonging to minor soap actresses etc.”
Welcoming visitors since 1630, this is officially England’s oldest visitor attraction. The cave and well lie at the heart of this riverside woodland park, along with two adventure play areas, tea rooms, and plenty of picnic sites.
Make a wish in the wishing well, watch things turn to stone, investigate the cave, and just in case you’re wondering: it’s dog friendly!
Fountains, Ripon, HG4 3DY
STEVE: “Huge site and majestic ruined Abbey. Place of monks long gone, but not forgotten.”
Now maintained by the National Trust, these 12th Century Ruins are set in 800 acres of beautiful countryside that are also home to a Jacobean Manor House, Medieval Deer Park, Victorian church and Cistercian mill. Open daily throughout the year, they often host seasonal events. Coming up they have some Christmas activities planned, including a Santa’s Grotto and Winter Abbey Tours, so consider a winter day trip!
STEVE: “The most amazing standing stones, just in a farmer’s field, with no touristy nonsense around them or access restrictions. Hug them!“
Also known as Maughanby Circle, these stones form a diameter of 350 feet making this the second largest stone circle in the country. Long Meg herself — a 12-foot red sandstone monolith decorated with circles, spirals and ring designs — stands a little way outside, aligned to the setting of the mid-winter sun. The best known story surrounding this site is that the “daughters” were originally a coven of witches, caught dancing at their Sabbat celebrations and turned to stone by the 13th Century Scottish wizard Michael Scot.
It is said that no one counting the stones can come up with the same number twice, so if you’re up for a challenge give it a go!
Southey Works, Main Street, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5NG
STEVE: “Home of the largest pencil in the world and many other smaller pencils.”
For all your pencil needs! The factory has been here for over 178 years, taking pencil making from a cottage industry into the industrial era. In the adjoining museum you can see the world’s very first pencil, the world’s longest colour pencil and a James Bond style World War II pencil! The history of pencil making is displayed in words, pictures and lovingly restored machinery, alongside demonstrations of how pencils are made today.
Honister pass, Honister Slate Mine
Borrowdale, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5XN
STEVE: “Dramatic mountain pass. Slate mine. Grey slate, grey skies, moody!”
The Honister Pass is one of three passes that link the tourist area around Keswick, and is home to the Honister Slate Mine. Fully guided tours into the mine are available several times a day, detailing the history and spectacular features of the mine. The tour shows the current workings of the mine, and how a mixture of modern and traditional methods are used to extract the slate which was formed some 400 million years ago.
Ribblehead, LA6 3AS nr Settle
STEVE: “The longest viaduct in Europe, with 24 arches. Spans a spectacular valley. On the old Settle to Carlisle Railway. Amazing Victorian engineering, many people died building it….”
The final stop on the Sightseers tour is this stunning viaduct. The Ribblehead Train station that neighbours the Viaduct hosts the Heritage Centre, from which you can join walking tours to look at areas of interest surrounding the Viaduct, including the Batty Green Shanty Town and the entrance of the Blea Moor Tunnel .
So there it is. If you visit any of the sites, let us know! Bonus points if you do them all!
Remember Peelers, enjoy yourselves, but please take your rubbish home with you.