Bank View Cafe – Sheffield
The town of Penistone is the highest market town in South Yorkshire. The town has a history dating as far back as 1066 where it was owned by Ailric, In 1069 the town was razed in the Harrying of the North following the Norman Conquest; the Domesday Book described the settlement in 1086 as “waste”.
Today, many of the town’s pre-19th century buildings are still in existence, the oldest being the grade 1 listed medieval parish church which stands at 820ft above sea level, the highest point in the town. Penistone is located amongst the magnificent landscape at the foot of the Pennines surrounded by open countryside such as the moors at Langsett, there is plenty of natural space that is yet to be explored.
Less than 5 miles west of Penistone, at the north eastern edge of the peak district national park, sits the Langsett Reservoir. The reservoir has a capacity of over 1,400 million gallons making it the biggest supply reservoir in the Sheffield district. Not only is it important in providing a supply of water for Sheffield and Barnsley; it also offers fantastic recreation opportunities for visitors, who can walk through the woodlands that offer views both across the water and from a higher vantage point on Midhope Moors. Cyclists and horse riders are also welcome to follow the bridleway network where they’ll enjoy the same fantastic views.
Off the path of the Langsett reservoir and out on the A616 sits The Bank View Cafe. Owned by Pete and Helen Sparks, the cafe was originally built as a village shop and drop-in for workers constructing the Langsett reservoir, it has since become a popular destination for both cyclists and walkers alike. The Bank View Cafe is instantly recognizable since the outside has been painted in red polka dots in honour of the King of the Mountains jersey awarded to the best riders up the hills and mountains in the Tour de France. In 2014, these were painted on using dustbin lids in preparation for when the Tour passed its doors.
Their menu offers a wide variety of both breakfasts and lunches, all providing locally sourced produce. The Bank View Cafe is open from 9 am till 5 pm from Monday to Sunday. Maps, guides, and kits are all available to purchase within the cafe, where visitors can sit and dine comfortably in front of their open fires, perfect for the cold winter months. They also have a private garden which is very popular with visitors in the summer to rest and enjoy some lunch in the peaceful surroundings.
The Bank View Cafe was the Winner of cycling UK, cyclists cafe of the year 2019 lifetime achievement award. For owner Pete Sparks, the award was well-deserved recognition that his cake, coffee, and venue stand in such high regard amongst cyclists. He is keen that all visitors, feel at home at Bank View.
“It’s a space where everyone can relax,” said Pete. “We’re a little bit scruffy around the edges because we do get dogs shaking themselves off in the doorway, cyclists coming in the middle of winter draping their clothes on the radiators to dry, and it’s the countryside so we do get muddy boots! We don’t turn anyone around. We’re not fussy like that. We try to make it a warm, welcoming space. I think it’s great we get so many cyclists coming out no matter the weather.”
The Bank View Cafe can be found along the Thurgoland Tunnel Loop, which is a 19.8-mile journey that follows a mostly paved surface throughout, the route is suitable for all skill levels, however, good fitness is required for the journey. Along the route, visitors can also spot the popular sculpture that’s been named “man and bike in too deep”. The sculpture depicts what appears to be a crashed bike with its passenger going headfirst into the mud. Full of beautiful panoramic views of the English countryside the journey is a must for everyone.