IT’S not an obvious choice for overseas visitors coming to Britain for the Olympic Games this summer.
But Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is keen to promote the attractions of a particular spot on his home patch – the village of Bradfield.
All MPs are being asked to use their local knowledge to highlight parts of the country for an interactive tourism map to be unveiled next month – one that could prove useful to visitors to the Olympics and to other tourists on the back of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Several suggestions have already been made, with ideas ranging from castles and sporting venues to coastal walks and museums.
For Nick Clegg, a corner of his Hallam constituency deserves a place on the map.
“Bradfield is a real gem on the edge of the Peak District national park,” he says. “Don’t miss a walk around Dam Flash reservoir or the church in High Bradfield and try out the local produce in the tea rooms, the brewery and the nearby ice cream factory.”
It’s a combination of Low and High Bradfield, dominated by the church on the hill and offering delights such as the Old Horns and Plough pubs, the Postcard cafe and the Schoolrooms cafe, deli and butchery.
There’s cricket in Low Bradfield in the summer and a wealth of country walks throughout the year.
In recent years, two businesses in particular have been established and quickly made their mark in the area – Bradfield Brewery and the Our Cow Molly ice cream factory, which both attract visitors.
John Gill, a director of Bradfield Brewery, is a good ambassador for the area.
“You are seven miles from the centre of Sheffield and you can look up on to the moors,” he points out. “It’s ideal.”
And perhaps it is becoming more popular with visitors because they can save on the cost of driving further out to the better-known attractions in Derbyshire, he suggests.
The Gill family opened the brewery in 2005 after switching from dairy farming and Nick Clegg knows it well. Its beer has been sold in the House of Commons and the MP opened an extension last year.
Naturally, the parish council needs no convincing of the value of the area. “It’s very rural and it has got everything you would want – a couple of tea rooms and all the sights,” says Pam Burgoyne, who is assistant to the clerk.
Yet there are still local people who are apparently unaware of the village’s charms. “A lot of people are very surprised. They come into our office in Low Bradfield and say ‘We didn’t realise it was so nice here. Aren’t you lucky?’”
The parish council has been promoting walks in the area, which many ramblers have discovered offer an alternative to more familiar routes in the Peak District.
MPs are being sent a nomination form by tourism organisation VisitBritain so that they can add their own personal insight on ‘must-see’ attractions in their constituencies in the hope of boosting the tourism industry, which is the UK’s third highest export earner.
Labour leader and Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband has nominated Cusworth Hall – “a magnificent building with a fascinating history”.
Chief executive of VisitBritain, Sandie Dawe, said: “With 650 electorates scattered across the country, we know there is a wonderful mix of iconic spots and hidden gems that overseas visitors should experience when here.
“We are calling on each and every MP to help us highlight just some of these destinations, using their local knowledge and insight to promote the tourism assets within their constituency in a year when the eyes of the world are upon us.”