If you’re looking for things to do in north west Tasmania, it’s hard to overlook Sheffield. It is the closest town to Glencoe Country B&B, being only 8 kms or 10 minutes’ drive down the road. Sheffield is known as the town of murals but there is more to this town. In keeping with the art theme, there are many artists in the area. Sheffield has two art galleries – The gallery is situated inside the Kentish Visitor Information Centre. Inside, you will find a wide variety of arts and crafts created by local artists. These works include paintings, photography, jewellery, textiles, sculptures and a variety of other hand-crafted works of art.
Entry is free and the items on display are available for purchase. The Albert Gallery is both an art gallery and a thriving hub of local arts-related activities. The gallery is housed in a heritage-listed former drill hall, built in 1912 for the 22nd Light Horse Company…so there are ample things to do in north west Tasmania. The interior of the building has been transformed into a high-quality, arts-based facility where you can view and purchase the exceptional work of local artists and artisans, enrol in one of the regularly held workshops and check out the latest exhibition on display.
We have four paintings on our chook and duck house from a local artist, Colette Binder. Artist David Lake – who regularly stays at Glencoe Guesthouse – has done a painting of our back laneway, which can be seen on our website. Our gardener, who is a horticulturalist, is also an amazing botanical artist. I share his love of trees and, in particular, oak trees. There are two of his works in our Blue room. His works are often on display at the galleries and local markets. I can’t talk about Robert without mentioning his wife, Liz. Liz is known as the ‘Jam Lady.’ We use her jams for guest breakfasts and our guests have been known to knock on her door to buy some. She is a fixture at all local markets and often her jams, preserves and chutneys are sold before hitting the table.
Sheffield is where most of our guests go for dinner but there are several cafes there for snacks and lunch. Two new venues are: the Epicurean Café, a small gourmet café with good coffee, quality food and a selection of providore goods, and the Lazy Tearoom which offers good old-fashioned Devonshire teas. Continuing with the good food theme, Roaming Harvest and Unearthed Tours do chef tours of all the local food attractions – Truffle Farm, Cape Grim beef, Free-range Chicken Farm, Saffron Farm to name a few…then on to Glencoe Country B&B for a gourmet lunch cooked by Chef Naomi.
If you like berries, then you have come to the right area. There is Sheffield Berry Gardens, Mountain Fruit Berry Farm just around the corner from Glencoe and a short drive away to Turners Beach Berry Patch, where you can pick your own berries then have lunch in the café. On the way back to Glencoe, stop at the Forth Pub known as the Bridge Hotel. Built in the late 1800s, it is a classic old country pub with good meals and has regular bands playing. Recently, Nathan Cavaleri and his band played there, and they stayed with us at our guesthouse. I hear they are planning a huge Oktoberfest event.
For the adventurous, North West Safaris (located in Sheffield) do kayaking tours on Lake Barrington, which is over 12 kms long. They can also kit you out with mountain bikes for the numerous mountain bike trails around the area. There are currently 30 kms of track plus a pump track. More trails are under construction and, when finished, the Wild Mersey network will extend over 90 kms. For those wanting a slower pace, there are several walking tracks of varying levels of difficulty, many with waterfalls and where abundant wildlife can be seen.
The Kentish Museum in Sheffield features items from everyday life such as clothing, household appliances, wall phones and farm equipment from the late 1800s. The first change-giving automatic petrol pump ever to be invented takes pride of place in the Kentish Museum because the inventor came from Sheffield. The museum has access to state, national and international records and a collection of local marriage, birth, death and baptism records from local churches. People come to trace pieces of their early pioneer descendants. But no visit to Sheffield is complete without visiting Slaters Country Store. It has a history of more than 120 years of trading with five generations of the one family at the helm. It still has the original wall phone and the flying fox that took the receipts to the office.
There is a lot to do around the local area when you’re after things to do in north west Tasmania, so you can be as active as you like or just relax at Glencoe Country B&B with a bottle of wine.
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