With its stunning architecture, a multitude of historic attractions and a thriving student atmosphere, Sheffield is one of Yorkshire’s true gems. There’s no shortage of places to explore and things to see, but – with great difficulty – we’ve managed to narrow it down to just a few top picks in the city we call home.
If you’re planning on visiting Sheffield during July, look out for the renowned Tramlines Festival, which sees the city transform into a bustling hub of live music. Over the course of this three-day event, visitors can watch live performances in a wide variety of indoor and outdoor venues, with the main stage situated in the beautiful Crookes Valley Park. From rap to folk, pop to indie and everything in between, the Tramlines line-up always has a little bit of something for everyone, no matter your age or taste in music. You’ll also want to get your weekend tickets quickly, as last year’s success is likely to lead to a sell-out 2016.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Although outside of Sheffield city centre itself, Yorkshire Sculpture is just off the M1 and really easy to reach, making it a wonderful day out for those who have access to a car. This rural expanse is packed full of incredible modern sculptures created by the likes of Henry Moore and Andy Goldsworthy and is guaranteed to have new installations or temporary exhibitions each time you visit. There is a lot to see, so bring your camera, some good walking shoes and a picnic to really make a day of it.
Peak Cavern (The Devil’s Arse)
If you love some adventure, you should definitely make the trip out to the Peak District to explore Peak Cavern, which is lovingly referred to as the Devil’s Arse by locals. You can take a guided tour of this deep cavern and even check out an ancient village where a community lived for over 400 years making ropes for local lead miners. Trekking through Peak Cavern is truly awe-inspiring, and since the walk isn’t too challenging it’s a suitable activity for people of all ages.
You’ll notice memories of Sheffield’s thriving industrial history everywhere you turn during your visit, and if you’d like to really get to know the city there are plenty of museums to check out. Kelham Island Museum offers an incredible overview of Sheffield’s steel making heritage, while Weston Park Museum gives you the chance to explore the city’s geological roots and the ways in which politics and music have helped shaped the city.
If you’re partial to a bit of retail therapy, there’s no better way to while away a rainy day than at Meadowhall shopping centre. Packed full of all your favourite high street and luxury brands, independent stores, delicious restaurants and even a cinema, Meadowhall has everything you need under one roof and it’s just a tram ride away from Sheffield city centre. In May 2016 it was revealed that a £300 million investment will see the shopping centre expand and offer even more experiences, such as tenpin bowling and indoor golf, so watch this space to see how Meadowhall evolves over the next few years.
Right at the heart of Sheffield you’ll find the Millennium Gallery, which is part museum and part art gallery. Two of the gallery’s installations – the Ruskin Collection and the Metalwork Collection – are permanent, while the rest of the spaces in this stunning modern building are filled with an ever-changing line-up of exhibitions. The Millennium Gallery is connected to Sheffield Winter Garden, an enormous glasshouse filled with over 2,000 plants from all over the globe, which is an incredibly calming space to just sit and relax in. If the rain does let up a little, you should also go and absorb the wonderful atmosphere of the Peace Gardens, where you can really appreciate the contrast between the ultra-modern Millennium Gallery and the city’s stunning Gothic town hall.
Where to stay in Sheffield*
Jury’s Inn is the ideal choice of accommodation if you want to be at the heart of the city. It’s just a five-minute walk from the train station and surrounded by a plethora of restaurants, bars and shops. The perfect place to really experience the heartbeat of Sheffield.
If you fancy a touch of luxury away from the hustle and bustle, the Victorian mansion setting of Halifax Hall is just the place. Just two miles from the city centre, it’s easy to drive into town and you’ll have the gorgeous country surroundings to welcome you on your return.
Ready to take a trip to Sheffield? Book your trip now…
*Prices correct at the time of publishing, subject to availability and change