My friend, Leila Jones, studied PR at Sheffield Hallam University. She is now editor at www.my-holiday-numbers.co.uk, so last weekend, when she was banging on about Sheffield and how cool it was, I suggested she put together her skills and her education to write an article so we could all hear about it.
And, bless her, she did!
Sheffield was voted the cheapest city break by Trip Advisor back in 2014 and the happiest city by the Transform Cosmetic Surgery Group in 2015. With accolades like that, you’d think it would be a popular place for a short break, but seemingly this Yorkshire gem still manages to fly under the radar. Here, you’ll get the best of both worlds: a bustling industrial city, bordered by stunning countryside in the form of the Peak District just a short drive away. Whether you like adventure, shopping or a good old night out, you’ll find it here.
If you like cycling, you will probably already know that the Tour de France passed through Sheffield back in 2014. This was such an exciting time for the city and the love of cycling still hasn’t faded away. Recently, Radio 1 DJ Greg James did a triathlon in Sheffield for Sport Relief and expressed his shock at how hilly the roads are! The area is great for cyclists, with the Peak District being so close by. However, Sheffield is also the climbing capital of the UK, with lots of options for indoor and outdoor climbing. If you prefer walking, why not download a free walking map from the Sheffield City Council website and set off in your comfy shoes. Lastly, Sheffield is one of the greenest cities in the UK, with huge parks such as Endcliffe Park and lush outdoor spaces such as the Botanical Gardens and the Peace Gardens.
Snooker fans take note, as Sheffield is the home of the world famous Crucible Theatre, which hosts the Betfred World Snooker Championships each year. Alongside the other two theatres in the city, the Crucible puts on plays and musicals each month, culminating in a traditional festive pantomime. If you prefer film, the city hosts DocFest each year, where talented documentary makers come to show their latest work. The Showroom Cinema is an independent cinema close to the train station, where you can see a range of films, from foreign language to the latest blockbusters and indie productions.
If you love music, each year the Tramlines music festival brings some of the best bands to the city for a weekend- this year, Catfish and the Bottlemen as well as Dizzee Rascal will headline.
There are many shopping options in Sheffield. Fargate has all your usual high street brands, the Moor Market has options from independent sellers, and Meadowhall is one of the UK’s largest shopping centres.
For an alternative shopping experience, try to visit the Peddler street market which is held every few months. Local traders will display their wares and some of Britain’s best street food vendors provide the food and the whole event is wrapped up with craft beers, art and live music!
The market takes place at night, so it can be quite fun to wrap up warm and browse by candlelight.
Dining in Sheffield is great, because there are so many places no matter what your favourite cuisine is. If you like burritos, you should try the Street Food Chef which is both a takeaway and a café. If you’re feeling brave, there’s a man vs. food challenge, but be warned that if you fail, your photo will go on display on the wall of shame. If you love your meat, try the Smoke BBQ restaurant. There isn’t a lot of choice, but it’s very meat-orientated and delicious. For an authentic Greek experience, head out of town to the Greedy Greek Deli, where you will find all manner of Greek food. Lastly, if you are crazy about coffee and love a good brunch, try Tamper Coffee for an independent caffeine hit.
As it is a student city, it isn’t surprising that Sheffield has a great nightlife. If you enjoy live music, lots of bands play at The Leadmill (you’ll find that some big names played here). For bigger bands, look at the listings of the O2 Academy. For local bands, West Street Live always has something to offer. Plus, they have some of the cheapest drinks in town (you simply must try their 2 for £6 Long Island Ice Tea). For rock music, head to Corporation, but make sure you don’t wear your new shoes as the floor can get incredibly sticky, thanks to their famous coloured pints. There are so many other little pubs and bars which have their own unique things to offer, so I’d recommend walking around Division Street and West Street for the best experience.
Here are just some of the places to visit in Sheffield:
- Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre.
- Kelham Island Museum.
- The Winter Gardens.
- Owlerton Stadium Greyhound Racing.
- Millennium Gallery.
- Our Cow Molly Dairy Farm.
- Chatsworth House.
- Heeley City Farm.
How to get to Sheffield
Sheffield is accessible from anywhere in the country. It’s just a few hours on the train away from London, and there are often discount fares available if you search for them.
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