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View of Sheffield City Centre

Sheffield [5] is a city in Yorkshire in the north of England. The population is 525,800 making Sheffield one of the United Kingdom's and Europe's biggest cities. Around 1.75 million people live in the wider metropolitan area (South Yorkshire) which includes Rotherham, Barnsley, and Doncaster.

Sheffield is a major industrial, cosmopolitan and cultural city renowned for its green open spaces, creative talents, galleries, sport facilities and cutlery. Unlike many other cities its size in the United Kingdom, Sheffield has a very large amount of public greenery, with trees outnumbering the human population approximately three-to-one.

Sheffield lies in the most southerly part of Yorkshire, with Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and Lincolnshire to the west, south, and east. The nearest similar-sized cities (all 1 hour away or less, by train) are Manchester (west), Leeds - Bradford (north), York (north east), Hull (east), and the Nottingham - Derby conurbation (south). The M1 motorway runs past Sheffield's Meadowhall Shopping Centre to the east of the city centre, the beautiful Peak District extends to within the western city boundary, and the South Pennines area ("Last of the Summer Wine country") lies just to the north.


Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) 6.4 6.7 9.3 11.8 15.7 18.3 20.8 20.6 17.3 13.3 9.2 7.2
Nightly lows (°C) 1.6 1.6 3.1 4.4 7.0 10.0 12.4 12.1 10.0 7.2 4.2 2.6

See the 5 day forecast for Sheffield at the Met Office

Sheffield on and in between seven hills, and it is thanks to this landscape that Sheffield exists today. Even before the Industrial Revolution, the villages around Sheffield were established as centres of industry and commerce thanks to fast flowing rivers and streams that brought water down from the Peak District. The valleys through which these flowed were ideally suited for man-made dams that could be used to to power water mills. A walk along the Rivelin Valley from Malin Bridge tram stop or along the Porter Valley out from Endcliffe Park towards the Peak District will reveal some of these old dams.

Sheffield city centre lies where these rivers and valleys meet. The city has expanded out along the valleys and over the hills between, creating leafy neighbourhoods and suburbs within easy reach of the city centre. Each valley that stretches out from the city centre has its own character, from the densely industrial Don Valley to the north-east, to the green and cosmopolitan residential streets around the Ecclesall Road on the Porter Valley in the south-west.

Sheffield's industry really took off when the railways arrived, allowing for the mass import of raw materials and export of finished products. The crucible technique of making exceptionally high quality steel was invented here by Benjamin Huntsman in 1852, and for decades it was to give Sheffield the economic advantage over other steel producing cities. Sheffield is still the home to a number of cutlery and blade manufacturers (including Swann Morton), and Sheffield steel can be found in surgical equipment and kitchen drawers the world over.

However, the economic recession of the 1980s hit Sheffield hard, and large numbers of workers were left unemployed by the changing shape of heavy industry in Britain. The combination of the resilient spirit of Sheffield people in these bleak times made the city famous in the black comedy 'The Full Monty', which was set and filmed in and around Sheffield. Sheffield is the largest city in the county of South Yorkshire, and Sheffield residents are proud of their perceived character: South Yorkshire residents pride themselves on a warmth and hospitality that isn't found in other northern cities. Visitors to Sheffield may find this most noticeable in the affectionate terms that slip into everyday conversation. Even when making a simple purchase in a store or market, you can expect to be called 'love' at least once.

Sheffield is adapting as it becomes a more confident post-industrial city. Grand visions have routinely been proposed or initiated by the city or county councils, and European funding has been used on a number of public infrastructure projects that have shaped the city. This is nothing new, however, since many would argue that post-war town planners did more damage to the face of Sheffield than the Luftwaffe did during the heavy nights of World War II aerial bombing. Bold housing projects such as the world famous (and now listed) Park Hill made Sheffield famous for the feverish vision with which architects and planners sought to reshape the city in the second half of the twentieth century. In reality, this left much of Sheffield with a poorly maintained legacy of failed utopian concrete fantasies, but this braveness and edginess is cited by many as being a fundamental part of Sheffield's character. Now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, a number of commercial developers are making big marks on the cityscape, with large apartment complexes that aim to correct the errors through planning policy of similar developments seen in Manchester and Leeds. Whether the formula works in Sheffield remains to be seen: with so many affordable and attractive suburbs within easy reach, it may be difficult to turn Sheffield's compact city centre into a mixed area of commerce and residential properties.

Even if the built environment of Sheffield leaves something to be desired, a deliberate strategy of investing in and promoting academic achievement has begun to influence the demographic make-up of the city. Sheffield is home to two universities (the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University) with excellent ratings in both teaching and research, it is also proving to be an increasingly attractive place for graduates to settle in. Sheffiled is increasingly prosperous and economically active.

Culturally, Sheffield's location and edgy environment has nurtured a superb reputation for music. Sheffield is home to Jarvis Cocker, Human League, Def Leppard, ABC, Baby Bird, Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, Milburn, Bromheads Jacket, The Long Blondes, and Little Man Tate to name just a few. The larger-than-average student population (over 60,000) means that nightlife is always lively, and suitably different to that of Leeds and Manchester. Sheffield's proximity to the Peak District National Park (one third of Sheffield lies within the Peak District) makes it an ideal city base for an outdoor-orientated holiday.

Sheffield Tourist Information Centre is located at 14 Norfolk Row in the city centre.

Get in

By plane

Doncaster Sheffield Airport
  • Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield, one of the youngest airports in the UK [6] (airport code: DSA), is approximately 35 minutes' drive away from the centre of Sheffield. To reach Sheffield by public transport from the airport, take the Airport Arrow bus [7] (every hour from 06.05 - 23.05 Monday to Saturday, 09.05 - 18.05 on Sundays) to Doncaster railway station and travel by train to Sheffield. Airlines that serve the airport include:
  • BH Air [8]: Burgas
  • FlyBe [9]: Belfast City, Jersey
  • Ryanair [10]: Alicante, Faro, Tenerife South
  • Onur Air [11]: Dalaman
  • Thomas Cook [12] Palma, Tunisia (Enfidha), Turkey (Antalya and Dalaman)
  • Thomson Airways [13]: Alicante, Bulgaria (Bourgas), Bulgaria (Varna), Corfu, Cyprus (Larnaca), Cyprus (Paphos), Faro, Gerona, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Jersey, Malaga. Malta, Menorca, Naples, Palma, Prague, Reus, Rhodes, Salzburg, Tenerife, Tunisia, Turin, Turkey (Bodrum), Turkey (Dalaman), Verona, Zakynthos.
  • WizzAir [14] Warsaw, Gdańsk, Katowice, Poznań, Vilnius, Wrocław

Car parks serving Doncaster Sheffield Airport:

Address On/Off Airport Distance / Transfer Time Security Park Mark®
[15] Award
Additional Information
Long Stay Car Park
Robin Hood Airport DN9 3RH.
3 Minutes Walking distance
CCTV, Secure Fencing, 24-hour on-site security.
You will need your booking confirmation with you when you arrive at the car park and when you leave, in case there is a problem with any of the machines.

  • Nottingham East Midlands Airport [16] (IATA: EMA) is approximately one hour south of Sheffield on the M1 motorway. There are several daily bus services between Sheffield and the airport, operated by GorillaBus [17] and National Express [18].
  • Manchester Airport [19] (IATA: MAN) is further away than either Robin Hood or Nottingham EMA, but it is served by an direct train [20] every hour from Sheffield. To it is approximately 70 minutes drive from Sheffield city center and it offers the widest choice of long haul destinations in the north of England, including several daily flights to North America. Destinations are too numerous to list here, see the link for full details.
  • Leeds Bradford Airport [21] can be reached in around an hour by car and a little more by train and bus from Sheffield via Leeds.

By train

Sheffield station (formerly known as Sheffield Midland) is to the south-east side of the city centre, at the bottom of a steepish pedestrianised street (Howard Street) that leads to the city centre. A major redevelopment of the public spaces between the station at the city centre was completed in early 2007, creating a new public square immediately outside the station and improving the pedestrian route to the city centre. You can reach the city centre on foot in less than ten minutes, or in about five minutes by tram or the free city centre bus ("Free Bee": every seven minutes).

Tram services stop next to the station (Sheffield Station/Sheffield Hallam University stop), directly outside the end of the pedestrian bridge that crosses over the platforms (there is a lift, but no escalator, from the station concourse and platforms).

Meadowhall Station is located at the Meadowhall shopping mall in northwestern Sheffield, but can also serve as a useful point to reach the Motorpoint arena, Don Valley stadium or the Valley Centertainment leisure park. The station itself has two platforms and is straight next to the Supertram Interchange, with an indoor waiting area linking the two.

Most long-distance coaches and city buses, including the free bus, stop at the Sheffield Interchange: two minutes walk from the station (across the pelican crossing and through the covered walkway) or the nearby streets.


Timetables, fare information, and live departure boards for all train services can be found on the website of National Rail [22].

There are twice hourly high-speed services to and from London St. Pancras (Via Derby/Nottingham, and Leicester) operated by East Midlands Trains [23]. Sheffield also lies near the heart of Britain's cross country rail network, with twice hourly services from the south, south-west and midlands (Devon, Dorset, Berkshire and the West Midlands) to the north-east and Scotland (Tyne and Wear, Edinburgh, Aberdeen). All long-distance north-south services that do not call in London are operated by Cross Country Trains [24]. Sheffield is also at the centre of a large and well-served west (Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Manchester Airport) to east (Lincolnshire, East Riding of Yorkshire, Norfolk) network. Other services through the city are provided by East Midlands Trains Connect service [25], Northern Rail [26] and Transpennine Express [27]. Under the name "Megatrain", the Megabus company now offers "the earlier you book, the cheaper" seats in its chartered carriages on some offpeak EastMidland trains to and from London.

Summary of services:

  • London St. Pancras, once per hour, operated by East Midlands Trains.
  • Scotland, Tyne and Wear, and North Yorkshire twice per hour, operated by Cross Country Trains.
  • Birmingham New Street and the West Midlands once per hour, operated by Cross Country Trains.
  • Southwest (Bristol Temple Meads/Devon) once per hour, operated by Cross Country Trains.
  • Manchester Picadilly and Manchester Airport once per hour by Transpennine Express.
  • Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool once per hour by East Midlands Trains.
  • Hope Valley (Peak District) stations once per hour, operated by Northern Rail (continues to Manchester Piccadilly, but this is a stopping service on commuter-quality trains: not designed to serve through-travellers).
  • West Yorkshire up to three times an hour, operated by Virgin Trains (intercity quality and speed) fastest) and Northern Rail (commuter quality and speed).
  • Nottinghamshire once per hour, operated by East Midlands Trains.
  • Derbyshire up to four times an hour, operated by Northern Trains.
  • South Wales direct to Cardiff Central Station and Newport, operated by Cross Country Trains.

By car

Sheffield sits beside the M1 motorway and is most easily reached from junction 33, which connects to the city centre via the Sheffield Parkway. A convenient park and ride tram stop is located close to the city end of the Parkway, and if you're only visiting for the day, you are strongly recommended to use it.

Fifteen miles further north on the M1, you can connect with the M62, the main route from places (North Wales, Liverpool and Manchester) and east (Hull ferries to mainland Europe).

For the more scenic route from Manchester, the Snake or Woodhead Passes (A57 and A628) make for a breath-taking trip through the Peak District National Park. It is also possible to use the Peak District as the scenic route to Bakewell and Sheffield from Birmingham (via Lichfield and Ashbourne) or Stoke on Trent (via Leek and Longnor). Beware that the route becomes very busy over holiday periods, and can be treacherous during cold or snowy weather.

Sheffield provides a park and ride service aswell as station car parking, see National Park and Ride Directory [28].

By bus

Sheffield Interchange is the city's hub for local and national bus services, and is located two minutes walk from Sheffield's railway station. National Express [29] operate long distance services to all parts of the country, including a regular service to London Golders Green and Victoria.

The discount long distance bus operator Megabus [30] does not serve the Sheffield city centre, but offers several services each day to central London from the Sheffield Meadowhall Interchange. Meadowhall is twenty minutes away from the city centre by tram, or five minutes by an equally frequent train. Megabus departures may not be listed on departure screens at the Meadowhall Interchange: services generally depart from the same bay as National Express services.

By boat

There are visitor moorings for canal boats at the Victoria Quays basin, found in the North-west of the city.

Get around

On foot in the City Centre

Sheffield's city centre has seen significant work done to prioritise pedestrian access, including, amongst other things, excellent linkage from the train station to the city centre and a comprehensive city-centre map and signage system. Most things to see and do can be reached on foot. Sheffield walking directions can be planned online with the [31] walking route planner.


The Stagecoach Supertram is a modern tram network with three lines that serve north-western (Uni of Sheffield, Hillsborough, Malin Bridge and Middlewood), south-eastern (Crystal Peaks, Hackenthorope and Halfway) and north-eastern (Attercliffe, Don Valley Stadium/Arena and Meadowhall) suburbs of the city.

  • The blue line runs from Malin Bridge via the city centre to the Railway Station and Halfway
  • The yellow line runs from Meadowhall via the city centre to Middlewood
  • The purple line merges the eastern end of the two other lines, running from Herdings Park to Meadowhall.

Tickets are purchased from the conductor after you board; retain these for inspection. Notices at your tram stop will indicate the route and fare needed for your destination.

A single ticket within the town centre boundary (between Granville Road, The University of Sheffield, and Hyde Park) costs £1.40. After that, fares increase to £1.70, £2.10, or £2.70 depending on how far you travel. Children under 5 travel free and those 5 to 11 or carrying a 'Megatravel' secondary school buss pass travel for 40p, irrespective of the distance travelled. Concessions are available only to applicable residents of Sheffield. Senior citizens travel for free except on weekdays before 9AM on any mode of public transport. For those without concessions, it often works out cheaper to buy a Dayrider ticket, which costs £3.00 and allows unlimited travel on all trams and Stagecoach buses in Sheffield. A £12.00 Megarider ticket is also available, allowing unlimited travel for a week.


Buses are almost exclusively operated by the large public transit operators First Group and Stagecoach. They generally run every 10-20 minutes during the day, and every 20–60 minutes in the evening. A network of twelve 'Overground' bus routes is offered by First, with a high frequency of service (less than every ten minutes through the day)

Useful bus routes for visitors to the city include:

  • 17 - Norton Lees - Heeley - Sheffield City Centre - Fox Hill - Parson Cross - Meadowhall
  • 20/20A - Hemsworth - Woodseats (20A only) - Sheffield City Centre - Pitsmoor - Northern General Hospital - Southey Green - Hillsborough
  • 40 - Sheffield City Centre - Broomhill - Ranmoor - Nether Green - Fulwood
  • 47 - Herdings - Hemsworth - Newfield Green - Heeley - Sheffield City Centre - Pitsmoor - Firth Park - Shiregreen
  • 53 - Ecclesfield - Parson Cross - Owlerton - Sheffield City Centre - Woodseats - Low Edges - Bradway
  • 75 - High Green - Chapeltown - Sheffield Lane Top - Sheffield City Centre - Batemoor - Low Edges
  • 98 - Ecclesfield - Parson Cross - Southey Green - Burngreave - Sheffield City Centre - Millhouses - Totley Brook / Totley
  • X78 - Sheffield City Centre - Rotherham Town Centre - Doncaster Town Centre

Buses are generally reliable if rather expensive. It is advisable to arrive a few minutes before the bus is scheduled to depart.

Each bus company offers its own range of tickets. Without a concession, you will pay more the farther that you travel. If you plan to use the bus or tram more than once in a day, Stagecoach offer a bus and tram Dayrider ticket for £3.50 and First buses offer an FirstDay ticket for £4.30. If you wish to use all the public transport in the city, regardless of operator, then you must purchase a South Yorkshire Day Tripper costing £5.80

There are a variety of week and month passes available for either a single bus or bus/tram company, or for all transport including rail. Stagecoach currently offer a flat fare of 50p for students in possession of a valid student card (including the ISIC). Additionally, Stagecoach are offering a limited-time 70p fare for all single journeys for everyone else on certain routes. Another route offering 50p student fares is First's number 80, which shuttles between the two universities and the station via Ecclesall, Broomhill and the city centre. It runs every 10 minutes on weekdays until 7PM, with a more limited evening service.

For further travel information call Travel South Yorkshire from 7AM to 10PM seven days a week or log on to Traveline [32].


There is a decent network of suburban rail services serving the Sheffield City region, all of which depart from Sheffield station. Services are operated by Northern, and depart to Barnsley via Meadowhall, Chapeltown, Elsecar, and Wombwell, to Doncaster, via Meadowhall, Rotherham, Swinton, Mexborough, and Conisborough, to Chesterfield via Dronfield, to the Hope Valley via Dore, and to Nottinghamshire via Darnall, Woodhouse, Kiveton Bridge, and Kiveton Park.


Peace Gardens in the city centre

City Centre

  • Millennium Galleries, Arundel Gate, [33]. M–Sa 8AM-5PM (exhibitions from 10AM), Su 11AM-5PM. Bank holiday Mondays 10AM-5PM, closed 25, 26 Dec and 1 Jan. Sheffield's largest art gallery, opened in 2001. The Craft and Design Gallery shows the work of past and present craftsmen and designers. The Metalwork Gallery showcases Sheffield's metal industries. The Ruskin Gallery hosts the collection of the Guild of St George, which was established in Sheffield by John Ruskin in the 19th century. The Special Exhibition Gallery hosts touring exhibitions from galleries like the Tate Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Millennium Galleries also provide a convenient through-route and escalator ride to take some of the sting out of the walk up from the station. Free.
  • Winter Garden, 90 Surrey Street (adjacent to Millennium Galleries), [34]. Daily 8AM-6PM. A glass and timber temperate conservatory in the city centre, home to exotic ferns, trees, cacti and other plants from around the world. Temperatures are kept relatively cool in summer and warm in winter. A coffee bar makes it a nice place to sit, particularly if the weather outside is not so nice. A visitor information stall is in the gardens, as well as on Norfolk Row nearby. Free.
  • Peace Gardens. Located next to the Town Hall (not the City Hall) in the centre of the city and near the Winter Garden. The rising and falling fountains and grassed areas make this small piece of open space a popular place in summer.
  • Graves Gallery, Surrey St (above the Central Library), [35]. M–Sa 10AM–5PM. Sheffield's municipal art collection. Home to British, European, Islamic and Chinese art. Includes works by Picasso, Stanley Spencer and Bridget Riley. Well worth a visit to see this surprisingly impressive collection. Often has notably travelling exhibitions. Free.
  • Tudor Square. This very central pedestrianized square is home to Sheffield's main cultural attractions and the UK's second largest theatre complex. Noteworthy are the Lyceum Theatre built in Victorian times; Crucible Theatre, home to the World Snooker Championships; Central Library, [36], a grand 1930s library with an impressive volume of books, topped by the Graves Art Gallery; the Library Theatre with many shows by excellent local drama groups; and another entrance to the Winter Gardens.
  • The Norfolk Heritage Trail A signed route linking a range of historical buildings and open spaces with connections to the Dukes of Norfolk. It runs for 2 ¾ miles from Manor Lodge to the Cathedral and is mainly downhill.

Slightly further out

  • Sheffield Botanical Gardens [37]. Located just off the cosmopolitan Ecclesall Road, the recently restored Victorian gardens are a tranquil green oasis from the hustle of the city centre with grand conservatories designed by the architect of the Crystal Palace.
  • Sheffield General Cemetery, [38]. Historically important Victorian cemetery sited between Cemetery Road and Ecclesall Road. Last "home" of 87,000 people, including Sheffield's influential citizens such as steel manufacturer Mark Firth and Chartist Samuel Holberry. Many of the graves are unmarked pauper graves, some with 40 or more burials. This is a beautiful and fascinating spot, where visitors can enjoy some wildness near the centre of town.
  • Kelham Island Museum, Alma Street (off Corporation Street), [39]. M-Th 10AM-4PM, Su 11AM-4.45PM. The industrial and social history of Sheffield. Main attraction is the massive 3-cylinder rolling mill engine (in steam every hour) from the River Don Steelworks. Next to the famous Fat Cat real ale pub (and conveniently located for many of the upper Don valley "real ale trail" pubs). Adult £4, free during Sheffield school holidays.
  • Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, [40]. The early industrial history of Sheffield. Water-powered grinding wheels, trip hammers, etc. A few miles out in the suburbs on the Bakewell road. Check website for "operating" days and special "fayres".
  • Canal Basin. An attractive basin straddled by a warehouse. Colourful narrowboats to look at. Boat trips in Summer. Hotel adjacent for refreshments.
  • London Road. Sheffield's unofficial Chinatown, this buzzing road just outside the City Centre is home to Sheffield's vibrant Chinese community and there are many Oriental restaurants, supermarkets and stores as well as the Sheffield Chinese community centre. There is also a growing Turkish community with many Turkish supermarkets and restaurants here.
  • Weston Park Museum, Western Bank (one mile from city centre), [41]. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 11AM-5PM, closed 25, 26 Dec and 1 Jan. Formerly the Sheffield City Museum, it reopened in 2006 after extensive refurbishment. A pleasant and modern museum, particularly suitable for children. Galleries on Sheffield, the Arctic, natural history, art and treasures. There is also a gallery with changing displays. Free.
  • Weston Park, Western Bank (one mile from city centre), [42]. This grand 5 hectare park located next to the University of Sheffield's main campus is home to the Weston Park Museum. There is a bandstand, tennis courts and water features within the park. The park plays host to many events during summer. A £2 million revamp of the park was completed in 2008.
  • Burngreave. This former industrial suburb is home to large African, South Asian and Caribbean communities, with many religious, cultural and shops for these communities based here.
  • Dore. One of Sheffield's most prosperous suburbs home to several mansions and local celebrities.


Sheffield is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city and boasts a large range of shopping. There are a large number of cinemas, pubs and night clubs.


  • Odeon , Arundel Gate. A relatively small franchise branch with 10 medium to small sized screens.
  • Cineworld, Centertainment Leisure park. Multiplex cinema with 20 large screens - one of the busiest cinemas in the country (and the largest Cineworld branch).
  • Vue, Meadowhall. Medium sized cinema, located in the 'Oasis' food court in the popular shopping mall.
  • Showroom. One of the largest independent cinemas in the UK. Located in the Cultural Industries Quarter, opposite the central station (making it easily accessible for those who travel by rail). Also holds a café-bar.


Don Valley Stadium

Sheffield is home to a number of top sporting teams, and Sheffield was recently given the honour of being named United Kingdom's National City of Sport. Sporting teams include:

  • Sheffield United [43] are a football team that play in League One. Their home games are played at Bramall Lane. Despite promotion to the Premier League in 2006 (which controversially lasted just one year) a series of boardroom mistakes and managerial changes have meant that they are now in the same division as their cross city rivals, Wednesday, following relegation from the Championship in 2011.
  • Sheffield Wednesday [44] are a football team that play in League One, the third tier of English football, since their relegation from the Championship in 2010. Their home games are played at Hillsborough Stadium. Financial mis-management and poor executive decisions have seen Wednesday suffer two relegations to the third divison in the past 10 years.
  • Sheffield Eagles [45] are a Rugby League team that plays in National League One, having recently been promoted from National League 2. The Eagles play their home games in two different venues, Bramall Lane and Don Valley Stadium.
  • Sheffield Hallam HC [46] One of the North & the UK's top hockey clubs playing men's and women's hockey at all levels both indoors and outdoors Sheffield Hallam play their home games at the picturesque Abbeydale Park [47].
  • Sheffield Steelers [48] are an Ice Hockey team that plays its matches in the UK Elite League. Their home games are played at the Sheffield Motorpoint Arena [49]. There is a strong family ethos within the Ice Hockey club, and the atmosphere within the Motorpoint Stadium whilst the team is performing is rather Americanised and in great contrast to what you would find at the local football stadia.
  • Sheffield Sharks [50] are a Basketball team that plays in the British Basketball League. Their home games are played at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre [51].
  • Sheffield Tigers [52] are a Speedway team, who take part in the English Premier League. Their races take place at Owlerton Stadium.

Sports Centres

  • Sheffield Ski Village [53]. Sheffield is well known as a key World sporting destination and is home to Europe's largest outdoor artificial ski slope. The Sheffield ski village offers the chance to enjoy snow activities on the hills overlooking Sheffield. Due to under going extensive redevelopment.
  • iceSheffield. A big indoor ice sports centre near the attractions of the Lower Don Valley. Two full-sized ice pads for ice sports and recreational skating.
  • Ponds Forge. A huge swimming pool by the train station and the huge roundabout by the motorway junction with Olympic sized pool, diving pool and fun pool with waves, flumes and lazy river


There are two major universities in Sheffield:

  • University of Sheffield [54] - An older "red brick" university spanning part of the city centre and most of the suburb of Broomhill.
  • Sheffield Hallam University [55]- A modern ex-polytechnic and focuses on Engineering, Management and Computing courses. It is also one of the largest universities in the country, with nearly 30,000 students.

Also, Sheffield College [56] is the largest college in the country.


Though Sheffield's past was largely based in the manufacturing sector, the emphasis has moved to services. A number of government offices and large businesses (Insight, Dixons Group and Freemans) operate their headquarters or regional centres in Sheffield. There are a large number of call centres in and around the city (eg Virgin Media & Ant Marketing).


Sheffield city centre is quite compact, so the city's suburbs (even ones quite close to the centre) have largely managed to thrive and maintain their character and commercial individuality.

City Centre

The centre, though small, packs in a lot of national and individual shops. The main axis of central shopping streets runs in a gently curving line from north-east to south-west. From north to south you will find:

  • the inexpensive Castle Market area, where a large indoor market is open every day except Sunday
  • the High Street, where buses and trams run up hill towards the Cathedral
  • the pedestrianized Fargate, where many chain stores can be found
  • the Peace Gardens, which is bordered with bars, cafes and a few other shops
  • and finally the Moor, which is Sheffield's broad pedestrianised discount shopping area.

Heading west from the Cathedral is West Street, where many pubs and bars can be found. One block south and parallel to West Street is Division Street, the spine of the so-called Devonshire Quarter. Here you'll find a decent selection of small independent shops and cafes. Despite the draw of nearby Meadowhall, the city centre has retained some significant department stores and chain shops including H & M,Debenhams, TK Maxx, River Island, HMV, Marks and Spencer,Virgin and Sheffield's very own and interestingly quirky Atkinsons.

For after-shopping relaxation, note that apart from Thursday nights (when most shops stay open late) most of the city centre shops close at around 5:30PM, and the city centre focus then shifts to the clubs and bars along Division Street and West Street.


Once the largest shopping mall in the country, Meadowhall's success has been blamed for a steep decline in the fortunes of city centre shops in both Sheffield and the neighbouring towns in South Yorkshire. With 280 high-end stores and over 30 million visitors every year, Meadowhall attracts shoppers from a large area, with residents from Nottingham, Bradford and Leeds (all highly populated local cities with thriving shopping districts) being known to travel to the Shopping Mall - adding to the heavy human traffic in the relatively narrow corridors (perhaps one of Meadowhall's downsides).

Shops generally stay open till 8PM; most fast-food restaurants stay open until around 10PM. During the Christmas holidays, most shops stay open till 10PM, but the centre becomes very packed and is not recommended to the less sturdy shopper, those in large groups, or families with multiple extra-large baby-buggies. 'The Oasis' is the mall's designated food court which includes a variety of different food outlets such as McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, La Tasca, Nando's, Frankie & Benny's, Coal Grill And Bar, Pizza Express, along with many other independent resturants occupying the upper floor.

From Sheffield centre, Meadowhall can be reached easily via the Supertram [57] by taking the Yellow/Purple Route service to 'Meadowhall' or via local Bus or Train (less than 10 minutes from Sheffield station) South Yorkshire Passenger Transport website: [58]. From farther away, use train or long-distance coach (many of both stop at the Meadowhall Interchange), or drive to Junction 34 of the M1.

Crystal Peaks

A smaller, more spacious alternative to Meadowhall on the Southern edge of Sheffield, Crystal Peaks [59] shopping centre has many shops and is adjacent to a good selection of 'out of town' superstores such as Comet and JD Sports. Crystal Peaks can be reached via the Blue Route tram to 'Halfway', or local buses, or by car (junction 30 of the M1).


Ecclesall Road is an area of individual fashion shops, bars, cafes and restaurants running from the inner ring road out to the slightly more student-orientated and bohemian Hunters Bar roundabout.

Broomhill is a fairly self-contained area: a curious and pleasant mix of "studenty" and "leafy suburb". Only a mile from the city centre (past the university), it has an interesting mix of shops from inexpensive to trendy. Music lovers should make time for the impressive second-hand music collection at Record Collector on the Fulwood Road.

Hillsborough has a unusually large shopping area which is comparable to that of many towns in England - the 'Hillsborough Barracks' outdoor shopping centre contains a variety of local and chain stores, a Morrisons supermarket and a McDonalds resturaunt. This is along with the typical small shopping areas you will find in most suburbs in Sheffield.


There are many good, cheap places to eat in and around the city. If you would rather stay in and still want to have a taste of what Sheffield has to offer, you can always opt for food from one of the takeaways in Sheffield . Usually prices range from £7 to £20 for a meal for two.


  • New Hing Wah Take Away, School Road, Crookes, S10. A variety of authentic chinese cuisines at affordable prices.
  • Aslans, West Street. Infamous Halal kebab shop that serves piles of salty meat. See if you can find yourself (or get yourself) on the walls packed with photographs of customers.
  • Aunt Sally's Clarkehouse Road. 2 for 1 on all main meals.
  • Balti King, Fulwood Road, Broomhill. Long standing Indian restaurant and take-away. Popular with students, huge well menu of good dishes.
  • Broomhill Friary, Whitham Road. Fantastic chip shop, located in the Broomhill suburb of the city.
  • The Interval between Western Bank and Glossop Road. The Interval is the cafe-bar of the University of Sheffield Union of Students. Much more pleasant atmosphere than the main student bar (Bar One) downstairs, the Interval is open to the public all day (students only after 6PM) and serves a good value menu of snacks and meals. Also popular for the meat and vegetarian hangover breakfasts and Sunday lunches at the weekend.
  • Spoilt For Choice Ecclesall Road. Good sandwich shop.
  • UK Mama, Fulwood Road, Broomhill. Superb African restaurant. Complicated menu and specials (especially for students on different nights of the week) but excellent food and African drums to try out.
  • Woody's Sandwich Bar, 657 Ecclesall Road, Hunters Bar. One of the city's best Sandwich shacks, with queues out the door at weekends. Handmade sandwiches, like the legendary 'Full Monty' breakfast sandwich to hot baguettes with fillings. Also dishes out some yummy freshly baked cookies.


  • Baan Thai on Ecclesall Road is an excellent Thai restaurant.
  • BB's, Division Street. A long standing favourite of families and students in Sheffield's city centre. A small family run business that does decent Italian food and is reasonably priced. Bring your own beer and wine.
  • Cafe Rouge, Norfolk Street (on the Peace Gardens) and Ecclesall Road. Reliable and classy chain of French bistro-restaurants.
  • Cubana, 34 Trippet Lane. Absolute diamond just off the bottom of west street. Live Cuban music most nights, large range of tapas, amazing atmosphere. Small and sexy. Great first date restaurant. [60]
  • East One, in the West One plaza. Japanese canteen-style restaurant with huge stir fries and soups. Shame about the badly design and echo-ey space it occupies.
  • The Ha-Ha Bar on the Peace Gardens in the town centre. Fresh, albeit expensive pub food.
  • Kashmir Curry House Spital Hill, beyond the Railway Arches. Good curry house, bring your own beer/wine.
  • The Mangla Spital Hill. Basic decor similar to the Kashmir Curry House, bring your own beer/wine.
  • Polonium Abbeydale Road. Polish restaurant that was thrown rather humorously into the media spotlight following the (unrelated) Polonium poisoning of a former Russian spy. Most definitely not named after a radioactive material. Good food.
  • Las Iguanas West One, Fitzwilliam Street. Great party atmosphere and lovely Latin American food. Best place for a night out in Sheffield.
  • Silversmiths Arundel Street, next to Hallam University. A good quality restaurant specialising in British produce. Famous for its Tuesday Pie Nights, and pre-theatre menues well suited to its position near to the Crucible and Lyceum theatres.


  • La Gondola, Carver Street. Highly recommended for Italian cuisine.
  • The Old Vicarage, Ridgeway Village. Sheffield's only Michelin-starred restaurant; probably the best food in Sheffield. Expect to pay around £55 per head excluding wine.
  • Wasabisabi, London Road. Very popular Japanese restaurant; highly recommended.
  • Nonna's, Ecclesall Road. Robust and authentic Italian dishes in busy surroundings. Speciality home-made pastas.
  • Milestone, Ball Street, Kelham Island. A high quality, and award winning, restaurant situated within the former industrial Kelham Island area, within proximity to Shalesmoor Tram Stop. Sister restaurant on Campo Lane behind the Cathedral.

Sunday Lunch

  • Fat Cat on Kelham Island for excellent Sunday meals and wide choice of real ale.
  • Poacher's Arms in the Hope Valley which has an excellent Sunday Carvery.



Sheffield is well known for its large number of pubs (Public Houses); from dark and Victorian to sleek and modern; and from traditional real-ale haven to noisy standing-room-only bar, you can easily find a pub in Sheffield to suit your taste in beer, music and company. However, most city-centre pubs are more oriented towards fast drinking students and clubbers; on West Street in particular (linking the university with the city centre) you will find many pubs and bars which during the week become busy with students and younger customers. Finding quieter pubs in which to sample something other than the usual chain-pub lager requires delving a little deeper beneath the surface.

A website which gives you in depth information about bars and clubs in Sheffield, in addition to events is

For the unimaginative, you'll find the usual Wetherspoons and All Bar One chain pubs, throughout the city centre serving cheap lager, hand-pulled ales and reasonably priced food in a smoke (and atmosphere) free environment.

Hybrid bar-pubs manage to maintain something of a pub atmosphere, and sell real ale at reasonable prices, while still pulling in the crowds. They are used as much by people who want a good range of beer at good prices, as by "yoofs" after a good night out. They are probably doing a good job of persuading at least some lager drinkers to switch to traditional ales.

  • The Washington on Fitzwilliam St nr Devonshire Green...great muso pub...used to be owned by Nick Banks from the band "Pulp"...Relaxed atmosphere...varied dj till 1AM every night except Sunday till midnight...large beer garden and smoking area at the back of the pub
  • The Frog & Parrot on Division Street offers the strongest legal ale in the UK, a dark syrupy mixture that is worth trying at least once.
  • The Devonshire Cat on Wellington Street, just south of Devonshire Green, offers the city's largest range of beers and ciders, including dozens of imported European beers. Also has 2 guest ciders on tap at all times. The city centre sister pub to the remoter Fat Cat on Kelham Island.
  • Porter Cottage Sharrowvale Roa. Indie jukebox, normal ales but amazing atmosphere. Landlady Mandy will know your life history by the time u leave. Get in early to get a decent table.
  • Sheffield Tap at Sheffield Train station offers a selection of beers that equal and possibly surpass that offered by the Devonshire Cat. Surroundings are thankfully lacking in the usually ubiquitous flat screen television. The only background music are the trains arriving and departing the station. The entrance is equally unpretentious so may be hard to find - its at the north end of the station near the pedestrian crossing to the bus station.

Sheffield's real gems are the handful of surviving traditional pubs and free houses, which generally have more room to sit down, quieter (or no) music, and real hand pumped ales.

  • The Brown Bear on Norfolk Street (close to the Sheffield Theatres and Winter Garden) offers what must be the cheapest beer in the city and an incredible mix of both theatre goers and local people.
  • The Red Deer on Pitt Street (just off Mappin Street), is another civilised dive with good range of beers, warming fireplaces, a small garden and friendly cats.
  • Fagans on Broad Lane is a cosy chintz-free Irish pub with regular live music.
  • The Dog and Partridge on Trippet Lane may offer impromptu Irish or Folk music in the back room.
  • The Bath Hotel on Victoria Street (just off West Street) is tiny, free of piped music and friendly.
  • The Sportsman on Denby Street is popular with local customers and will probably have some rock music on the jukebox.

There are more warm and welcoming traditional pubs in Sheffield's suburbs. North-west of the city centre, in Crookes and Walkley (popular with students as places to live) are:

  • The Hallamshire House on Commonside is reputedly the only pub in Sheffield still housing a full-sized snooker table.
  • The Walkley Cottage on Bole Hill Road is friendly with good range of beer and good food.
  • Noah's Ark on Crookes has a good atmosphere and mix of students and locals.
  • The Freedom House has two halves: a lively "pool table-and-lager" side, and a quieter "grandmothers's living room" side.
  • The Nottingham House or "The Notty" as it is better known has recently re-opened after an extensive refurbishment. Catering for locals,visitors and students alike, it really is a pub worth a visit. Home-made pies are a speciality and real ales are aplenty. Occasional live music on Thursday nights with acts from near and far. Pool table is very good value at 50p.
  • The Cobden View Situated on cobden view rd near crookes, this small and charming independent pub serves great local ales until approx. 1AM most nights, and is always bursting with atmosphere and friendly locals.

Real ale fans from great distances come to "do" the real ale trail of Sheffield's Upper Don Valley, a route stretching from near the city centre almost to Hillsborough. The trail calls at:

  • The Kelham Island Tavern has won best Pub in Britain from Camra
  • The Fat Cat, hidden away on Alma Street, also a great stop for Sunday lunch.
  • The Wellington (used to be known as Cask and Cutler) on Henry Street.
  • The Gardeners Rest on Neepsend Lane (recently re-opened following the great flood of 2007).
  • Hillsborough HotelA welcoming pub with a brewery underneath and hotel rooms above.
  • The New Barrack Tavern, A pub owned by Castle Rock and full of Character.
  • The Harlequin, The latest addition to The Ale Trail, more open plan and possibly less off putting to people who aren't used to real ale pubs than the others might seem.

The trail roughly parallels the tram route from the city centre to Hillsborough, so getting there and back is easy. All these pubs have a huge range of British draught real ales (some brewed by the pub) and most have a selection of bottle-conditioned beers from continental Europe (especially Belgium).

  • The Sheaf View on Gleadless Road is a real ale hotspot. Famous for serving the south side of Sheffield with the local breweries and other guest ales with knowledgeable bar staff. Has a reputation for friendly Sheffield folk to relax there after hiking and climbing in the peaks. So called because of possible view of the Sheaf River although now obstructed by newer buildings.


Visiting Sheffield, you might be led to believe that students go out every day of the week. With some 55 000 university students this is hardly surprising. These are some of the more popular pubs.

  • Bungalows & Bears (formerly the Central fire station) Division St. Retro-chic bar with fantastic atmosphere, amazing music and great veggy food menu. 2nd hand "retro" clothing market on a Sunday. Free board games (Tequilla Jenga is recommended). Applauding toilets. Frequented by the Arctic Monkeys, trendies and students alike.
  • The Green Room Division st. Compact bar, great range of bottled beers, great live indie music on a Wednesday.
  • The Lounge West st. Great cocktails & coffees. Popular by day. Serves food at lunchtime: really excellent cooking at a very reasonable price.
  • Muse West st. Relaxed quieter bar with comfy seating, for those avoiding the student pub crawls.
  • Varsity West st/Ecclesall rd. Standard studenty chain bar, complete with inflatable sheep machines in the toilets.
  • Vodka Revolution West:one. Popular with "orange" good-looking people but don't let that put you off, good range of drinks and affordable food menu by day. Decent DJ sets and adjoining pool room.
  • Tequilla Bar West St. They sell tequila. Large cocktail menu, 2 for 1 on a Thursday. Avoid the lethal stairs down to the toilets.
  • Forum Division St. Unique trendy cafe/bar (and shops and pool bar) open late most nights. Expensive. Amazing outdoor patio onto the Devonshire Green.
  • The Common Room Division st. Large pool/sports bar. 12 American pool tables. Cheap drinks weekdays between 5 and 8 and a good cocktail menu.
  • Yates Division st. Poor-performer (even for a chain bar). Attempt to avoid.
  • Crystal Carver st. Expensive bar, amazing décor. Anti-studenty (except Wednesdays)
  • Ruby Lounge Division st. Popular cocktail bar, good music and reasonably priced. Basement to be converted into a nightclub.
  • Ask Barkers pool. Studenty during week, chavy by weekend. What's that? MC hammer is being played for the 4th time tonight?....ill get my coat.
  • Stardust Carver st. Stick to the floor and laugh at your Uni clubmates.
  • The Cutler Carver st. Local choice, no students. bitter (people).
  • Corner house Carver st. (aka city bar) good seating, standard drinks.
  • Bar One Glossop Road, near the University tram stop. The main bar of the University of Sheffield Student Union, which is understandably always full of students, and which is also one of the most profitable union bars anywhere in the country. In the evenings you will need a Sheffield student card (or a friend who has one to sign you in) to gain admission. Cheapest drinks on a Sunday. Large, cheap, pool room.
  • Interval Glossop Road, near the University tram stop. The second bar of the University of Sheffield Student Union, offering a more cosmopolitan atmosphere with local real ales, wine and food.
  • The Hubs Inside Sheffield Hallam Union (the former National Centre for Popular Music) so easy to find. It looks like a big, silver, flying spaceship, close to the train station. Not as big or impressive on the inside as it is on the outside, a relatively small union bar.
  • Cavendish West Street (locally referred to as 'The Chavendish'). A scream/yellowcard bar (you get discounted drinks if you buy or have a friend with a yellowcard, which costs £1 to NUS card holders). Serves decent food; a cheap student pub/bar with pool tables.
  • The York Broomhill. Another scream/yellowcard place with a slightly more pubby atmosphere
  • Fox and Duck Broomhill. An off campus pub owned by the University of Sheffield Student Union but frequented by a more mixed crowd.
  • The Harley On Glossop Road by the University tram stop. Open Late til 4AM on event nights. Hosts several Electro events such as Club Pony on the second Friday of every month.
  • The Stockroom The cosiest new bar in town...Leadmill Rd...200 yards from The Leadmill...very close to the train station...Live bands most nights...Weekend Party nights with great dj's...
  • Bar Max West Street, near West Street tram stop. Another late bar with a small dance floor, though fairly expensive for Sheffield prices.
  • Reflex West Street (near City Hall tram stop). More a free and cheesy club with 70s and 80s music than a bar.
  • The Central Station. Division Street. An old fire station, and in fact it still feels like one. Big dance floor; popular and often busy.
  • Walkabout West Street, near City Hall tram stop. Australia themed bar. Very popular, fairly cheap, but can get a bit claustrophobic. Better as calling point on a pub crawl than a place for staying in.
  • The Bedroom West Street, near City Hall tram stop. Cheap with good cocktails. Monday is a "rock/emo/hardcore" night, the rest of the week varies and there is an RnB night on a Friday. Takes its name from the four poster bed on the dance floor.
  • Gay bars There are a small number of gay bars, clubs and gay-nights, whose location and names change on a regular basis. Consult Yorkshire's gay paper Shout! [61] for the latest listing.

Clubs & Live Venues

Unlike Sheffield's dense strip of student bars along West Street, the city's night clubs are more spread out around the city centre, especially in the former industrial buildings which been so popular with music venues.

  • Casbah Wellington st.
  • Charles street Charles st.
  • Uniq Carver st.
  • Under the Boardwalk Snig Hill.
  • DQ Fitzwilliam St. Holding legendary clubnights such as 'Threads'. Open late every night, notable for its "afterparty" till 4AM after HedKandi.
  • The Leadmill Leadmill Road, close to Sheffield station and Sheffield Hallam University. A Sheffield institution made famous by its live music line-up. Live gigs most nights of the week which are immediately followed by club nights. Concert-goers get free entry to the club night after their show. Indie night on a Saturday, with relatively cheap drinks for a nightclub.
  • Tuesday Club not actually a nightclub, but simply worth a mention, Tuesdays held at SUSU, well known drum n bass night, attracting famous artists from around the country.
  • Plug (formerly .Zero). Smart club, open late (6AM on Fridays and Saturdays) and popular on a Thursday night (when huge queues are to be expected). Nights span anything from raves to live music.
  • The Limit (formerly Niche) Opposite Plug. The Niche was briefly closed following a shooting incident (exceptionally rare in Sheffield's nightlife) and has now reopened with rigourous security. Security staff frisk everyone who walks through the door. If that bothers you, it is one to avoid.
  • Corporation Milton Street. A dirty rock club with dirty cheap vodka, just the way the locals like it. There's 'Skool Disco' every Wednesday night (free admission in school uniform) and metal/goth on Saturdays. Fridays is skate and metal downstairs and indie upstairs. Mondays are popular with the student crowd, playing music everyone seems to know.
  • Embrace Nightclub. Formally Kingdom, a new five room modern nightclub (one over 25's cocktail bar) of various themes catering for all music tastes
  • Fuel A gay club, open Th-Su, Eyre Street near the Moor. Thursday is "student disco" with cheap drink, Friday is pop and cheese in one room and indie/alternative in another, Saturday is electro/house/entertainers/dancers, and Sunday is a chill out night.
  • Club Sssh The wicker. Various nights from raves to regular gay nights.
  • Banus Barkers Pool. Hip-hop club.
  • Fusion/Foundry and Octagon (the clubs of the University of Sheffield Union of Students) Western Bank. A fiercely active union night club that packs in students from from Tu-Sa. The Tuesday Club is a surprisingly pricey hip-hop and drum & bass night that pulls in many big names. Roar on Wednesday night is big on cheap alcopops and inebriated sports teams. The Fuzz Club on a Thursday is a reliable and well known indie night. Famous for featuring big names before they were famous (e.g. the Killers). Friday is Space in the Octagon, a "chart" night, while visiting club nights and Climax, South Yorkshire's biggest gay club rotate monthly in the Fusion/Foundry. Saturdays is Pop Tarts, hosting 2 rooms (one is 70s and "rock and roll", the other 80s and 90s).
  • Sheffield City Hall. The impressive 1930s City Hall was recently refurbished and is home to many concerts, performances and travelling shows and is in the elegant Barkers Pool in the city centre which is home to Sheffield's cenotaph.


  • Etap Hotel Sheffield Arena, 298 Attercliffe Common, Sheffield, [1]. WiFi available. From £35 (breakfast £2.95).
  • Nether Edge Hotel, 21-23 Montgomery Rd, Nether Edge, Sheffield (less than a mile SSW of the city centre), [2]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 10AM. From about £39 including breakfast.
  • Copthorne Hotel, Bramall Lane, Sheffield, (0114) 252 5480, [3]. Free Car Parking. WiFi available. From £30 (breakfast £15.00).

Hotels in the city centre include:

  • Novotel and Mercure Hotel (near the Winter Garden and Peace Garden)
  • Holiday Inn (a quieter location not far from the Canal Basin)
  • Hilton (next to the Holiday Inn)
  • Premier Travel Inn, Ibis, Bristol (near the Markets area and Canal Basin)
  • Jurys Inn Eyre Street (Moor Roundabout)
  • Best Western - Cutlers Hotel George Street (Heart Of the City)

  • Corner House, Westbourne Rd, (0114) 266 0346 (), [4]. Available for periods of between 1 week to 6 months. Wifi, fully equiped shared kitchen, tv, towels, shampoo, breakfast included. £150 per week, £160 for two persons.

Stay safe

As with the rest of the UK, in any emergency call 999 or 112 (from a land-line if you can) and ask for Ambulance, Fire or Police when connected.

The city has one of the lowest crime rates in the country, despite being home to one of the most notorious estates in the country, The Manor Estate. Some local people would say to avoid Park Hill and Burnbank/Pitsmoor, but those areas not as bad as suggested, and the average tourist would not go there anyway as there are no attractions there or nearby. There are adequate police patrols at all times of the day, and the town also boasts (if this is a matter for boasting) an extensive network of CCTV cameras. Although some areas not too far from the centre are undesirable, any central areas or main shopping suburbs will feel perfectly comfortable during the day. After hours, some peripheral parts of the city centre may seem a little quiet and lonely, but any well-lit street with plenty of people about (this means in effect the area centred on the Town Hall, between West Street to the north and Arundel Gate to the south) will be as safe as any city centre in the UK if the usual precautions are taken.


Get out

Leeds the other big Yorkshire city, only an hour away by train/coach/car, handy for the Yorkshire Dales.

Peak District

Sheffield is the perfect city base to explore the Peak District, not only because it is the closest city to the northern half of "the Peaks" (some of the national park lies within the city boundary) but also because bus and train links from Sheffield into the Peaks are excellent for such rural services. Popular services run back to Sheffield quite late (some until 11PM), making it feasible for Sheffielders and visitors to put a day's hard work or shopping behind them or a long summer's evening "walking in the Peaks". The popularity of the Peaks as a destination for Sheffielders at leisure is underlined by the fact that many routes provide a better service at weekends (particularly on Sunday) than during the week - making a full day in the fresh air very easy to arrange.

Briefly, the Peak District ("The Peaks") is a beautiful "National Park" of moors with open access for hikers; stone-walled green hills and sheep-filled fields crossed by paths for ramblers; hillside tracks and country lanes for cyclists; and a network of tiny hamlets, small villages, country churches, and market towns. All the settlements have their own charm and history, and nearly all have at least one pub for lunch and beer, or a tea shop for afternoon tea and cakes.

Easy trips into the Peaks

  • The Fox House pub is well-served with daytime and evening buses from Sheffield (many routes meet here), and it is only a very short drive out of town. It is situated just where the view of the Peak District opens up as you come over the hill from Sheffield, so you can walk along the high bits without having to climb up there! It is a great place to have a drink before going walking/running/climbing in some great terrain, and to return to for a meal and a drink while waiting for your bus back.
  • Hathersage and Grindleford are very close to Sheffield on the "Hope Valley" train line. One evening, get a return ticket to Hathersage for about £3.50, and walk from Grindleford Station to Hathersage Church (Little John's Grave!) along the riverside path (1 to 2 hours, plus time in the country pubs at both ends). If you get an early enough train you can eat at the Grindleford Station Cafe (famous for huge mugs of tea, filling food, and bossy notices everywhere).
  • Edale is a pretty village at the head of a beautiful valley, overlooked by the famous Kinder Scout and Mam Tor. There is one pub in the centre of the village at the start of the Pennine Way, and another by the railway station where you can drink moderately until the closing time train (11PM) back to Sheffield (Hope Valley line, 40 minutes from Sheffield).
  • Castleton is on the other side of Mam Tor, so is a short, but steep walk from Edale with beautiful views along the way. It is home to the only Blue John mine in the world as well as four major caves/caverns which tourists can visit. Each has a very different feel, from the natural splendour of Peak Cavern to the disconcerting underground river trip (and well-rehearsed guides' patter) of Speedwell. Castleton has an excellent bus service, and though not directly on the Hope Valley line, train tickets are accepted on the bus between Castleton and Hope Station (which is!).
  • Eyam ("Eem") village comes with a fascinating history and a sad but brave story: it chose to quarantine itself when plague struck in the 17th century. Whole families died, but the plague did not spread. The stone where food was deposited, in exchange for money left in vinegar-filled holes can still be seen. There is a museum detailing this and the rest of the village's history, and Eyam Hall is an interesting house to visit.
  • Bakewell is gentle and pretty (quite Jane Austen-ish). It is good for riverside strolls, country shopping, and spending all day in tea shops trying out the rival versions of "Real, Genuine, Proper, Original, etc etc Bakewell puddings. Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall are nearby for "how-the-rich-lived"-buffs and history-buffs respectively.
  • "Sheffield's Lake District" is a rather fanciful name (which has never really stuck) for the Bradfield valley just north of the city centre. True, the moors, green hills, villages, and country pubs really are very beautiful, and make for lovely walks, rides, and drives — but it has to be admitted that there is a distinct lack of mountains (unlike Cumbria) and that the "lakes" are really reservoirs. The area really (really! honest!) is a "secret" — it can be a surpise to first-time visitors even from the south of Sheffield, especially when they realise that this area is not only officially part of Sheffield, but that it is also in the Peak District. It is very well served (right until pub closing time) by a circular bus route from Hillsborough interchange (tram from the city centre): ask for Upper Bradfield, Lower Bradfield, or Dungworth (yep, that's what it's called!).
  • Matlock (shops), Matlock Bath (riverside walks, a "seaside prom", and a cable car), and Cromford (Arkwright's Mill, the first factory !) are closer to Chesterfield, but are easily reached by car from Sheffield.

Other country areas

  • The South Pennines will look familiar to anyone who has seen "Last of the Summer Wine". Holmfirth is 40 minutes drive away (direct bus on Sundays) for anyone who wants to see Compo's cafe (actually, an excellent "sit down chippy") or Nora Batty's step, or just the stone buildings of Holmfirth set in a beautiful green valley surrounded by rolling hills.
  • The Dukeries of north Nottinghamshire is an area of country parks and stately homes.

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