Quite possibly Yorkshire’s most understated city, there’s something so unique about Sheffield that the likes of Leeds, York and Hull could never compete with. Yet it doesn’t feel the need to scream it from the rooftops – which is exactly why we love it so much. From its gritty, industrial bars nodding to its Steel City heritage to the stunning nature that you wouldn’t expect to find in any city centre, here’s our guide to the best things to do in Sheffield.
Things to do in Sheffield: by day
Potter around the Winter Garden
A huge glasshouse filled with stunning botanicals, Sheffield’s Winter Garden is beautiful all year round, thanks to the 2500+ plants that reside there from all around the globe.
Completely free to visit, the Winter Garden is the perfect place for a morning potter while you enjoy a takeaway coffee – like a slice of physical serotonin to start the day with.
Enjoy a few cocktails at Saw Grinders Union
Bright, airy and botanical – quite a juxtaposition when you realise it’s located in the industrial Kelham Island – Saw Grinders Union really is the perfect place for a cocktail.
There’s something about it that makes it feel like a real treat (probably the artfully crafted cocktails), and their menu of concoctions is pretty unbeatable, too. Additionally, the bar serves up some tasty brunch dishes, too, with bottomless options available for those who fancy kicking off the day right (AKA, with booze). Saw Grinders Union, Globe Works, Sheffield, S6 3AE.
Check out some vintage gems in the Antiques Quarter
The hidden gem of Sheffield: the Antiques Quarter. If you, like me, love a good rummage and – more importantly – a good bargain, then you’ll be pretty enthralled by a proper treasure hunt at the numerous antique shops in the area.
From Antiques centres to regular flea markets and vintage pop-ups, there’s plenty to see and browse in this triangle of treasure. Find it in the Abbeydales, Broadfield, London and Queens Road area.
Scoff chocolate at Sheffield’s chocolate factory, Bullion
Bullion produces gorgeous craft chocolate born and made in Sheffield’s Kelham Island. A local gem loved by those in the know, Bullion specialises in bean-to-bar chocolate made in small batches, which is then used to create their incredible chocolate bars and the tasty brownies that are served in their cafe.
Watch the magic happen on one of Bullion’s intimate chocolate tours, before settling down in their cafe bar where you can enjoy hot chocolates, tasty bakes and even Espresso Martinis. Bullion, 73-101, Neepsend Ln, Neepsend, Sheffield, S3 8AT.
Browse local produce at the Moor Market
Home to more than 90 independent traders, Sheffield’s Moor Market is a great place to potter around on a rainy day, in particular.
Think fresh food, bakeries, florists, gift stalls, clothes and everything in between, alongside little cafes and street food spots, too.
Take a moment to chill in Peace Gardens
A little slice of green in Sheffield’s city centre, the Peace Gardens is pretty popular when the sun is shining – providing plenty of space for the city’s residents to sit and reflect, be it their lunch break or a quiet weekend in the city.
Take a stroll around Victoria Quays
Fancy a moment by the water? Sheffield might be inland, but Victoria Quays offers tranquil, waterside peace and quiet – just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of the centre. Grab a coffee at Victoria Junction, or pop to the laid back Dorothy Pax for a pint.
Grab a beer from Abbeydale Brewery
Found in 1996, Abbeydale Brewery is Sheffield’s very own flagship brewery – and it’s well worth a visit next time you’re in town.
Situated by the Antiques Quarter, South of the city centre near the trendy Nether Edge, Abbeydale Brewery’s Yorkshire-made beers can be found at The Rising Sun pub in Nether Green, The Waggon and more.
See pretty flowers at the Botanical Garden
Plant lovers will absolutely adore Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens, a beautiful Victorian-style garden dating all the way back to the 1800s.
Explore 18 different gardens packed with colourful flowers and plants, alongside a stunning glass pavilion filled with beautiful greenery at every turn. Need a mental heath walk? This is the one.
Pet farm animals at Heeley City Farm
Sheffield’s urban farm is a real breath of fresh air for those who fancy doing something a little different. Perfect for all ages, guests can meet goats, chickens and more at the farm, enjoy farm-to-fork grub, and potter the lovely garden centre on-site. Heeley City Farm, Richards Rd, Heeley, Sheffield, S2 3DT.
Do a spot of shopping at Meadowhall
Whether you call it Meadowhall or Meadowhell – there’s no denying it’s a great place for shopping. A maze of some of the most popular shops in the country, Meadowhall offers a great day out for shopping lovers, alongside an Oasis of fantastic restaurants to dine at including Handmade Burger Co, Las Iguanas, Wagamama and many more. Meadowhall, Sheffield, S9 1EP.
Things to do in Sheffield: by night
Enjoy a gig at the Leadmill
The Leadmill is an iconic venue in Sheffield, known for attracting some of the biggest bands of all time over the past 40 years. Residing in a former flour mill, the uber-cool industrial venue is basically heaven for live music lovers, with the likes of Oasis, The Stone Roses, The Strokes and Sheffield’s very own Arctic Monkey taking to the stage over the years.
Watch a show at one of the city’s theatre
Culture lovers needn’t go without when visiting Sheffield. Both Lyceum and Crucible Theatre can b found in the heart of the city, where West End productions such as Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Bat Out Of Hell, and Chicago set to take to the stage this year. See what’s on here.
Play a unique game of crazy golf at Gloryholes
A definitely not family-friendly experience in the centre of Sheffield, Gloryholes is a crazy golf experience like no other. Trust us, you won’t have seen holes like *this* before.
Think rude holes with risqué humour, a gore-themed course, plenty of cocktails and a whole lot of raunchiness. Gloryholes, 43 High St, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield, S1 2GB.
Bar hop around Kelham Island
Kelham Island is a local favourite, particularly with the city’s millennials. Packed full of bars and street food inspired restaurants honouring the area’s industrial heritage, the city quarter offers a more laid-back approach to drinking and dining, perfect for those who prefer a no-frills night out.
Treat yourself to a bit of fine dining at Joro
Malton might be the region’s food capital, but Sheffield has a pretty strong foodie offering, too. Joro is one of the city’s most unique offerings – made from upcycled shipping containers (a steel building in Steel City, as they say) and serving some of the most beautifully presented food in the region.
Critically acclaimed and frequently named one of the best restaurants in the country, Joro focuses on high quality, British grub – creating beautiful Michelin guide-worthy dishes made with seasonal produce while maintaining Sheffield’s down-to-Earth urban vibe. Joro, 0.2-0.5 Krynkl, 294, Shalesmoor, Sheffield, S3 8US.
Dance the night away at Corporation
Another of Sheffield’s most iconic venues, Corp is pretty popular among the club crowd, not only hosting regular alt, rock and indie club nights, but boasting a epic live music roster, too. Over the years, Sheffield-born Bring Me The Horizon have played there, as well as icons such as Slash, The Buzzcocks and more.
Locals love it for the cheap entry and cheap drinks, alongside that sticky indie club vibe that makes for the perfect last bar of the night. Corporation, 2 Milton St, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield, S1 4JU.
Our top bar recommendations:
- Temple of Fun
- Saw Grinders Union
- The Wick at Both Ends
- Lost & Found
- Sheffield Tap
- Riverside Kelham
Our top restaurant recommendations:
- Twisted Burger Company
- Proove Pizza
- Craft & Dough
- Bungalows & Bears
[Featured image: Unsplash]