Sheffield has a great deal to offer both locals and visitors. Not all of its activity is relegated to the city centre: some of the best restaurants and entertainments are situated in the lively central suburbs and on the roads which radiate out from the city centre, such as the fashionable Ecclesall and Abbeydale roads.
The most popular areas of the city centre include:
The Moor and Fargate
Much of the city centre's shopping is located in the pedestrian areas of
West of Barker's Pool, along Division Street, is the well-known Devonshire Quarter. The Quarter is home to the alternative shopping centre,
A good selection of cafes and restaurants are available in this area, most of which are busy with business people and shoppers during the day and become even livelier at night. Among the most popular are the
West Street runs parallel to Division Street and is a popular drinking area, with many large theme pubs such as
Pinstone Street, between the Moor and Fargate is the location of the
Just beyond the Town Hall is Tudor Square, which is the cultural heart of the city, surrounded by the
A small cluster of excellent eating and drinking establishments in this area include
Cultural Industries Quarter
Across Arundel Gate is Sheffield Hallam University's large city centre campus, with its many new buildings. Below the campus is the Railway Station and the Bus Station. A short walk away, around Brown Street and Paternoster Row, is the Cultural Industries Quarter. This district is home to many industries involved in the media and other cultural areas. Here you will also find the
Park Square Roundabout
The large Park Square roundabout is the location of the
Across the road you will see the big indoor
Victoria Quays is a development around the canal basin. Warehouses have been refurbished into luxury apartments and new office developments overlook the moored boats, including the
Many of Sheffield's luxury hotels are to be found close by. The cluster includes the
Sheffield may not be blessed with many beautiful historic buildings, but you are never far from reminders of its great industrial past. The
The industrial Don Valley, to the north of the city centre, has seen many of its large steelworks disappear. In their place are new industrial and office developments and large leisure and shopping attractions.
This is also the location of the Entertainment complex of the
Meadowhall Shopping Centre
With 270 shops the prestigious
Sheffield Ski Village
Hillsborough is famous as the home of Sheffield Wednesday, one of the city's two football clubs (the other is Sheffield United whose Bramall Lane Ground is in the south of the city). This self-contained town within a city has a good shopping centre and other attractions, such as
The leafy residential suburbs to the south west of Sheffield are home to some of the city's finest restaurants and specialist shopping areas.
Ecclesall Road and Hunter's Bar
The tree-lined section of Ecclesall Road, running from just past the old Ward's brewery to Hunter's Bar roundabout, is known as Sheffield's "golden mile" of shopping for its mix of designer and specialty shops. There is also a good selection of bars, cafes and pubs, including Coffee Revolution,
Nearby Sharrow Vale Road has a similar mixture, including Café Ceres, the Mediterranean Restaurant and the
This is also the location of two of Sheffield's best-known green spaces;
Abbeydale Road and Nether Edge
The leafy Victorian suburb of Nether Edge is home to many hotels: of particular note is the luxurious
Abbeydale Road is known as the antique district of Sheffield; although it is slightly down at heel, it has an interesting mix of secondhand, antique and reproduction outlets.
Further out, on Abbeydale Road South, is the
Broomhill and Crookesmoor
Leaving the City Centre along Glossop Road and Western Bank, you come in to Crookesmoor, where the main hospital and
Continuing into Broomhill, you come across a good shopping centre, with independent and charity shops and pubs such as O'Neill's Irish Bar and the South Seas. This beautiful Victorian district has some good hotels such as the modern
Finally, the beautiful Peak District National Park lies immediately to the west and south west of the city. Continue through Broomhill along Glossop Road and the A57 for dramatic hills and moorland scenery, which gives way further south to high limestone country and wooded river dales. Outdoor activities, picturesque towns and villages, the historic houses of
In the last few years, partly because of the huge influx of students to the city, Sheffield's dining and drinking opportunities have grown beyond anyone's expectations, making it as good a place to spend an evening as almost any city in the country.
More than anything, the city has acquired more diversity and now has a genuinely cosmopolitan feel. The recent flood of cafe-bars that has swept Britain has not missed Sheffield out, but neither has it robbed the city of its array of traditional pubs. There are also new and exciting restaurants springing up all over the place, meaning that the eating place lurking around the next corner is as likely to be a Mediterranean tapas bar as a fish and chip shop.
By far the trendiest area in Sheffield, the Devonshire Quarter is close to the city centre and is the place to be seen in Sheffield, especially at the weekend. This is where the majority of the new cafe-bars are situated, most of which are quite relaxed during the day but come alive at night. Bar Coast (Division Street) is fairly typical, with sofas, bright colors and lots of stainless steel; there is also a full menu (prices are reasonable). Similarly, RSVP Bar and J.D.Wetherspoons (both Cambridge Street) provide freshly-prepared meals (around £5 for main courses) and attract mainly young professionals. The Forum Cafe (Division Street) has a real split personality: during the day it doubles up as an art gallery and is very sedate, but at night it has a genuine party atmosphere, with DJ's playing throughout the week. The Havana Internet Cafe is also worth a visit and last but not least, the Halcyon Bar (Devonshire Street) is possibly the coolest place to be seen in Sheffield, with minimalist decor, a late license (until 1 am) and the added lure of Absinthe.
If these bars seem a bit too trendy, however, there's always The Yorick (Division Street), a traditional pub which nevertheless gets very busy at weekends. Or, if you're looking for somewhere a bit different, you could do worse than The Walkabout Inn (Carver Street) which is an Australian-themed pub and includes a dance floor, a beer garden, karaoke and live music. Those with strong stomachs, however, should head straight for the Frog & Parrot (Division Street) which allegedly has the strongest beer in the world, aptly called "Roger and Out". The Devonshire Quarter also houses a number of popular restaurants. BB's Italian Restaurant (Devonshire Street) offers good service and the opportunity to take your own wine, whereas Pizza Express (Devonshire Street) continues the area's stainless steel theme (this is Sheffield, after all!) and offers a good selection of freshly-baked pizzas, while ASK Pizza and Pasta (Cambridge Street) is sophisticated and spacious. Less conventional restaurants include The Mad Greek (Fitzwilliam Street), which is huge and includes plate-smashing, dancing and singing, and Bistro Casablanca (Devonshire Street), which has a Continental atmosphere and a live jazz band.
Close to the Devonshire Quarter is West Street, which begins as Glossop Road and leads directly to the city centre. West Street is not quite as 21st century as the Devonshire Quarter, but it does have a very good selection of restaurants and bars and is well worth a visit. The most noticeable bar is indisputably The Cavendish (partly because it is bright yellow). The emphasis here is clearly on fun and quiz nights, comedy and karaoke are all regular features. Closer to town is Sheffield's most kitsch establishment, Flares 70's Revival Bar, which serves lunches by day and dons an afro wig by night and has an atmosphere that makes it seem more like a club. Other places worth stopping off at for a drink include the very large Edwards Bar, the very busy Foundry and Firkin and Scruffy Murphy's. West Street also has a number of popular and interesting restaurants to choose from. Two easily-confused restaurants are Que Tal? and K Pasa (both Glossop Road) as they are practically next door to one another. K Pasa is an Italian restaurant which is very lively and suitable for large parties, whereas Que Tal? offers a wide selection of Mexican, Italian and Spanish dishes.
Another street which seems to be entirely made up of restaurants and bars is Ecclesall Road. If you like Italian food, this is definitely the place to go as you will simply be spoilt for choice here. Santino's Ristorante Italiano is particularly recommended (not least because you can take your own wine and they even provide you with reading glasses if you've forgotten yours!) but Caffe Uno, The Pomona and Trattoria Romana also serve delicious food at reasonable prices. However, Ecclesall Road has not been completely colonized by Italy; Café Rouge is a French restaurant which is thoroughly deserving of its popularity, whereas Nonnas Cafe and Restaurant, though Italian-based, is a European-style cafe-bar which serves lovely food from the whole continent and even has a deli counter so you can buy the ingredients afterwards.
Champs Sports Bar and Restaurant is perhaps Ecclesall Road's most popular venue. Split into two sections, one side is a relaxed American restaurant while the other is a thriving bar which specializes in cocktails and is decorated with sports memorabilia. Other bars worth trying include The Slug and Fiddle, which is spacious and often has live bands and DJs playing, and The Nursery Tavern, a busy pub with a beer garden and a good reputation for food.
Although these three areas are the busiest places in Sheffield and have the most bars and restaurants per square mile, there is far more to the city than this. For example, more upmarket restaurants include Thyme (Sandygate Road), an interesting and original English restaurant, and the Mediterranean Restaurant (Sharrow Vale Road), which specializes in seafood and tapas. Other bars worth checking out include All Bar One (Leopold Street), which attracts a lively crowd of young professionals, and Empire Bar (Charter Square), with its distinctive movie-themed atmosphere. Finally, the area of Broomhill is worthy of a mention. There are a number of busy and friendly pubs here, such as The Fox and Duck and O'Neills' Irish Bar (both Fulwood Road), a recently-refurbished cafe-bar (Hanrahans, Glossop Road) and one or two interesting places to eat out such as UK Mama.
Whatever "Entertainment" means to you - whether it's music, the theatre, history, the arts, the cinema or the chance to watch top-class sporting events - you'll find plenty of opportunities in Sheffield for a great day or evening out.
Sheffield Arena and the Don Valley Stadium are both major venues, which have recently hosted concerts by superstars such as Bob Dylan, Sting, Tina Turner, the Rolling Stones and the Spice Girls. Big names in pop and rock music regularly appear at the City Hall as well as at the students' unions of Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University and live music is also on offer at the Leadmill and the Boardwalk.
A range of pubs and clubs (venues vary but are listed weekly in the Sheffield Telegraph) are a showcase for local talent. There should be plenty of interesting groups about; bands such as ABC, Human League, Pulp and Moloko all built up their reputations in Sheffield's smaller clubs.
Sheffield's clubs also have an excellent national profile. Perhaps the most famous is the Gatecrasher night at the Republic, where DJs such as Radio One's Judge Jules host extremely popular evenings. Other club nights worth a visit include most nights at Roundhouse and NY SUSHI.
Classical music fans will find touring opera (and ballet) companies at the Lyceum. Also look out for the winter Philharmonic Concerts at the City Hall and the Music in the Round series, which is based around performances by Sheffield's own resident string quartet, the Lindsays at the Studio.
Sheffield Theatres comprise three separate houses: the Lyceum offers touring companies in plays and musicals, the Crucible stages its own productions and the Crucible Studio presents more experimental drama. Amateur and semi-professional theatre also flourishes at the Library Theatre, at the Montgomery Theatre (in the city centre), the University Drama Studio (on Glossop Road) and at the Merlin Theatre in Nether Edge. If you're in Sheffield in the pantomine season, an extremely popular Christmas panto is produced by the Manor Operatic Society at the City Hall each year.
Four large multi-screen multiplexes show all the latest commercial blockbusters. These are: the town centre Odeon; UCI at Crystal Peaks; Warner Village at Meadowhall and UGC at Valley Centertainment. Sheffield also has a four-screen independent cinema, the Showroom, which has an excellent reputation and offers a varied programme of international films.
Museums and Galleries
City Museum, in Weston Park, has permanent displays of archaeology, including Egyptian mummies, natural history exhibits, ceramics and clocks and an excellent programme of children's activities. Next door is the Mappin Art Gallery, which houses the city's collection of old masters and other artworks from before 1900. More recent art is displayed at the Graves Art Gallery in Surrey Street. John Ruskin's unique collection of drawings, objects and paintings, The Guild of St George Collection, is one of the major attractions in the world-class Millennium Galleries.
The city's industrial heritage is not forgotten. "Little mesters" workshops from the cutlery trade are preserved at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, and a whole street of them is recreated at Kelham Island Museum, which also displays original forges, factories and rolling mills used during the industrial heyday of Sheffield, which was once the world's leading "steel city".
Everyday life over the last 150 years is recalled in the exhibits at the Traditional Heritage Museum at Hunter's Bar and tours of Sheffield Town Hall are available during summer months. If you are visiting Sheffield with children, consider taking them to the Fire/Police Museum; most young visitors love the accessible fire engines here.
The contemporary arts scene also flourishes in Sheffield. The Cupola Gallery in Hillsborough and the Site Gallery in the developing Cultural Industries Quarter provide excellent exhibitions.
Sheffield's many parks make popular destinations in themselves, as do the Botanical Gardens and historic sites like the Tudor Bishop's House in Meersbrook Park, or the Shepherd's Wheel in Bingham Park and Whiteley Woods. The animals at Graves Park and Rare Breeds Centre or Whirlow Hall Farm are worth a visit, and family fun is available at Heeley City Farm or Greentop Community Circus. Children will love the indoor adventure play facilities at Just for Kids.
If you're visiting with a car or have access to one, consider visiting the spectacular scenery of the Peak District National Park, which is accessible within a twenty-minute drive of Sheffield city centre. Try the Peak District Tour detailed in the "Recommended Tours" section of this site, or visit Hathersage village and the beautiful 13th century St Michael's and All Angel's Church, where Charlotte Bronte found inspiration for Jane Eyre. Visit picturesque villages and market towns like Bakewell or Eyam, or historic houses and gardens such as Chatsworth. Specialist museums such as the Peak District Mining Museum in Matlock, or the National Tramway Museum in Crich are also accessible within a thirty minute drive. Alternatively, explore caves and historic mine-workings at the Blue John mines - or ride the Flying Scotsman from Bakewell to Buxton on Peak Rail.
Families will also enjoy the Chestnut Centre owl and otter sanctuary or the very popular Gulliver's Kingdom theme park which specializes in entertaining the under-12s.
At a similar distance, just off the A57 to Worksop is the Tropical Butterfly House; carry on in the same direction for the ice-age dwellings at Creswell Crags. Cannon Hall Museum and gardens is situated in Barnsley and the Museum of South Yorkshire and Brodsworth Hall and Gardens are in Doncaster.
Football's first ever team was formed in Sheffield in the 1890s, and today the city is home to rival teams Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday.
Snooker fans will know that the annual international snooker is held in Sheffield each May, at the Crucible. The successful Sheffield Steelers ice-hockey team and the Sheffield Sharks, who play basketball, have both built up a following for their matches at Sheffield Arena. Horse-racing is close at hand at Doncaster Racecourse. Owlerton Stadium offers greyhound racing and the Owerlton Stadium Restaurant is a great place to eat, drink, place bets and watch the races. For more active participation in traditional sports, search under the Sports section of this site.
You can also participate in Offroad Activity Days, Paintballing games, blast laser guns at Laserzone or go ten-pin bowling at Hollywood Bowl. Corporate activity days are available at all these venues, at the Cable Water Ski Centre, the Sheffield Ski Village (which has the largest dry ski slope in Europe as well as tobaggan runs, excellent tuition and refreshment facilities) and at the Hilton Hotel.
The more adventurous may also like to try Fencing, Stunt Training, or learn circus skills at Greentop Community Circus Centre. Photo by: J.P. Oakar
As England's fourth city, with one of the largest student populations in the UK and a friendly, lively atmosphere, Sheffield attracts a large number of visitors each year and a good range of hotels and guest houses are available, both in Sheffield itself and in the spectacular countryside which surrounds it. Conference facilities are offered at many of the larger hotels.
For the business traveler, the hotel cluster close to the newly- developed Victoria Quays will be one of the most convenient options. The cluster includes branches of most of the large national hotel chains and has good access to the Airport (15 minutes), the Railway Station (three minutes) and city centre (four minutes). The area is located close to the city ring road but most of the hotels are quiet and many rooms offer excellent views over the city and canal.
At the top of the range, the Sheffield Hilton will suit almost every purpose. Overlooking the quay, where many fashionable bars and shops have recently opened, the Hilton has excellent conference facilities, a restaurant and cafe and a Livingwell Healthclub, which offers an excellent gym, as well as scheduled fitness classes, a swimming pool, sauna and steam rooms. The luxurious Novotol, Holiday Inn and Bristol Hotels are also located here.
Ruby hotel barge is also in this area. Moored on the canal itself, Ruby offers complete privacy in a luxurious environment. The barge has one double bed and can be booked for single nights or for longer periods. Food is provided for breakfast and sparkling wine, chocolates and flowers can also be provided. The larger but equally welcoming Lily May can also be hired for groups of up to four.
Other hotels in this price range include the modern Posthouse Hotel on Glossop Road, a comfortable hotel close to the fashionable Broomhill area as well as to the beautiful countryside of the Peak District National Park. The hotel offers a good range of conference facilities. The extremely luxurious Aston Hall Hotel, an 18th century country house situated eight miles south of Sheffield, is also an excellent option.
For leisure travelers and those wishing to avoid the more modern city-based hotel complexes, excellent options within reasonable distance of the city centre include the tranquil Swallow Hotel, a comfortable, well-restored stone building situated in its own grounds, with good access to the city centre. Guests can dine in the acclaimed conservatory restaurant and enjoy views across the hotel's grounds and lake. Whitley Hall Hotel, set in thirty acres of grounds, which include a croquet lawn and putting green, also offers excellent facilities, including conference options, in a relaxing environment. Beauchief, three miles from the city centre and set in picturesque grounds with its own stream, also offers impressive conference facilities.
Other slightly less expensive options include the Westbourne House; the Travel Inn (near Meadowhall) and Rutland, also with excellent business facilities, which offers easy access to the city centre.
Slightly further afield, Sheffield Moathouse, situated five miles south of the city centre and also with its own grounds, is also a very good option for business travelers, as is Tanskersley Manor. The conveniently situated Welcome Lodge, located ten miles south of Sheffield just off the M1, will be useful for long-distance travelers and those arriving late at night. The Sandpiper, situated ten miles south of Sheffield city centre, has excellent facilities (including conference options) and offers a peaceful environment.
As Sheffield offers very quick access to the Peak District National Park, countryside accommodation is also a realistic option. If you're looking for a retreat for a special occasion, or for a relaxing conference venue, or if you're visiting with your own transport, you can choose between the luxurious Hassop Hall, a 17th century building which offers impressive views, an excellent restaurant and great conference facilities in Bakewell, and Mosborough, a 16th century listed building with its own gardens, much closer to the city centre and also with good conference and hospitality facilities. Aston Hall Hotel, set in its own grounds eight miles south of Sheffield, is also a very attractive option. At a more moderate price, Underleigh House offers guesthouse facilities in a very comfortable renovated farmhouse in beautiful surroundings.
If you are looking for more moderately-priced accommodation, the choice includes: Cutler's Hotel, which has a prime position in the city centre; the Briary, an excellent Bed and Breakfast option; The Regency, an impressive mansion house with good business facilities and a popular restaurant; Charnwood, which is within easy walking distance of the city centre, and the Hunter House Hotel. The extremely popular Fox House Inn, dating from 1773 and a twenty-minute taxi ride from the city centre, has a great menu and offers comfortable accommodation in traditionally decorated rooms. The Roslyn Court Hotel, a friendly establishment offering ensuite accommodation at reasonable prices, is situated in the lively Hunter's Bar area. The Chequers Inn, situated on open moorland twenty minutes from the city centre, provides country accommodation at very reasonable prices. The excellent restaurant here means that you will be very well provided for.
If you're visiting Sheffield on a budget, options include the friendly Lindrick Hotel, the family-run Ashford, a Bed and Breakfast option, and Thornsett House. Single rooms with good leisure and dining facilities are also available at reasonable prices at Halifax House, a distinctive 19th century building and one of Sheffield Hallam University's halls of residence.