A guest post from Charlotte Stamper.
Sheffield is a fantastic city, often underestimated and overlooked as a tourist destination but it truly is a great place to visit. Locals say Sheffield was built on seven hills and after a day in Sheffield you will feel like it is built on about seventeen hills! After just one day of walking around the city my calf’s were aching and my feet were sore, but it was so worth it. The next day I was using the Supertram system much more to save my legs!
Called the Steel City because of its industrial history in metal work, it has evolved into a great university town. In 2010 Sheffield was shortlisted for the UK City of Culture, but lost out to Derby. Still it showed how far the previously downtrodden town had come.
Much of the city has been redeveloped and undergone improvement so that the grimy, working class city center that you see in films like The Full Monty has now emerged into a metropolis showing off its beautiful architecture, stunning parks, gardens, great shops, cafes and bars. The Wheel of Sheffield that is currently in place at the top of Fargate just tops it all off and is a wonderful way to catch a view of the whole city. When you’re in the town center, be sure to stop for a coffee and cake in the lovely 22a just off Fargate on Norfolk Row, it sells by far the best hot chocolate around!
Once you have explored the city center, one of the best places to visit is the student area of Eccleshall Road on the western side of the city. Here you can really feel part of the huge student community that calls Sheffield home and visit some of the lively cafes and bars and pick up a gift in one of the lovely quirky shops.
The parks and gardens in Sheffield are truly first rate, even for someone who wouldn’t usually be interested in that kind of thing. The Peace Gardens in the middle of town and are a lovely place to stop for lunch on a sunny day. The Winter Gardens are also a great indoor retreat when the weather turns bad (unfortunately more often than not in Britain!). If you do take a trip to Eccleshall Road, be sure to pop into the Botanic Gardens, by far one of the best parks in the area. Western Park right next to The University of Sheffield has recently been improved and Western Park Museum opened on the parks edge. It’s free to enter and is a great place to learn about the social history of the city.
If you plan ahead, you could plan your visit to coincide with the World Snooker Championship that takes place in the Sheffield Crucible Theatre each year. You will need to book tickets in advance though as it is massively popular.
Sheffield borders the Peak District National Park and is really easy to get to for a day out when staying in the Peak’s. Visit SykesCottages.co.uk for great local holiday accommodation. As you can see Sheffield offers plenty of things to do both day and night for a few days, so next time your nearby, enjoy it!