Our top picks for this brilliant city that offers visitors the best of both worlds
Having developed from being a centre of industry in the 19th century to what is now the fourth largest city in England, Sheffield’s fundamentally urban environment sits just a stone’s throw away from some of the finest countryside north of the Midlands in the shape of the Peak District National Park.
A short break in this city of contrasts offers the opportunity to explore some of Britain’s varied heritage while enjoying some of that legendary warm northern hospitality along the way. All our recommendations for things to do and where to eat and stay are rated by AA and/or VisitEngland.
Things to do in Sheffield
Sheffield owes much to having played a pivotal role in the Industrial Revolution. In the 19th century, “the steel capital of the world” invented both stainless steel and crucible steel- techniques that changed history. The words “Made in Sheffield” still bestow a mark of quality on cutlery today, even though the British steel industry has declined since the 1980s.
A visit to the fascinating Kelham Island Museum, Alma Street in one of the city’s oldest industrial areas or to the Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet on the River Sheaf give a unique insight into the crucible from which the character of the modern city of Sheffield was forged.
While its industrial heritage may not be as active, the city remains both vibrant and lively, in part due to its two universities. With a thriving live music and diverse entertainment scene scattered across venues small and large, it’s an easy place to enjoy a night out, particularly if that’s also combined with great food and drink.
For those looking for a rural contrast to that industrial past, the 555 square mile Peak District National Park is just a short drive away, along with iconic country houses such as Chatsworth and Bolsover Castle.
Recommended things to do in Sheffield
Places to stay in Sheffield
Sheffield has a variety of accommodation, from scenic rural campsites to affordable self-catering cottages and youth hostels, as well as welcoming B&Bs or smart hotels for the more urban minded.
Our rated recommendations
Where to eat in Sheffield
There are plenty of options for good food and drink in a relaxed, informal atmosphere in Sheffield, from pubs and ale houses to intimate bistros, as well as stylish contemporary dining.