A blog entry by Dan Williamson, Sustainable Care Programme Administrator
Since coming to Sheffield in 2006, I have enjoyed a fantastic and very busy social life, attending and taking part in many established events such as Tramlines (the inner city music festival, coming up to its 11th year), DocFest (a 6-day festival of film, live events and talks, spanning many different genres), countless live music shows at various venues across the city and a good amount of football matches. Sheffield is a city with so much on offer, and something for everyone to enjoy.
I am writing this blog entry to give you a quick overview of Sheffield’s plethora of activities and experiences, so read on below- I hope you find something that appeals to you and maybe you can squeeze it in whilst attending CARE: challenges and solutions for a sustainable future.
From the established chain restaurants and bars of Leopold Square to the independent eateries of Abbeydale Lane and Ecclesall Road, Sheffield is full of great places to eat with menus taking inspiration from all around the world. Whether you are meeting colleagues, catching up with friends or eating solo, you cannot fail to find the right setting in this city.
In 2016, a report found that Sheffield has 4.7 times as many breweries per capita as London, and on a typical day around 400 different beers are available in the city’s pubs. Whilst you may not have the time (or the stamina!) to try them all, many pubs and bars in the city can offer you something a little different to help you wind down.
The Kelham Island area of Sheffield is a short walk from the centre and is home to some of the best pubs in Sheffield- you can enjoy a proper Yorkshire pint, and even explore a brewery next to the Fat Cat pub.
If a pint of ale in a pub isn’t your thing then don’t worry- the city has many different bars and lounges where you can relax and enjoy your drink of choice.
When the weather is fine, there is no better place to be than Sheffield. There are more than 250 woods, parks and gardens here, 60% of the city is green spaces. Some of my favourite green spaces close to the University include: Weston Park, The Botanical Gardens (dating back to 1836), The Winter Gardens (a warm, indoor garden with tropical plants) and the Peace Gardens.
If hiking, climbing or other outdoor pursuits are your thing then The Peak District National park is the place to be. After a short bus or train journey out of the city centre, you will find yourself in the wilderness where you can follow one of many hiking routes, go climbing, explore caves or find yourself on top of a hill, enjoying panoramic views with not another person in sight!
Visit this website for a list of all things outdoors in Sheffield- https://www.theoutdoorcity.co.uk/activities
Sheffield has a bustling live arts culture. There are two theatres very close to each other– The Crucible, which holds the World Snooker Championship every year, and The Lyceum, which has many popular touring shows throughout the year. Sheffield City Hall is a fine setting to watch live music, lectures and comedy performances.
The Leadmill is the best place in the city to watch live bands, and has been since the 1980s. Name a band you like; they have probably played here! Local bands like Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, The Human League and many more local acts have used this venue as a catapult to launch their careers, so if you attend a show here you might even catch the next big thing!
The FlyDSA Arena is home to the Sheffield Steelers, the UK’s most successful Ice Hockey team. The Arena also hosts large musical touring shows and bands.
Sheffield is also a football city- Bramall Lane is home to Sheffield United, a team currently enjoying a run in the Premier League, and Hillsborough Stadium is Sheffield Wednesday’s ground. Lower down the leagues is Sheffield Football Club– The oldest club in the world.
If you are looking for somewhere to keep up your fitness regime during your stay, there are many gyms around the city, including Ponds Forge International Sports Centre which has an Olympic-sized swimming pool and many other world-class facilities.
Museums and Galleries
Learn more about Sheffield- the City of Steel! Situated close to the University of Sheffield is Weston Park museum, perhaps the best place nearby to catch a glimpse of Sheffield’s rich history. The surrounding grounds are also a great place to unwind or feed the ducks. To get a wider understanding about Sheffield’s industrial past, visit Kelham Island museum; ‘located in one of the city’s oldest industrial districts, the museum stands on a man-made island over 900 years old’.
The Millennium Gallery is a must visit for anyone interested in art, craft and design from this region. The website states: ‘Opened in 2001 and featuring over 1,800 square metres of exhibition space, the Gallery is the permanent home of Sheffield’s unique Metalwork Collection and Ruskin Collection of art and artefacts and plays host to major temporary exhibitions of art, craft, fashion and design’.
For art in a more peaceful setting, Graves Gallery is situated on top of the Central Library, high above the busy city streets.
Image: The Women of Steel statue, in front of Sheffield City Hall, is dedicated to the women of Sheffield who worked in the steel industry in the First and Second World Wars
Photo by Gary Butterworth on Unsplash
Catch a box office smash at the Odeon or The Light, or for an independent film or a classic, try the Showroom Cinema near the train station, which also has a great licenced bar. If you have time to kill before catching your train home, this place is highly recommended, followed by a quick one at the Sheffield Tap.
You will find a good variety of high street and independent shops in the city centre, but if you want to be spoilt for choice then hop on a tram to Meadowhall– a large mall with hundreds of shops, it also has a huge food hall and a cinema.
If you are attending CARE: challenges and solutions for a sustainable future, feel free to come and ask me anything about Sheffield. If I don’t know the answer, I will know someone who does! See you there.