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If there's one place that has it all, it's Sheffield. On one hand it's a thriving hub with music, sports and shopping scenes that draw in visitors from miles around. And on the other, it's a city just minutes away from the exciting wilderness of the Peak District.
Urban architecture Experience the wonderful architecture in the city centre.
Winter Garden wonderland Discover the city's wonderful Winter Gardens.
Many of Sheffield's municipal building carry forgotten signs and symbols carved into the stone.
There's a network of hidden tunnels beneath Sheffield's city streets.
This was a subterranean shopping area beneath a city centre roundabout, demolished in 1994.
Sheffield is quite simply alive with possibilities, making it an ideal destination for a weekend break or longer stay. Rising from industrial roots is a city with an ever growing passion for music and sport, so it's no wonder the sound of laughter and fun sings through its bustling streets. And as the greenest city in Europe, with the magnificent Peak District on its doorstep, there really is something for everyone.
In the birthplace of Arctic Monkeys, Pulp, ABC and The Human League, you don't have to look far to find top nightclub or festival action in Sheffield. Some might call it a music lover's mecca, others might say its live comedy rocks. See what you think of the city that plays centre stage to dazzling venues and events that include The Leadmill and Grin Up North Festival.
Trees, trees, glorious trees. You'll never be able to count the city's 2 million trees or 5,500 plant species, but a day getting up close and personal with nature in the Winter Gardens, Sheffield Botanical Gardens and Peace Gardens gives you a great excuse to try. The Winter Gardens alone have over 2,500 plants from around the world and this giant temperate glasshouse is large enough to house 5,000 domestic greenhouses!
With so many sights and sounds on offer, visitors young and old will be delighted in equal measure. Whether you're in the mood to pray, ponder or gain a new perspective, the doors are always open at the magnificent Sheffield Cathedral. And when you've feasted on its Norman stone and Tudor monuments, be swept onwards towards the city's many other historical treasures. As the world's oldest surviving heavy iron forge, Wortley Top Forge is not to be missed - neither we suspect is a cheeky ride on its charming miniature railway.
Up for an afternoon of discovery and adventure? Then make a beeline for Weston Park - it's no ordinary museum. This is an interactive experience that brings history to life. From Egyptian mummies to a traditional butchers shop to living ants and bees, the five family trails lead you on a weird and wonderful journey that starts millions of years ago and ends in the present day. Alternatively get fired up at the Fire & Police Museum and meet some of the rarest emergency service vehicles around.
Whether you're cheering, laughing or singing, why not share the fun. Sheffield's live music scene is alive and kicking, with The Leadmill (ironically a former flourmill) regularly voted a favourite by NME readers. For international artists, it's got to be the Motorpoint Arena and for up and coming new talent, head down to Plug. If you fancy giving your chuckle muscles a workout, don't miss the Grin Up North festival. Or head over to The Crucible for some chalk and cue action and watch someone else workout instead.
Sheffield's menu of eateries and drinkeries is delightfully eclectic. From Michelin starred cuisine to lively tapas bars to hearty village pub fare, diversity is the dish of the day. For a special evening why not try Sheffield only Michelin Starred restaurant The Old Vicarage, Sheffield - Michelin Star Chef, Tessa Bramley's cooking is grounded in nature and evocative of the seasons.
For a trendy flavour, follow the signs to the Devonshire quarter and be greeted by colourful café-bars. Drop in on Silversmiths in the city centre to sample delicious local Yorkshire meats, fish, fruit and vegetables. And for a taste of the Mediterranean, Marco@Milano in Millhouses is a real hidden gem.
Every so often, along comes a restaurant or pub that has a real recipe for success. Rafters is one of these places with its sumptuous furnishings, refined setting and home-cooked breads and ice creams. The Milestone also knows the secret, with a personal touch that infuses everything from the food to the unique (and scrummy) cocktails. And if you're off to the theatre, Nonnas Italian food is full of passion.
In the heart of Sheffield's real ale corridor lies the Sheffield Brewery Company. This independent micro-brewery produces some of the finest cask ales in Yorkshire - filling your pint glass with much happiness. Why not take the fascinating brewery tour before tucking in to a traditional pie ‘n' pea supper. Grand.
See some suggestions for eating out in our restaurant section.
Come rain or shine, Sheffield has activities galore to keep little adventurers entertained. Cue brilliant sunshine - let them run wild and free in the Winter Gardens with its 2,500 exotic plants or head to Wortley Hall Gardens to meet a 500 year old oak tree. Cue drizzly rain - let them loose in the Sheffield Ski Village for a spot of skiing and snowboarding or unwind at the Millennium Galleries with some of the finest touring art exhibitions in the country.
When you enter the Tropical Butterfly House and Falconry, you enter a creepy, crawly world that's a child's dream! Deep inside the rainforest spot exotic butterflies, be transfixed by leaf cutter ants and get giddy over luminous tree frogs. Too hot? Then you can all cool off on the nature trail where kestrels, woodpeckers and stoats duck and dive. And don't forget to drop in on pets corner to visit Liam the miniature Shetland pony, Bambie the goat and their friends.
Give their minds a fun and educational workout at Magna Science Adventure Centre. This voyage of discovery through the four elements of earth, air, fire and water has hands-on activities including the supersoaker and rockface blasting. And if they get a real feel for the elements, you can always take them skating at Ice Sheffield or head over to the Foundry Climbing Centre for some real rock action.
Once the Great Sheffield Deer Park, the 14 hectare Sheffield Manor Lodge invites you to journey back through time and experience the city from the Saxon age right up to the present day. Take a stroll over to the 1574 Turret House and see if you can decipher truth from legend in the Ruined Lodge and Gardens. Your next challenge is to find the city's lost castle. Mary Queen of Scots was once imprisoned in this Norman fortress and what remains can be discovered when you enter the door at the back of the Castle Market and follow the stairs down.
Dare you stop in to Carbrook Hall for a pint or a glass of wine? As Sheffield's most haunted public house, this ancient 17th century hall boasts many original features - including a few ‘regular fixtures' who stay well past last orders. If you're after a less spooky serving of history, there's always the Old Queen's Head. It may not be haunted, but this is the oldest building in the city and still has echoes from the days when it was part of the Earl's estate.
Even if you haven't seen The Full Monty, the chances are you'll know the steel industry is woven into the fabric of Sheffield. Experience for yourself how steelmaking forged the city you know today at Kelham Island Museum and follow its growth through the Industrial Revolution, the Victorian era and two world wars. The story continues at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet where you'll see the only intact crucible steel furnace surviving in the world today.
Sheffield Antiques Quarter is a vibrant quarter with over 35 businesses selling Vintage, Retro, Arts, Antiques Salvage and Militaria. There are 6 Antique Centres with over 150 traders and many bustling independent shops and cafes. Some of the highlights of this vibrant quarter are:
Dronfield Antiques - A veritable tardis of ten rooms crammed with an eclectic mix of constantly changing stock. Est. in 1968 and still under the same ownership we have probably the largest selection of all types of 1860s to 1960s furniture, large and small, in the Antiques Quarter. We cater for most tastes and our policy is to ‘pile it high and cram it in' so there's all sorts in there.
Vintedge is a growing arcade dedicated to selling and providing vintage goods and services. There is a growing number of traders selling vinyl, retro/kitsch, antiques & collectables and vintage fashion as well as a retro hair salon!
Heeley Bank Antiques Centre is perfect if you're looking for something special for a loved one, or just wish to treat yourself, "What's new" will give you a taste of the fantastic range of antiques and collectables on display.
Jameson's Cafe & Tea Rooms in Sheffield is an Elegant Tea Rooms upstairs at The Sheffield Antiques Centre. Join them for Afternoon Tea, Specaility Teas, Fresh Filter Coffee and Lovingly Handmade Cakes. They also offer event catering and vintage crockery hire.
Butchers, bakers, designer candlestick makers. When it comes to great shops, Sheffield's got bags of them. But it's more than just quantity, it's quality that counts with a choice of everything from up to the minute High Street stores to one-off trendy boutiques waiting to be discovered down Ecclesall Road and the city's über cool Devonshire Quarter.
Alive with activity both day and night, Sheffield's Devonshire Quarter is a shopper's paradise for independent stores offering something that little bit different. Pretty boutiques entice you in with window displays of trendy clothes, specialist jewellery and unusual gifts that have a real one-off feel. The Nichols Building is a retro and vintage department store selling art, craft, vintage clothing & retro interiors, where people can display, buy, sell or just meet up in a relaxing environment for a coffee. If oyu're al lshopped out, quench your thirst in one of Ecclesall Road's trendy wine bars before exploring its plethora of chic designer offerings. And before you go, be lured by its marvellous patisseries.
If you're feeling adventurous, just hop on a futuristic supertram and head over to Meadowhall, one of Europe's largest indoor shopping centres. With over 270 stores all under one roof, it's an easy and convenient way to get your hands on all your favourite fashion brands. It's also home to electricals and furnishings, so after a hard day's shopping, you could schlump back on some new pillows and relax in front of a new flatscreen too!
Sheffield’s music scene has always been big, with bands like The Human League, Moloko and the Arctic Monkeys raising the profile of its many nightclubs and live festivals.
Watch the professionals work their magic at top class venues or try your hand at a spot of mountain biking, rock climbing or skiing.
Enjoy the greenery
With over 83 parks, including the famous Winter Gardens, there are just so many places to get closer to nature.
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