Sheffield is one of our favorite and underrated cities to visit in the UK. While bigger and more well-known cities may dominate ideas about city-breaks or quick weekend getaways, it is Sheffield that often captures our hearts the most on our travels. A charming post-industrial city, there is so much to offer to visitors within its limits that vacationers who don’t have the time or budget for a large trip will be delighted to find such a treasure so close to home.
Visitors will be charmed by arguably one of the nicest cities in the North of England, not because the people there are any nicer or more gracious, but simply because the lack of pretension or competitiveness means that Sheffield is a perfect place to get away from the daily grind of other British cities, for a chance to be charmed and captivated.
For those who want to be within walking distance of all of the best things that Sheffield has to offer, we highly recommend they stay downtown in the St. Paul’s neighborhood. Close to the very large Moor Market, the largest in town in fact, for delicious food, handmade goods, and even fresh flowers. Stay in a trendy boutique hotel here, as they’ve recently become a very popular way of experiencing the city, or rent a flat in one of the new high rise developments nearby.
Those who want to experience Sheffield but still want a break from the city should try out Fulwood. A suburb about three miles from the city center (although it is still easily accessible via public transport) Fulwood is a beautiful neighborhood perfect for families with children; with its beautiful streets and large houses. Just outside of this neighborhood is easy access to Peak District National Park, which offers beautiful vistas of moors that stretch out for miles and miles. Stay in a Bed and Breakfast here, or even venture to go camping/glamping if you dare!
While it’s a bit of a posh neighborhood for those who are residents of Sheffield, Dore is a beautiful place to stay for your weekend break or holiday. Affordable, family friendly, and with easy access to beautiful outdoor spaces, this place is also of extreme historical significance: purportedly the first king of England was crowned here in 829! Stay in an Bed and Breakfast or a small boutique hotel in order to maximize your experience of this beautiful place.
While Sheffield may at first glance seem to be a sleepy postindustrial town, we beg to differ. The Winter Garden, is the biggest glass building in Europe, and is beautiful to visit year-round. Theatergoers who can’t afford London prices will be delighted by the Lyceum and Crucible theaters, whose performances always get rave reviews, and often perform previews for the stages in the West End. A partnership with the V & A, combined with the impressive cutlery and silverware collection in the millennium galleries means that visitors will be able to appreciate and experience history, art, and flora all in one place.
The medieval Anglican cathedral and the city’s medieval castle have been undergone major restoration efforts in the past several years, which makes Sheffield a gorgeous place to visit and experience England’s history.
Generally, June to September is the best time to visit Sheffield, with average temperatures of 15 degrees celsius and very little rainfall. However, if you don’t mind perhaps packing a heavier jacket, we highly recommend stopping by in early April and May, when the flowers are all in bloom. Sheffield isn’t known as the U.K.s greenest city for nothing; visitors should definitely check out the beautiful large gardens and of course, the Winter Garden.