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5 minute guide: Sheffield

Sheffield Winter Garden. Image: VisitEngland/Diana Jarvis

Caro Kyllmann explores the highlights of the northern English city


Right next to the eastern edge of the Peak District National Park sits the city of Sheffield. Once known as a major steel producer, it now identifies itself as The Outdoors City. Independent shops, intriguing murals and beautiful parks give this extremely hilly place a unique vibe. With an inner-city mountain biking trail, one of the country’s biggest bouldering walls and easy access to the Peak District, Sheffield is a gem for outdoorsy souls and city lovers alike.

Held on the first Friday and Saturday of every month, Peddlers Market is all about delicious street food stands, a vast array of craft beers and live music. It’s held in a huge ex-industrial warehouse by Kelham Island industrial museum, making it a vibrant, hipster magnet.

Sheffield’s Winter Garden is impressive from the outside and inside alike. The large glasshouse oasis sits right next to the Crucible Theatre and the Millennium Gallery, and houses more than 2,500 plants from all over the world. It provides a lovely respite from the urban bustle.

While Meadowhall shopping mall and the city centre are the obvious places to go for High Street names, it’s the charming independent shops that give Sheffield its special character. Anyone with a love for vinyl records, contemporary poetry and quirky, first edition books will enjoy a visit to Rare and Racy.

Walking into secret garden-style eaterie The Botanist almost feels like stumbling into a romantic movie set. Discover deli, rotisserie and BBQ menus in a dreamy, floral setting and indulge in botanical cocktails, such as rum, cherry and thyme served in a watering can. Or, for somewhere to have a laugh with friends, reserve a pie at Nottingham House. They say they’re the best pies in England; whether that’s true or not, the Notty House makes for a great pub experience.

Pubs, pubs are everywhere, but historic Kelham Island is the place to go for the best local craft ales. Elsewhere, The Fat Cat, Shakespeare’s and the Kelham Island Tavern are just some of the city’s highlights. And, conveniently placed right next to the train station, the Sheffield Tap is the perfect way to start or finish your visit: real ales are brewed on site and behind the taps are more than 200 bottled world beers on offer.

A trip to Sheffield wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Peak District. Stanage Edge, Mam Tor and the Winnats Pass are all beautiful locations to go for an easy walk. But if you don’t want to go out of the city, head over to Bolehills Park in the evening to take in the wonderful sunsets.

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