Things to Do in Sheffield

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor

Once branded by George Orwell as “the ugliest town in the Old World”, Sheffield’s past and its cultural present are founded on one thing: the steel industry. During the 19th century, Sheffield witnessed explosive growth, the city we see today shaped by its industrial prosperity of old. So its leafy suburbs, for example, were purposely built uphill so that domestic residences would sit above the smog-blanketed centre of foundries and furnaces.

The cutlery works of Sheffield’s past have found a new purpose in driving forward the city’s creative life; many now house galleries, independent shops and artist studios. The museums dotted throughout the city trace the city’s unique industrial heritage and social history. Head to Kelham Island Museum to find out how heavy industry has influenced this incredible city and Weston Park Museum for an insight into the community and politics of the area. Close to the train station, and next door to Sheffield’s much-loved independent cinema Showroom, you’ll find Site Gallery, a superb contemporary art space specialising in moving image, new media and performance.

Additionally, there’s a hugely diverse offering of theatre and performance in Sheffield. Alongside the award-winning Crucible and Lyceum, stand the avant-garde Theatre Deli and independent arts hub DINA. As dramatic as the seven hills it’s built on, the city offers touring productions, dance and opera as well as experimental performance and scratch nights.

With 200 plus parks, woodlands and public gardens Sheffield proudly remains one of the greenest cities in the country. Beautiful and lush, in some incongruous way, due to its industrial heritage: open spaces like the Botanical Gardens were designed to offer Victorian residents a much-needed breath of fresh air.

While other cities bustle between high rises and shopping precincts, Sheffield is a place to pause and look around, whether inwards from its hillsides, over spires, chimneys and curling valleys, or outwards from the city centre, to the breeze and birdsong of the moorland that continues to inspire so many artists, designers and makers.

Discover our top picks

She Loves Me at Sheffield Crucible
Theatre 11 December 2021–15 January 2022, from £15.00

She Loves Me at Sheffield Crucible

Everybody needs a classic story of true love at Christmastime and Sheffield Crucible are set to deliver just that.

Cinema 16–22 December 2021, from £7.00

Yasujirō Ozu Mini Season at Showroom Cinema

Widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest and most influential filmmakers, Yasujirō Ozu disregarded established rules of cinema and developed a singular, unwavering style.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Pottery at Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art in Buxton

Try your hand at pottery at Earth Pig Studio in Buxton’s Green Man Gallery; a longstanding community arts hub, shop and gallery.

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £95

Blacksmithing at Forge Four

This beginners workshop will teach participants the traditional skills associated with blacksmithing, in the ‘Steel City’ of Sheffield.

Cinema 19 December 2021 1:18 pm, from £5.50

The Muppet Christmas Carol at Picturehouse at FACT

The goose is getting fat and Kermit and pals are out in force in this tongue-in-cheek adaptation….what better way to get into the spirit than a magical romp through Christmas past, present and future!?

Rafaël Rozendaal: Permanent Distraction at Site Gallery in Sheffield
Exhibitions Until 23 December 2021, FREE

Rafaël Rozendaal: Permanent Distraction at Site Gallery in Sheffield

Site Gallery presents the most extensive installation of Rafaël Rozendaal’s websites series in a new immersive environment

Enable US Festival at Sheffield Drama Studio
Theatre Until 19 December 2021, from £6.00

Enable US Festival at Sheffield Drama Studio

Award-winning drama, physical theatre, circus and comedy horror feature in this innovative Sheffield festival of performing arts.

Discover Buxton Tram Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £80

Discover Buxton Tram Tours

Enjoy a journey through time on Discover Buxton Tour’s unique vintage tram.

Discover Buxton Character Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Character Tours

These colourful character guides offer unique and entertaining insights into the history of some of Buxton’s most iconic buildings.

Discover Buxton Walking Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Walking Tours

Have your history delivered by expert guides whose passion for the heritage of Buxton spills into the unexpected.

Places to go / stay / shop / eat / drink

Sheffield District Guides

Things to do in Buxton and Derbyshire

Things to do in Buxton

Buxton, the ancient spa town and capital of the Peaks, is undergoing something of a revival.

Abbeydale Picture House. London Road & the Antiques Quarter, Sheffield

London Road & the Antiques Quarter, Sheffield

Experience London Road, with its array of restaurants, & the Antiques Quarter, Sheffield packed with vibrant independents and vintage stores.

Things to Do in Sheffield. Kelham Island, Sheffield

Kelham Island, Sheffield

Once the beating heart of the steel industry, Kelham Island is now one of the most exciting districts in Sheffield.

Hunter's Bar in Sheffield. The Beer House.

Hunter’s Bar, Sheffield

Encompassing Ecclesall Road and Sharrow Vale Road, Hunter’s Bar is known for its wide range of restaurants, bars, cafes and mix of independent and high street stores.

Devonshire Quarter, Sheffield

Devonshire Quarter, Sheffield

Spanning Devonshire Street and Division Street, the Devonshire Quarter brings the feel of an ‘urban village’ to Sheffield city centre. Head here for culture, vintage shopping and one-off cafes and bars.

City Centre, Sheffield

City Centre, Sheffield

Easy to explore on foot, Sheffield city centre boasts striking architecture, independent cultural destinations, retail and nightlife.

Things to do right now

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Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £95

Blacksmithing at Forge Four

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Pottery at Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art in Buxton

Enable US Festival at Sheffield Drama Studio
Theatre Until 19 December 2021, from £6.00

Enable US Festival at Sheffield Drama Studio

Discover Buxton Audio Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Audio Tours

Discover Buxton Roman Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Roman Tours

Discover Buxton Walking Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £10

Discover Buxton Walking Tours

Discover Buxton Character Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £15

Discover Buxton Character Tours

Discover Buxton Tram Tours
Activity Until 31 December 2021, from £80

Discover Buxton Tram Tours