Things to Do in Sheffield

Creative Tourist

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 up hill so that domestic residences would sit above the smog-blanketed centre of foundries and furnaces.

The cutlery works of Sheffield’s past have found new purpose in driving forward the city’s creative life; many now house galleries, independent shops and artist studios. Sheffield’s current status as the country’s greenest city is also, 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

Changing Lives: 200 Years of People and Protest in Sheffield. Weston Park Museum
Exhibitions 6 February–1 July 2018, FREE

Changing Lives: 200 Years of People and Protest in Sheffield at Weston Park Museum

To mark the 100-year anniversary of Representation of the People Act, Changing Lives will celebrate how the people of Sheffield have stood up for what they believe in over the past 200 years.

Peter Kennard, Disarm Now! 1995-2018. Image © Peter Kennard. Art Against War: Peter Kennard and the CND Movement at Millennium Gallery, Sheffield
Exhibitions 9 June–7 October 2018, FREE

Art Against War: Peter Kennard and the CND Movement at Millennium Galleries, Sheffield

Art Against War at Millennium Gallery in Sheffield draws together over 100 artworks by one of Britain’s leading political artists, Peter Kennard – best known for darkly satirical depiction of Tony Blair taking a selfie in front of an oilfield explosion in Iraq.

Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography at Millennium Gallery, Sheffield
Exhibitions 30 June–23 September 2018, FREE

Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography at Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

Explore the work of four of the most celebrated figures in art photography – Lewis Carroll, Julia Margaret Cameron, Oscar Rejlander, and Clementina Hawarden – with a major new exhibition, ‘Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography’, coming to Millennium Gallery, Sheffield.

Sheffield District Guides

London Road & the Antiques Quarter, Sheffield

Centuries ago, London Road was a thoroughfare used by farmers taking their cattle to market,…

Kelham Island, Sheffield

The engraving “Made in Sheffield” continues to stand for quality on knives and forks around…

Hunter’s Bar, Sheffield

On 31 October 1884, the gatekeeper at Hunter’s Bar toll-house requested the city’s last ever…

Devonshire Quarter, Sheffield

Directly west of the city centre, the Devonshire Quarter comes alive both by day and…

City Centre, Sheffield

Welcoming visitors as soon as they step off the train to Sheffield is the Sheffield…

Broomhill and Crookes, Sheffield

To the west of the city, the suburbs of Broomhill and Crookes, though small, contain…