Sheffield - Will Roberts

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

Exhibitions 2 September–2 December 2017, FREE

Going Public: The Kirkland Collection at Graves Gallery, Sheffield

Going Public brings work by some of the most important artists of the past 75 years to Sheffield, whilst sparking a much-needed series of debates around art ownership.

Exhibitions 5 August 2017–7 January 2018, FREE

Small Stories: At Home in a Dolls’ House at Weston Park Museum

Explore the fascinating stories behind some of the UK’s best-loved dolls’ houses in a new exhibition on tour from the V&A Museum of Childhood.

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…