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

S1 Artspace, Construction House, Order & Limitations exhibition view
Exhibitions 6 October 2018–20 April 2019, FREE

Construction House at S1 Artspace

Construction House is a six-month programme of commissions, exhibitions, events and activities by S1 Artspace studio holders, which will explore the role, possibilities and responsibilities of collective artistic activity today.

Who We Are: Photographs by Martin Jenkinson
Exhibitions 24 November 2018–14 April 2019, FREE

Who We Are: Photographs by Martin Jenkinson at Weston Park Museum

For over four decades Sheffield-based photojournalist Martin Jenkinson chronicled the drama and detail of our everyday lives. Discover his work as part of ‘Who We Are: Photographs by Martin Jenkinson’ at Weston Park Museum.

Georgina Starr, The Joyful Mysteries of Junior, 2012. Courtesy the artist. Re-collections at Site Gallery Sheffield
Exhibitions 16 February–19 May 2019, FREE

Re-collections at Site Gallery, Sheffield

Re-collections at Site Gallery brings together the work of three phenomenal artists from Site’s archive – Susan Hiller, Elizabeth Price and Georgina Starr – honouring a tradition of supporting and championing women for the past 40 years. C

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…

Things to do right now

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S1 Artspace, Construction House, Order & Limitations exhibition view
Exhibitions 6 October 2018–20 April 2019, FREE

Construction House at S1 Artspace

Activity 1 December 2018–30 March 2019, from £12

The Runaway Brewery – Tour & Tasting

Education 9–30 March 2019, FREE

Playfield at Mayfield

Zig Zag Atelier Bebop at Common Bar, Manchester
Exhibitions 28 February–31 July 2019, FREE

Zig Zag Atelier Bebop at Common Bar