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

Ilona Sagar: Deep Structure at S1 Artspace, Sheffield
Exhibitions 11 October–14 December 2019, FREE

Ilona Sagar: Deep Structure at S1 Artspace, Sheffield

Deep Structure by artist Ilona Sagar explores the links between architecture, health and community wellbeing through the lens of Sheffield’s Park Hill estate.

Rewriting The Future at Site Gallery, Sheffield
Exhibitions 27 September 2019–26 January 2020, FREE

Rewriting The Future at Site Gallery, Sheffield

Rewriting the Future at Site Gallery explores how feminist speculative perspectives can offer new insights into how we can restructure society in a more equal way.

The Time is Now at Millennium Gallery, Sheffield
Exhibitions 7 October 2019–19 January 2020, FREE

The Time is Now at Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

The Time is Now at Millennium Gallery is an a new immersive exhibition that looks at how contemporary artists have approached our complicated relationship with time.

Cinema 29 October–12 December 2019, from £3.30

Cities of Seven Hills at Film Unit, Sheffield

Rare Giants illuminate Sheffield’s history with a season of films from cities also built on seven hills.

Cinema 26 February 2020, 6:00 pm–9:00 pm, from £6.90

A History of Violence at Showroom, Sheffield

Viggo Mortensen stars as Tom Stall, a man with a violent past which finally catches up with him. Based on a graphic novel and unflinching in its brutality, this taut thriller features a stellar supporting cast including Maria Bello, Ed Harris and William Hurt.

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…

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