Many people, when they think of Sheffield, think of the Industrial Revolution and large manufacturing companies. They may believe this beautiful urban center is nothing more than a tired-out city with a dying downtown. However, nothing could be further from the truth. This beautiful city has much to offer visitors, though don’t expect the traditional types of tourist sites.
What will you find? A beautiful city steeped in history, which also offers trekkers wild countryside to explore when outside of the city. Sheffield is one of England’s greenest cities when it comes to space—61% of the city is green. You’ll find a lovely mix of city life set in the midst of wild, English countryside.
We’ve put together a list of some places you’ll just love to visit—we guarantee you’ll find something to enjoy in the list of things to do in Sheffield.
1). The Winter Garden
The Winter Garden is one of the largest temperate glasshouses built in the UK in the past century. It’s a stunning green jewel set in the center of the city.
Located next to the Peace Gardens and the Millennium Galleries, the garden offers visitors a chance to see over 2,500 plants from all around the world. The building is 70 meters long and 22 meters high, which is said to be large enough to hold 5,000 domestic greenhouses.
Also at the Winter Garden, you’ll find some shops, including a coffee shop that offers some light refreshments. And from here, it’s an easy walk to the Millennium Galleries and the Peace Gardens.
Opening hours are from Monday to Saturday: 8am to 8pm; and Sunday 8am to 6pm. The gardens are closed on Christmas Day and are sometimes closed after 6pm for private events.
2). The Millennium Gallery
Located in the center of Sheffield, not far from the Winter Garden, you’ll find the Millennium Gallery. Opened back in 2001, this is the city’s most prominent art gallery. It is home to some permanent collections, and has space for temporary exhibits. Each time you visit, you’re assured of seeing something new.
One of the main exhibits at the gallery are works from John Rushkin. An interesting note on Rushkin’s cats—they were known to drink his sherry, cause havoc with the man’s coin collection and some even left kitty prints on his paintings!
The gallery also features quite a large metalwork collection, which honors the steel industry that was part of the city during the Industrial Revolution.
The Millennium Gallery is open Monday thru Saturday from 10am to 5pm; and Sunday 11am to 4pm. And it’s even open on Bank Holidays from 11am to 4pm. Entry is free.
3). Weston Park Museum
Near one of Sheffield’s many green spaces, you’ll find Weston Park Museum. The idyllic setting includes a Victorian bandstand, and a pond located very near the museum. The museum dates back to 1937 and traces the history of the area from prehistoric times to the present.
You can explore exhibits of animals from all over the world, see Egyptian mummies and even more unusual treasures sure to please you and the kids. Each time you visit, there’s a high probability you’ll see something new, as the museum has temporary exhibits that are changed regularly.
The museum includes fun and creative learning activities for kids and school groups. There’s also a café where you can rest while enjoying some delightful refreshments.
Opening hours are from Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm; Saturday 10 am to 5pm; and Sunday 11am to 4pm. And you’ll be happy to know the museum’s also open on Bank Holidays from 10am to 5pm.
4). Endcliffe Park
One of the city’s many green spaces, you’ll find this park is a lovely, enchanting mix of both park and woodland. The park was opened back in 1887 in honor of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.
The park features a historical pavilion near the entrance. You’ll also find some interesting monuments, a play park for children, an outdoor gym and a parkour training area. And it’s all free!
The green space also offers a lovely pond where you and the kids can take a break from the city. This is also a great place for jogging or even walking. One more note—you can also play tennis at the Parks Tennis.
The park is open from dawn to dusk each day and is free to enjoy!
5). The Tropical Butterfly House
Another great experience for the whole family, you’re sure to enjoy a visit to the Tropical Butterfly House. Located just outside of the city, the Tropical Butterfly House is a wildlife center that features butterflies (of course), but also other animals including farm animals, meerkats, birds and more.
The center offers many types of activities including wildlife encounters, which are geared to help people learn about these animals, as you get up close to see them. In the butterfly and reptile house, it’s even possible to handle the snakes and lizards, if you dare! If you’re not into handling reptiles, then try feeding a baby goat or taking a walk near lemurs. The wildlife center also offers a dinosaur trail for those who are willing to take a chance…just what will you see? Take the tour and find out!
Admission for adults is £13.75 and is £12.50 for kids.
Opening hours are Monday-Friday 10am to 4pm and Weekends 10am to 4:30pm
6). Ecclesall Woods
If you’re needing to completely enjoy a day outside of the city, then head out to the Ecclesall Woods. This semi-natural woodland is a popular place to visit due to the area’s wildlife and beautiful woods. In addition, the woods offer interesting archeological and historic sites.
You’ll find paths and bridleways that cover 15m (about 9.5 miles), which take you through this beautiful woodland. You may wander through fields of flowers, come across two historic mills (one that dates back to the 1600s) and much more. This is a great place to take the family and enjoy a day wandering through nature.
The park also offers an onsite restaurant, snacks and is wheelchair friendly.
Opening hours: daylight access and free admission.
These are just a few of the great places you can visit in Sheffield! We hope you have a lovely time during your visit to this beautiful city.