No longer an industrial city of the Industrial Revolution, Sheffield has reinvented itself as a cosmopolitan and interesting city with lots to offer visitors.
What to see:
The Millennium Galleries is made up of galleries like the Craft and Design Gallery, Metalwork Gallery, Ruskin Gallery and a Special Exhibition Gallery where you can see touring exhibitions from galleries like the Tate and V&A. Weston Park Museum (formerly the Sheffield City Museum) is particularly interesting for children with galleries about Sheffield, the Arctic, natural history, art and treasures.
For the industrial and social history of Sheffield, visit Kelham Island Museum. Its main attraction is a massive 3-cylinder rolling mill engine that is in steam every hour. On the same theme, Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet has water-powered grinding wheels, trip hammers and special “operating” days and “fayres”. The Canal Basin is an attractive basin straddled by a warehouse where you can see colourful narrowboats and go on boat trips.
The Winter Garden is a conservatory in the city centre that’s home to exotic ferns, trees, cacti and other plants from around the world. More extensive, Sheffield Botanical Gardens are Victorian gardens with grand conservatories designed by the architect of the Crystal Palace.
Fargate is where many of the national chains can be found. On the other side of the city centre is the Moor which is a cheap and cheerful alternative high street and perfect for those on a tight budget. The Moor has two pounds stores and lots of other value outlets. For something special, go to the Devonshire Quarter and Ecclesall Road which are filled with trendy shops, and Abbeydale Road for antiques.
Castle Market is Sheffield’s largest indoor market with over 200 stalls offering all sorts of things from household goods to fashion, groceries and fresh produce. It’s particularly recommended for its fresh meat, fish, fruit and vegetables.