One of the most visited free attractions in the UK, the Millennium Gallery is an art gallery and museum in the heart of Sheffield. The museum displays both permanent and changing exhibitions throughout the year, including touring exhibitions from places such as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The museum’s permanent collection includes the Ruskin collection, created by John Ruskin to inspire the working people of Sheffield, as well as the Metalwork collection displaying a wide array of Sheffield’s steel products. The Millennium Gallery offers an important contribution to the art and design scene of the city.
Arundel Gate, Sheffield, UK, +44 114 278 2600
The Winter Gardens is a large indoor garden displaying over 2,500 species of plants from all over the world. Situated in the city centre, the Winter Gardens are housed in the largest urban glasshouse in Europe and is one of the largest greenhouses in the UK. The building is 70 metres long, 22 metres high, and designed by architectural firm Pringle Richards Sharratt. Largely made out of glass and wood, the construction is a sight in itself and has won several awards for design and innovation. Take shelter from the rain, or see the sunlight shine through the many glass panes; admissions are free.
90 Surrey Street, Sheffield, UK, +44 114 273 6895
The Sheffield Theatres, consisting of the Lyceum Theatre, the Cucible Theatre and the Studio Theatre, all located in and around Tudor Square in central Sheffield, makes up the largest theatre complex outside of London. There is therefore no precedent for boredom in this part of the city with the range of performances put on in these venues. The theatres put on everything from classic drama, musicals, dance, and comedy all year round, and has won awards for best regional theatre in both 2013 and 2014.
Sheffield Theatres, 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, UK, +44 114 249 6000
As one of Sheffield’s only Grade I listed building, the Sheffield Cathedral in the city centre of Sheffield, is indeed a building of special interest. The construction of a church on the site of the cathedral began in the 12th century and the cathedral itself was slowly constructed over several centuries. Originally dedicated to St Paul, part of the church has stones dating back from the 13th century, while the lantern tower’s glass panes are examples of abstract art from the 1990s. Visit the Sheffield Cathedral to see the light filter through the coloured glass, take a guided tour and see the swords of the York and Lancaster Regiment displayed in Saint George’s Chapel.
Church Street, Sheffield, UK, +44 114 275 3434
The Tropical Butterfly House Wildlife and Falconry Centre located just outside Sheffield offer an exotic experience in the middle of the English countryside. Walk through an indoor rainforest and see butterflies, birds, bats, insects and crocodiles, or encounter meerkats, otters, snakes and owls. As TripAdvisor’s number one Sheffield attraction, the Butterfly House is a popular destination and experience for people of all ages with everything from birds of prey to free-ranging farm animals. Animal encounter events are held every day, providing a chance for you to get up close and personal with your favourite animal or, perhaps, with your greatest fears.
Woodsetts Road, Sheffield, UK, +44 1909 569416
The Kelham Island is a result of industrial endeavours. Created by a diversion of the River Don, Kelham is a manmade island over 900 years old. The Kelham Island is today the home of the industrial museum in Sheffield, showcasing and documenting centuries of scientific and industrial innovation in the city. The museum contains reconstructed workshops, functional 19th century steam engines, a vast photographic collection as well as numerous artefacts representing a significant industrial history that has an impact on the whole world.
Alma Street, Sheffield, UK, +44 114 272 2106
With the highest number of trees per person in Europe, it comes as no surprise that Sheffield can offer some spectacular natural sights. One third of the city is located within the Peak District National Park, the first national park created in Britain. The Peak District consists mainly of moorland and a large network of hiking trails and footpaths makes it an ideal destination for a hike or a breath of fresh air. If you’re in the Peak District, be sure to pay a visit to Chatsworth House, Britain’s favourite country house, popularly featured in adaptations of Pride & Prejudice.
As a part of the Heart of the City Project, an effort to redevelop the Sheffield city centre and make it more attractive to the Sheffield inhabitants, the Peace Gardens were constructed and renewed. A public square in the middle of the city centre, the Peace Gardens offer a serene break from the busy city and connects several new features of the city, including the Millennium Galleries and the Winter Gardens. The Peace Gardens contains lighting, water features and a variety of plants, creating a green lung in the steel capital of the world.
Pinstone Street, Sheffield, UK, +44 114 273 6895
As Sheffield consists of over 61% green space, the city cannot be complete without a proper botanical garden. Displaying more than 5,000 different species of plants, the Sheffield Botanical Gardens spans over 19 acres of land and was first opened in 1836. The garden features beautiful glass pavilions, as well as an old bear pit, and a spectacular main gateway. The Botanical Gardens are host to a number of events such as Music in the Gardens, a charity event with live music, and Art in the Garden: an annual arts and crafts festival.
Clarkehouse Road, Sheffield, UK, +44 114 268 6001
By Linn Vardheim