Last month I finally spent a day in Sheffield! Even though I have been living in Manchester for almost five years, I’ve never taken the short train journey to explore this city. Luckily, my lovely friend Laura lived in Sheffield for 3 years and took the day to show me her favourite spots. Who would be better to show me the best places to visit in Sheffield? Today, I’m sharing them with you!
Laura lived the expat life in Sheffield for 3 years and recently moved back to the Netherlands. Follow her adventures on her blog here!
9:00 AM | The Train to Sheffield
From Manchester, it takes about an hour to get to Sheffield by train. The journey takes you through the Peak District. No need to bring a book or iPad to entertain yourself, the view is beautiful! Sheffield’s train station is located on the edge of the city centre and it doesn’t take more than 5-10 minutes to walk to the heart of Sheffield.
TIP: Save some money on your train tickets by booking in advance! I usually book my tickets with Trainline. (Not sponsored or affiliated with them, I just really like using their service because it saves me so much money since I’ve not got a railcard anymore).
10:00 AM | Arrive in Sheffield Station
Laura picked me up from the station and started our tour immediately. She took me to our first stop of the day: Cholera Monument. After leaving the station through the East exit, we walked to the top of the hill for a beautiful view over the city. Cholera Monument, a memorial to the victims of the cholera epidemic of 1832, is located at the top.
11:00 AM | Visit the Winter Gardens
We walked back through the station towards the city centre. Our first stop was the Winter Gardens. Located not far from the station (about 5-10 minutes on foot) you can find this urban glasshouse. It’s actually the largest of its kind in the whole of Europe – and it’s filled with cool plants and even cooler shops!
12:00 PM | Visit the Millennium Gallery
Right next to the Winter Garden lies the Millennium Gallery. I wasn’t very familiar with Sheffield’s history in the steel industry, which is why I loved visiting this gallery so much! This gallery has a metalwork collection of 13,000 pieces, alongside tons of awesome craft and design pieces.
Laura and I found this awesome digital art project, I think we must have spent at least 30 minutes taking pictures of it.
1:00 PM | Lunch at Tamper Sellers Wheel
For lunch, Laura took me to one of her favourite eateries in the city: Tamper Sellers Wheel. This Kiwi cultured cafe serves tasty New Zeeland-styled bites and the best coffee in town. And man, I totally get why Laura loves this place so much – it was delicious! Plus they serve a hella good coffee.
1:45 PM | Walk through the city towards the University of Sheffield
Our afternoon started with a little walk further into the city centre. Sheffield is filled with the most amazing street art and murals. They are literally found on every street and each and every one of them is Instagram-worthy.
We also stopped to take a quick snap of the Women of Steel. This bronze sculpture commemorates the women of Sheffield who worked in the steel industry during the two World Wars. Sheffield used to be known as Steel City due to its past production in steel. I love a bit of GIRL POWER and I love that Sheffield celebrates the strength and determination of these strong women.
Laura then showed me some really cool shops that I wish we had in Manchester. I’m such a sucker for a good independent shop selling basically anything – give me some cool, quirky stuff and you’ve got my money! My favourites were Moonko and Vulgar.
2:30 PM | Visit the University of Sheffield
Laura studied at the University of Sheffield while living in the UK and it was awesome to see it in person. The university has more than 25.000 students and sits in the top 5 best universities in the UK. Laura took me to the Arts Tower for a view across the city and a ride on one of the last remaining paternoster lift!
4:00 PM | Visit the Botanical Gardens
Even though I adore exploring urban areas, a little break in some green spaces is never a bad idea. Laura took me to the beautiful botanical gardens in Sheffield, and really is a must-visit! Not only are the 19 acres of land filled with the most beautiful plants, but it also has a picturesque indoor glass house. Entree is completely free, too!
Note: Sheffield’s botanical gardens close earlier during the winter, so make sure to go on time when visiting in different seasons. You can find the opening times on their website.
6:00 PM | Dinner
Because there were a few events going on inside the city, most dinner places were completely booked out. We ended up at Pizza Express, but had some tasty pizzas to end our day with!
7:30 PM | Train back home
Many thanks to Laura for being an amazing tour guide and all-round fabulous person! Please go check out her blog over here to follow her adventures. If you’re looking for some more cool places to check out in Sheffield, Laura wrote a blog post about Sheffield that’s perfect for you, check it out here.