There are plenty of attractions and activities in and around England’s fifth largest city, including Olympic-sized swimming pools, butterfly houses, alpaca trails and the glorious Peak District. In fact, Sheffield is home to some of the best things to do in South Yorkshire and, for that matter, the rest of the UK too!
Activities in Sheffield
With nature’s bounty – in the rich form of the Peak District – a short car journey or more adventurous bike ride from the city centre, you’ll soon be in the great, great outdoors.
The first National Park in the UK, the Peak District is only five miles from Sheffield, making it the perfect jumping-off point – quite literally if you’re into climbing – for the great outdoors. There are hundreds of walks on offer; from family-friendly strolls to all-day hikes passing excellent country pubs. The area is perfect for climbers, boulderers and adventurers – check out Stanage Edge, Burbage Valley, Rivelin Edge and Dovestone Tar for classic moorland gritstone experiences (that’s a technical term for climbing, for anyone who isn’t Spiderman!), while there are several indoor climbing walls nearer the city centre, including Awesome Walls and The Climbing Works.
For animal lovers, Graves Park and Heeley City Farm offer the chance for visitors to get up close with farm animals and other furry friends. Both are free admission and have cafés and playgrounds on-site. At Graves Park you’ll find rare pigs, cows, sheep, donkeys and goats, as well as ponds and woodland walks if you want to extend your visit.
The Peak District
From stylish cinema trips, sprawling swimming pool complexes and brain-twisting escape rooms, there’s plenty to occupy you if you’re forced indoors during the wilder winter months.
Home to the UK’s deepest diving pool, Ponds Forge – a five-minute walk from our Angel Street hotel – also boasts an award-winning 130-piece gym and spa, two swimming pools, a lazy river and, for kids both big and small, two covered flumes.
Cinephiles can catch the latest silver screen release in the cosy elegance of Curzon Sheffield. With just three screens, sofa seating and food and drink delivered to your seat, it’s easy to feel like you’re watching movies in a rather lavish home from home. Their rooftop bar and terrace is a destination in itself and can be visited even if you’re not going to see a flick.
Escape rooms have been popping up across the UK for a while and The Great Escape Game is the biggest yet to hit Sheffield. Gather a crack team of friends or co-workers and put your collective wiles to the test to solve a series of clues and unlock the door before the time runs out. With rooms named ‘Placebo’, ‘Mad Scientist’ and ‘Alcatraz’, you know you’re in for an hour you won’t forget.
A geographically diverse city with a neatly contained city centre, Sheffield lends itself well to walking tours, with two hours generally enough time to catch most of the major landmarks.
Rich in history and easy to navigate, a walking tour is a great way to explore Sheffield. Sheffield Walking Tours operates a 90-minute session that takes in the city’s main talking points, highlighting over 900 years of history. They run every Tuesday to Saturday morning, leaving from the Sheffield Tourist Information Centre. If you’re after a different sort of historical walk, the Steel City Ghost Tour is a two-hour evening affair that takes in the most grim and grisly spots in town, hosted by Mr P Dreadful.
If you want to stretch your legs a little more and leave the city behind you, Sheffield Round Walk is perfect for those who like a bit more than a walk in the park. This 15-mile circular route will take you on a tour of the countryside and villages surrounding Sheffield, and give you a glimpse of the famous Peak District National Park.
Like Rome, Sheffield might have been built on seven hills, but that means seven opportunities to flex your quads and freewheel down the other sides!
Sheffield is a city that’s definitely on its bike. You can choose from dozens of routes across the Trans Pennine Trail and the Peak District National Park routes, while Sheffield By Cycle is a rental scheme operating across eight city-centre destinations, including City Hall and the train station.