Sheffield rightly celebrates its industrial history through its impressive museum network, telling the story of the city’s steel boom and its fascinating social history.
To understand Sheffield’s manufacturing roots, from skilled workmanship to the mass production boom of the industrial revolution, Kelham Island Museum is a must-visit.
Standing on a manmade island over 900 years old, the museum recounts Sheffield’s rich industrial history. From building its reputation as the Steel City through the Industrial Revolution via the Victorian era and two world wars, the museum is a hands-on affair, including a Transport Gallery, Conservation Workshops, a working (and very noisy) 12,000hp steam engine and more. Closed on Friday and Saturday, Kelham Island Museum is open 10am-4pm Monday-Thursday and from 11am-4.45pm on Sundays. Entrance is £6 for adults with children under-16 free and includes access to the museum shop and the Melting Shop Play Area for kids aged 2-9. The River Don Engine runs at midday and 2pm every Monday and Thursday, and midday, 2pm and 4pm on Sundays.
A quick ride on the X1 Steel Link bus from the city and just a mile from our Meadowhall hotel, Magna Science Adventure Centre pays homage to Sheffield’s past as the steel epicentre of the country.
Four ‘pavilions’ give visitors unique, hands-on insight into the four elements, earth, water, air and fire. Housed in a disused steel mill, The Big Melt is one of Magna’s main attractions and truly brings to life Sheffield’s metalwork heritage with a 12-minute bone-shakingly impressive show recreating the steelmaking process.
For a more rounded view of the city, head to Weston Park Museum, an award-winning museum that charts the city’s history in a family-friendly narrative, tracing the music, politics and people that shaped the city. Since reopening in 2006, it’s become a cultural hub, with more than 300,000 visitors flocking to see stunning in-house collections and touring shows by the V&A and British Museum.
A fantastic trip for kids, big kids and those looking to take a trip down memory lane, the National Emergency Services Museum is just 5 minutes’ walk from our Angel Street hotel.
Located in one of Yorkshire’s first combined police, fire and ambulance stations, the museum helps visitors retrace the steps of the nation’s emergency services. Spread over three floors, the museum is packed with displays and interactive exhibits, including a vast collection of vehicles and uniforms used then and now, and uses sounds and smells to give visitors a first-hand experience of what it’s like to tackle fires and even spend a little time in jail.
What do Jarvis Cocker, snooker and cutlery have in common? The South Yorkshire university city of Sheffield. Back in the day, Sheffield was a major player in the Industrial Revolution and coal mining industry. These days, “Steel City” is less grey and more green – in fact, 61% of Sheffield is now green space. So if you’re after a breath of fresh air alongside urban mod cons, our Sheffield hotels are the place to go.