I have lived in Barnsley for all my life (I am 19).
The reason I like Barnsley is that everything is close together.
I go to Leeds or Sheffield shopping, and I don't know my way around. All the shops are far apart from each other, and I can never find places to eat, especially healthy places to eat. In Barnsley town centre, the shops are a 2 minute walk from the bus station. They are all on one street leading up to The Mall shopping centre, where the rest of the shops are. There are a few shops on streets around the main street, and an indoor market area coming off the main shopping street. So it is all tightly packed and easy to navigate around. There are lots of places to eat too. There is a KFC, pubs and restaurants, fish and chip shops, jacket potato places, sandwich shops, and a few Greggs too.
The nightclubs in the town centre are again close to one another, which again is an advantage. When I go elsewhere, I dont know where any of the good nightlife is, as they all seem streets apart, or taxi rides apart! In Barnsley, there are 3 main rows of streets for the nightlife. There is a row where the "starter pubs" are situated, near the Town Hall, you then walk down the hill, and this street has the nightclubs which are open from around 9pm - 2am. You then walk around the corner and the next street has the nightclubs which are open from around 11pm - 4am. At the end of this street is Barnsley's Superclub Escapade. Although Barnsley is small, I prefer the Saturday nights here than anywhere else I've been for a night out. Wednesday nights (student night) and Friday nights are not really busy, but the Saturdays are really fun. There is a lot of entertainment to choose from - Joseph Bramahs (wetherspoons), CHE bar (cuban themed nigthclub), Quasimodos (rock music), Chicagos (gay bar - TUESDAY especially), Escapade (with VIP area, theme nights, and either up to date music OR cheesy pop - choose your room).
I hear that Barnsley has a bad reputation, mainly because of the football club. However, people in Barnsley are actually really nice. If you get lost, people are always happy to help, people smile back at you. I have been to other places where no one smiles back, and they are too busy to help with questions.
THINGS TO DO
There isn't a great deal to do in Barnsley besides the shopping and nightlife experience, but I will list what there is:
Cannon Hall farm and museum - has an animal farm, huge gardens to walk around or hold picnics, museum. Holds activity days for children such as craft days, baking days etc.
Locke Park - a huge park in the town centre. Has nice gardens for a walk or picnic and children's play area. Also has a cafe which opens in the summer.
Bowling Alley - in Carlton, Barnsley
Metrodome - swimming and gym, town centre
Dorothy Hyman Stadium - in Cudworth, Barnsley. Gym, squash courts, badmintin courts, astrosturf, running track
Oakwell - football stadium, Town centre.
And thats about it. The town centre has good transport links with trains straight to Nottingham, Meadowhall / Sheffield, Leeds. And buses straight to Wakefield / Doncaster / Rotherham.
I used to live in barnsley, and unfortunately, i had to move away with my mother, and i can honestly say i miss it dearly.It was a really friendly community. The shops probably couldve been better, but i probably only think that because i now live in middlesrough, and theres loads of shops.
Barnsley is a pretty good place to live, 70% rural, good cheap housing, friendly folk, good facilities. Good place to visit too, though not on a Friday or Saturday night unless you can drink 20 pints wearing a T shirt in the middle of winter (thigh high skirt for the ladies, coz thems' the rules)
I moved to Barnsley on boxing day 1997, so I have been here over 10 years. My primary reason for moving here was because I did not want my youngest son growing up in London. Although I was born and bred in London, it's a hard place nowadays.
I actually chose Barnsley as I felt an affinity with a town that's main lifeblood industry had been dessimated, I grew up around the East End Docks, and everyone I knew either worked on, in or associated to the docks, then they died. The ensuing misery was very similar to what happened in Barnsley after the pit closures and I knew that if folk were resilient, the recovery would be the same.
I came up with my previous partner (youngest sons mum) and we split up within a year of living here, she still lives here and my son spends alternate weeks with us both.I am now married to a Barnsley lass, my son is thriving at a Barnsley school and was until recently playing for Barnsley rugby team.
Lovely countryside very close, go for the 4 mile walk round Langsett, beautiful.
Folks are very friendly, I walk into town most days and will always see someone I know and stop and have a chat, priceless.
Housing is cheap still, compared to the rest of the country.
Not too many traffic jams.
Food and amenities are relatively cheap.
Great little individual shops if you look for them.
Central location for M1.
Bit of a 'grumble' culture, lots of folks on benefits.
Lots of Chavs.
Crap council (Metropoliatin Borough).
Bit parochial in views, racist, homophobic, mysogenistic, though this is changing.
Accent and colloquialisms.
Overall, there are some pretty good reasons to live here, one thing worthy of mention is that most people who are not from Barnsley do not realise just how central it is, it is dissected by the M1, 20 miles North is Leeds, 15 miles South is Sheffield, less than 3 hours from London by road or train.
This is an up and coming town, recently plans were announced to build a 4 star hotel and 180 luxury apartments, they have all sold before a brick has been laid.
As I mentioned the folk are friendly and the image of Barnsley being at the heart of the Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire is changing (like there are any Socialists left in the Labour Party!).
There is a tendency to 'glorify' past accolades, like being a market town, pits and the like whilst not celebrating all that Barnsley has to offer like Cannon Hall/Cawthorne Park, Langsett, some great country pubs and so on. Again, this seems to be changing and we now have a younger generation of Barnsley folk that are more aspirational, hence a University of Huddersfield site now in the town centre.
My next move is out of the country, I love it here and cannot see me moving elswhere in England, though Wales does appeal a bit.
Updated from a Ciao review I posted earlier under the same member name.
I am from Barnsley and apart from a little nannying in Southampton I have lived here for all of my 32 years. I wouldn?t want to live anywhere else. Barnsley has the perfect mix of countryside and city. We are only an hour from the coast and 4 hours from London or Edinbrough A lot of people seem to slate Barnsley, yet we are all very friendly people (OK with the exception of a few dole wallers, lager louts and football hooligans) My job means that I speak to people from all over the country and they all say that the people in Barnsley are friendly, thoughtful and always willing to help. People who have heard the remarks are often amazed when they visit and see the wealth of history and beautiful countryside. Barnsley is actually mentioned in the Doomsday book and was originally named Berneslai. Our town centre shopping may not be as good as city centre shopping but we still have a nice little mix. The Alhambra centre gives you all the usual high street stores, like Next, Mothercare Woollies, TKMaxx, Primark etc. They also have little 'stalls' that have more unique or individual items on them. For instance there is an art stall, a bonsai stall, a gift stall and a manicure stall amongst others. There is also 'Cheapside' and average outdoor town shopping precint which houses Boots, Game, WHSmith, M&S, Topshop etc, etc. Our market is one of the oldest on record, dating back to 1249. I have been told by my Mum that in the 60?s it was very famous and people came from all over the country. There was a saying that if you couldn?t buy it on Barnsley Market it probably didn?t exist! The market was replaced in 1975 (opened by the Queen) by a big indoor market that, in a lot of peoples opinion, is not as good. It is all due to change again with a multi million pound ?Rethinking Barnsley? project that is going to make improvements to the whole of the town. The town has recently regenerated an old part of the town now known as The T
homas Whitworth Forum. It was originally George Yard and dated back to the early 18th century. The area now contains a very impressive building that combines modern architecture with the cobbles and stone of the past. It is very beautiful and has a wonderful array of small exclusive shops and an award winning bar and restaurant. The tourist attractions are all historical. There is quite a list. Ranging from the historical Cannon Hall in the Cawthorne area of Barnsley where you can wonder around the 200 year old building that is now a spectacular museum then have a picnic in the award winning grounds, followed by a cream tea in its tea rooms. There is also an open farm and you can even be married there. One of the other well known attractions is the award winning Elsecar Heritage Centre. It?s a history and craft centre, which is set in the attractive conservation village of Elsecar and surrounded by beautiful South Yorkshire countryside. The Centre is located within the former ironworks and colliery workshops of the Earls Fitzwilliam, where visitors can explore the attractively restored buildings and monuments, wander alongside the Dearne and Dove Canal and follow footpaths including a branch of the Trans-Pennine Trail. The centre also has a working steam train that visitors can take a ride on. There are plenty of other attractions, a small independent museum in Cawthorne, the beautiful Cooper Gallery in the town, a working mill and reservoir in Worsbrough (my part of the town) a medival priory, a park, a nature reserve, the list goes on. The town is also well known for its nightlife. We have a glut of nightclubs, pubs and bars. One street in Barnsley is just bars (it also has a couple of take aways and an hairdressers(!) upon it) the street is Wellington Street and from memory it has 7 bars and a nightclub. The ?posher ? bars include the Lucorum and Livingstones. There are also plenty of good places to eat, from your bog standered burge
r van to a Michelin star winning restaurant. I could go on and on about all our sports facilities (ranging from archery to fencing, swimming to working out) our top scoring schools and our colleges but I won?t. I will just leave you with some little known facts about Barnsley. Thanks for reading! 1. Two years ago an independent study named Barnsley Britain?s favourite town, on average only 115 people a year leave out of a population of almost 300,000. 2. In it?s mining heyday there were 20 pits in Barnsley. Now there are none. 3. The famous Barnsley Chop which is served around the world, especially to Royalty is a 3lb mutton chop!. 4. Barnsley town centre has an amazing 3 nightclubs and 38 bars all within a 5 mile radius. It is impossible to visit them all in one night. 5. We have quite a few famous people that hail from our little town; the great Michael Parkinson, the late Brian Glover, Dickie Bird, Daren Gough, Jenni Murray, Mick McCarthy, Mr Bojangles himself (Sam Nixon) and many famous historical characters. 6. Barnsley is bigger than most people would think. It covers 127 square miles 7. We hold a race called the Barnsley 6 which attracts runners from all over the world.