Newest Review: ... willing to go on a little 15 minute tram ride, you can get to one of the main shopping destinations in Sheffield, which is Meadowhall mall/... more
If you could stick a lake and a mountain in here it'd be 5 stars
Sheffield in General
Member Name: mdhughes03
Sheffield in General
Date: 23/08/09, updated on 23/08/09 (54 review reads)
Advantages: Greener than most cities, plenty to do
Disadvantages: Lots of people, city centre needs regeneration
Let me start by saying I am not Yorkshire born and bred so this is actually a fairly unbiased review. I am from the Lake District originally and came here to go to University so the relocation was not as a result of a strong desire to live in Sheffield particularly. However, here I am 8 years later! So what made me stay?
Sheffield's nightlife, mush like the city itself is a great balance between that of a massive city and a small town. We have some great larger clubs (Sheffield hosted Gatecrasher for many years until a fire at the venue put a stop to it) and some smaller, boutique late bars. To say there is variety would be an understatement. There are pop clubs and bars, including the ubiquitous Reflex and Flares; Yorkshire's best Rock club, Corporation; and the famous Leadmill for a good mix of everything. There are lots of unique, upmarket wine bars, some in the city centre and some in the more refined Ecclesall Road which is home to boho chic independent shops during the day.
Anything and everything. No, really. At Valley Centretainment (try and ignore the tragic name!) there are the usual chain restaurants like Chiquitos and Frankie and Benny's. There are plenty of good foreign cuisine restaurants towards the suburbs and on West Street. Then there is the newly regenerated Leopold Square, again mainly chain restaurants but all new for Sheffield-Wagamama, Zizzi and Strada would be sorely missed now.
This is a fairly green city in itself with many parks dotted around but best of all the wonderful Botanical Gardens. With a fabulous Victorian glasshouse pavilion and every flower imaginable it is a lovely place to spend a lazy afternoon with the squirrels. I even considered getting married here. There are also the relatively new Winter Gardens in the city centre-basically a giant greenhouse of tropical plants alongside a great little museum.
Moreover, Sheffield is right on the edge of the peak district so the national park is easily accessible by bus, train or car.
Arts and culture
There are some great little gems of museums in Sheffield, my favourite being Weston Park Museum (I have reviewed that separately). However there is also the museum at the Winter gardens which has a permanent John Ruskin exhibit that I love. There's also a fire and police service museum in the town centre. There are two main art galleries in the city centre, both next to the winter gardens.
As far as theatre goes, it doesn't get much better than the Crucible. This theatre is currently undergoing an expensive refurbishment, including adding an amazing retractable floor! Next door is the Lyceum theatre, equally good in standards and both showing a wide range of performances through the year. There's also City Hall which hosts music, orchestras and comedians. I've had many a giggle in the memorial hall here.
On the edge of the peak district and Derbyshire, there is plenty to do just outside of Sheffield. Within a short drive you can reach the market towns of Bakewell and Matlock which are a great day out. Also nearby is Chatsworth House and gardens, especially lovely when the Christmas market is on and the house is decorated with several different kinds of Christmas decorations. There are also various country parks nearby, Clumber and Rother Valley being the best. Manchester and Leeds are less than an hour's drive away and Nottingham is not much further. This makes Sheffield a great location!
Public transport links
Sheffield has a great public transport system. Buses to the most popular areas of the city run every six minutes so there's not usually a long wait at the bus stop. The commuter train services mean that you can reach Leeds or Manchester in 40-45 minutes. Best of all is the Supertram service. Stretching right across the city and way out into the suburbs it is great value for money and goes most of the places you'd want to visit-making out of town shopping very accessible to those who don't drive.
So that's Sheffield in a nutshell. There's plenty more I could say but these are the highlights and hopefully give you a good idea of what the city is like.
Summary: A lovely city just waiting to be explored