Exploring: Sheffield

by - 1/21/2018

Despite Sheffield being cold and quite often rainy, the city is full to brim with culture, art, independents and wonderful sights to see. I've compiled a little list of my fave places to visit in Sheffield. Whether you're on a date or just our with yer' mates, this list of hidden gems and popular places will have you wanting to explore more of the Steel City.

Picture House - Located on Abbydale Road, it’s a bit out of the way if you’re walking (10 minutes in a taxi from the city centre). However, it has one of the best vibes I’ve experienced. It’s cheap, cheerful, has ping-pong, arcade games AND serves pizza until late. Offering up a spectrum of beers as well as quirky cocktails; you’ll be sure to find a drink that’ll please everyone! They also have 2-for-1 pizzas on a Monday. Need I say more?

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Steam Yard - one of my favourite independents in Sheffield. Steam Yard opened it’s doors four years ago and has flourished since. I’ve seen the place expand in size and in customer reach. I can honestly say that the customer service is on another level. The staff really do care about your experience. To me, it’s one of my ‘happy places’. As weird as it sounds, but no matter what mood I’m in, no matter what atrocity is occurring in the world, I step foot into an environment which is full to the brim with passion and positivity. I think this is a power that is massively overlooked. Creating a safe, happy environment for people to work, catch up with friends, grab a quick lunch is more of what we need in the world. If only ever inch of the world was as joyous as a little coffee shop located in the unlikely courtyard of a freezing cold, northern city. 

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Marmaduke's - a quirky, independent cafe located in the town centre. If you’re after some incredible sandwiches, toasties, cakes and coffees, this is the place for you. I’d avoid peak times (11am-2pm weekdays and Saturdays) as it gets rather busy these days! Despite the lunchtime rush and the hustle and bustle of the city, the staff remain friendly, helpful and fun. 

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Peak District - Castleton and Hope Valley are two of the most beautiful places in the Peak District. You can hop on a bus from the city centre. Both locations make for a scenic hike or bike ride. There are also local pubs, shops and restaurants dotted around. You can also visit the mines and caves and take a guided tour into them; last year Jerome and I went on the Blue John cave tour and it was brilliant! Mam Tor is a popular spot in Castleton - it's a rather big hill that people often climb. At 517ft tall, it makes for the most beautiful picnic spot.

Botanical Gardens - Last year, my boyfriend lived on the infamous Ecclesall ‘Eccy’ Road. His house was opposite the Botanical Gardens and boyyyyyyy did I love it! I’m a sucker for scenic backdrops, plant science and country walks. The Botanical Gardens span over 19 acres of (hilly) land. Designed by Robert Marnock in 1836, the gardens are an adventure to explore. If you’re into tropical plants or are looking for good photography opportunities - you’ll love it. Also, me and my best friends have often sat out in sunshine with a picnic and a few ciders and it’s bliss. For the colder months, I’d recommend sensible, grippy shoes, lots of layers and a hot choc.

Winter Gardens - again, another city centre wonder. The Sheffield Winter Gardens home some of the most beautiful plants I’ve seen. They’re romantic and beautiful to walk through. Although the Winter Gardens aren’t that big, they’re a lovely, quick excursion from your wander around the city centre; they’ll take 15 minutes at most to explore. For budding photographers, this also makes for an excellent location for some stunning photos. There’s also a gift shop and somewhere to grab a bite and drink. I would avoid going in the school holidays if you can’t tolerate screaming, crying, chaotic children - it seems to be a popular pit stop for exhausted parents. 

Millennium Gallery - whenever I have spare time, I love walking through the gallery to see what’s new. Budding local artists and international artists alike are displayed here. I’ve seen the most magnificent sculptures, artefacts, digital art and canvases all whilst walking through. The gallery celebrates the creative and it’s always an inspiring environment to be in. Again, if you’re not a fan of business and chaotic children, avoid visiting in the school holidays. 

Vintage Shops - if you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories regularly, you’ll know how much time I spend in vintage shops. I’m always looking to up-cycle menswear and vintage shops in Sheffield are some of the best I’ve come across. Below is a list of my top 3 and why I love them and what they’re best for (IMO):
  1. Vulgar Vintage/The Savage Sister - I shot with Vulgar a few years ago and it was one of my best shoots to date. Recently expanded, it’s lovely to see the business growing and flourishing. The staff are incredible and the clothing even more so. Personally, I love Vulgar for their men’s shirts, accessories and women’s tops. As a c
  2. urvy gal, it’s often hard to find vintage pieces in bigger sizes, but Vulgar will have you covered. 
  3. Mooch Vintage - one of the first vintage shops in Sheffield that I discovered. The staff are blummin’ hilarious and so friendly. I love the dresses, coats and jumpers from here. The have new stock in regularly and their shop is beau-ti-ful. 
  4. COW - a classic among vintage clothing lovers. I visit here for up-cycled womenswear, accessories and tops. The staff are beautiful and the epitome of style. Again, amazing customer service and a really pleasurable shopping experience.

Common Rooms - for people who like to think they’re a whiz at pool, this is the place to be. Reasonably priced drinks (2-for-1 with a loyalty card, which is free) and cheap pay-by-the-minute pool make for a perfect pre-club bar. The tables are full size and amazing quality; none of that cheap felt, light-as-fuck pool balls that you find at most pubs. Also, they have GHD hair tools in the bathrooms for hair emergencies - which happen quite often in rainy, windy Sheffield.

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Centertainment - this one's kinda the generic, chain-company place in the list - soz. Actually, not soz, because it's great. A 15 tram ride from the city centre for the mere price of £2.20 will see you arrive into a retail complex of restaurants, an arcade, bowling alley, mini golf, laser quest, and my favourite part - Cineworld (which has a VIP lounge, 4DX, IMAX and regular screens. If you want to know more, read my post on Cineworld). Centertainment is fab for students as everywhere offers a discount of some sort! Some of the restaurants include: Frankie & Benny's, Chiquito, Five Guys (I wouldn't recommend - a glorified and overpriced McDonald's IMO, and obviously not very good for vegetarians), Bella Italia, Handmade Burger Co, Nandos, Prezzo and much more.

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That's all folks, happy exploring!
- Shan

*All photos are my own besides the Marmaduke's Cafe photograph and the Picture House Social photograph, taken from each of their Instagram profiles, respectively.

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