This South Yorkshire city has been growing in popularity in recent years and it’s easy to see why. Ideal for a fun break, Sheffield is home to a wide range of bars, clubs, restaurants and activities. Renowned as having creative spirit, the steel city’s music and clubs have had a huge impact on the UK, resulting in an unrivalled nightlife scene. Yet away from the lively atmosphere, Sheffield is also full of natural beauty and offers a number of group activities that will ensure an unforgettable weekend. An all year round destination, even if the weather isn’t on your side, Sheffield won’t disappoint.
This university city is favoured by locals and tourists alike and is easily accessible from all over the UK. With something for every occasion, age, budget and style, Sheffield should definitely be on your destination hotlist.
Explore the City
What better way to explore this northern city than with a pub tour and treasure hunt? Sheffield has a long history of brewing beer and their certainly proud of their pubs! During the activity, you’ll get to take in the sights, visit the best local venues and complete various pub related challenges. Plus, you’ll get to taste some of the great local beers and ales!
Theatre and Comedy
Sheffield boasts the largest theatre complex outside of London and includes the Crucible Theatre, Lyceum Theatre and Crucible Studio. With a wide range of productions on show, why not check out the regular West-End musicals or hilarious comedy nights?
Recognised as one of the UK’s best shopping destinations, the city boasts a number of areas dedicated to designer brands, independent boutiques and high-street names. Fargate and The Moor offer plenty of big names but for the ultimate shopping trip, head to Meadowhall, Yorkshire’s largest indoor shopping centre.
Sheffield is surrounded by a number of villages, towns and tourist hotspots including The Peak District, Wensleydale, Penistone, Denby Dale, Chesterfield and Bakewell. Uncover these hidden gems, explore quaint pubs and take part in various outdoor activities.
Sheffield is gaining reputation for being a top street art destination. As you wander down the streets (or stagger after a few too many) you’ll find various work scattered around but if you want to investigate it a little further, there are a number of street art walks taking place throughout the city.
Throughout the summer, there are a number of festivals conveniently located close to Sheffield. The 3-day Tramlines Festival is the city’s most popular and, with headliners including Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Craig David, it’s not wonder why. Plus, Leeds Fest isn’t too far away if you fancy a more intense festival experience.
As the birthplace of Pulp, The Arctic Monkeys and Def Leppard, Sheffield enjoys a lively and varied nightlife scene. With more than 65 venues, Sheffield is one of the UK’s leading music cities making planning nights out for large groups easy. Plus they’re all centrally located, meaning a city centre bar crawl is always easy to arrange.
Sheffield is home to a number of arenas, hosting some of the biggest names in music. The O2 academy and Sheffield City Hall are two of the most popular venues so whether you want to dance, see live DJ’s, or enjoy a band, there’s definitely something for you.
As the city’s longest running independent live music menu and nightclub, The Leadmill guarantees a great night out. Frequently voted Best Live Music Venue by NME readers, plenty of famous acts have performed here including Snow Patrol, Coldplay and The Strokes.
Picture House Social
Good food, great music and an even better atmosphere, this independent venue offers a fantastic night out full of live music, cocktails, games room and terrace. Housed in a former ballroom, there’s plenty of space to cut some of your finest shapes.
Sheffield’s beer scene is famous and the city is certainly proud of its beer history. Said to be the birthplace of the UK craft beer revolution, the city is home to 4 times more brewers than Greater London and churns out more than 1000 different beers every year. The Sheffield Tap and Kelham Island are at the heart of Sheffield’s pub scene.
West Street, Division Street and Ecclesall Road boast some of the area’s best bars. From popular favourites including Walkabout and Revolution, there’s also the likes of Varsity, Players Bar and Maida Vale. Offering great music, fantastic drink deals and an even better atmosphere, it’s no surprise that large groups favour these venues.
Popworld, Reflex, Fez, The Harley and Foundry are some of Sheffield’s best loved nightclubs. With resident DJs playing the finest tunes and a wide range of packages to pre-order, why not go all out and book a booth for the entire evening?
Eat like a local
Whatever you want to eat in Sheffield, you’ll find it. With plenty of national chains alongside incredible independent restaurants, from mouth-watering street food, cute cafes, delicious restaurants, whatever your budget or occasion, there’s something for everyone in Sheffield. Plus, as a party central city, the restaurants are used to catering to large groups.
Tex Mex and BBQ
Feast on dirty burgers and delicious loaded fries. Awaken your taste buds with the juiciest steaks and spicy chicken wings. Smoke Barbeque, Chiquito, El Paso and Coast to Coast will ensure your bellies are full before a big night out.
City Centre Dining
If you’re heading to Sheffield for the weekend, you’ll be pleased to hear the city centre is full of restaurants, meaning you don’t have to waste money on taxis. Marmadukes offers the finest British grub, Silversmiths boasts a modern Yorkshire menu, The Street Food Chef provides fantastic Mexican snacks, and Craft and Dough serves some of the best pizzas in the area.
We’ve all got a mate who knows what they like and like what they know, but don’t worry as Sheffield’s streets are jam-packed with national chains such as Nando’s, Bella Italia, The Gourmet Burger Kitchen and for something a little bit special, The Botanist.
Places to stay
After a long day of drinking, partying and probably more drinking, you’ll want to find somewhere comfortable to rest your head close by.. Sheffield is home to a large number of hotels, hostels and apartments, ideal for large groups. Plus, The Jury’s Inn which is conveniently located offers double and triple rooms, meaning you can bunk up with your mates.
Sheffield has welcoming locals & buzzing location
At first, Sheffield seems a rather unassuming city but don’t let it fool you, there’s a lot on offer in this city of contrasts. The friendly locals may greet you with an ‘alreyt duck?’ rather than a hello and you should certainly be prepared to challenge your calf muscles unless you make best use of public transport and taxis, but there are few places where you can enjoy action and relaxation in such harmony as Sheffield.
Sheffield at a glance:
- Saunter into Sheffield centre from the train station and appreciate the sculptures and water features on your route – or just stay in the station to enjoy one of the country’s best railway pubs
- Absorb some true Sheffield culture at the Crucible theatre, whether the drama is snooker or stage related, it’s a hotspot all year round
- Stretch your legs in the surrounding hillsides or unwind in the city centre’s green spaces including the Winter Gardens, Peace Gardens and Botanical Gardens.
- Drink and dine in style on trendy Devonshire Street
Division Street/Devonshire street – the place to drink and be seen, especially in summer These two parallel streets are home to some of Sheffield’s trendiest bars including The Forum, The Old House, The Great Gatsby and Bungalows & Bears. Whether your musical taste is indie or hard house, you’ll find a night and venue to suit. In the summer, The Forum serves up drinks on its stylish outdoor patio and the nearby Devonshire Green comes alive with a continental vibe.
West End/West Street – the place where nights begin Thanks to its sheer length and variety of pubs, bars and restaurants, West Street is a great spot for stags on the move. You’ll find the usual mix of chain bars and restaurants along with some more unique independents. This is a popular place for revellers to start their night before moving on to Division Street or dancing the night away further afield.
Ecclesall Road – a stylish suburban hub With restaurants, bars, coffee shops and some of the best pubs in the city all nestled in one area, there’s no real reason to leave Ecclesall Road once you’ve landed, which is exactly why many of the city’s students who live here struggle to leave. You’ll find a hub of decent coffee shops heading towards Hunters Bar, which make great spots to watch the world go by. Also perfect for a little people watching (or hangover nursing) are the nearby Endcliffe Park and the Botanical Gardens.
The Moor – a secret spot for discerning shoppers and clubbers alike When it comes to shopping spots the Moor often misses a mention but as home to an excellent market as well as department store Debenhams and a handful of other high street favourites, it definitely deserves a shout. But you are just as likely to find yourself here late at night sampling one of the many takeaways, thanks to its location between nightclubs DQ and Plug.
The Peak District – a picturesque place for out some outdoor adventure One third of Sheffield is classed as being in the Peak District, so visitors to the Steel City should be prepared to tackle an incline or two. Those with leanings towards athleticism or an appreciation of nature may want to explore the nearby countryside, with many of the popular tourist hotspots easily accessible by train or bus.
Best bars and pubs in Sheffield:
Make sure you pack your dancing shoes because whether you’re an indie kid or a dance music devotee, the clubs of Sheffield have a dancefloor with your name on it.
O2 Academy, Arundel Gate - www.o2academysheffield.co.uk/ There’s a band or DJ playing most nights as well as crowd-pleasing, indie-focussed club nights. Expect reasonably priced drinks and chart and retro anthems.
The Leadmill, Leadmill Road - www.leadmill.co.uk/ An historic gig venue that still welcomes many upcoming and big name bands and artists, as well as comedy nights. Live music is the staple ingredient but it’s a bit hit for its indie anthem club nights on Fridays and Saturdays. Monday night is student night here but the crowd is welcoming and the drinks reasonably priced.
Plug, Matilda St Described by DJ Annie Mac as one of her favourite places to play in the UK – and it’s easy to see why. Small enough to be intimate without being cramped, Plug regularly welcomes top DJs, bands and artists that span drum’n’bass through to rock’n’roll. Many of its club nights boast real bargain drinks prices too.
Corporation, Milton Street - www.corporation.org.uk/ If you’re a fan of metal, classic rock or anything in between the Corporation should be on your to-do list. Inside this cavernous space at the very bottom of Devonshire Green you’ll find a maze of rooms that can be a little harder to navigate after a reasonably priced drink or two.
Fez, Rockingham Street Fez combines a warehouse feel with a great sound system in a very casual dance venue. The music here tends to be on the dance spectrum and you can sometimes expect late night antics to go on until 6am.
Kelham Island Tavern, Russell Street - www.kelhamtavern.co.uk/ Kelham Island is a little out of the way of the main drinking hub but if you venture out here you’ll be rewarded with good beer in a relaxed setting, complete with beer garden.
The Broadfield, Abbeydale Road - www.thebroadfield.co.uk/ You’ll most likely need to hop on a bus or into a taxi to get to Abbeydale Road. Once there, enjoy one of their many bottled beers, sample some whiskies and tuck into a proper pie or two.
The Fat Cat, Alma Street - www.thefatcat.co.uk/ Just a few minutes walk from the Kelham Island district, this pub is known for its gins as well as a fine selection of ales including some local favourites.
The Sheffield Tap, Sheffield Railway Station - www.sheffieldtap.com/ Put concisely, the Sheffield Tap makes it very hard for travellers to ever get out of the train station, whether they’re arriving in the city or attempting to leave. Simple, unpretentious and with plenty of beers to sample, it’s a rare gem.
Bath Hotel, Victoria Street Situated just off West Street, you’ll want to take a diversion to sample the guest beers here, perfect for wash down a hog roast sandwich.
The Devonshire Cat, Wellington Street Surprisingly large, The Devonshire Cat sits just below Devonshire Green and above Corporation, making it a popular starting point for people heading into town or on to a club. It has a good selection of draught and bottle beers and is a very comfortable spot from which to watch the world go by.
The York, Fulwood Road - www.theyorksheffield.co.uk/ Don’t let its position in student-packed Broomhill put you off. It’s a very old pub dating back to the 1830s, so it’s had plenty of time to perfect its real ale and cider selection, not to mention a manly food menu that features home-smoked meats with cheese.
Frog & Parrot, Division Street When all of the fashionable bars on Division Street get too much, head to the Frog & Parrot and you’ll probably be lucky enough to catch some live music as well as some cask conditioned ale.
Food: eat like a local:
Sheffield folks like their food and there’s a real international feel to many of the city’s cafes and restaurants, as well as plenty of places to find a perfectly executed Sunday lunch.
Start your day with a big brekkie at central Eten Café (www.etensheffield.co.uk/) on York Street – it’s worth knowing they will let you takeaway in boxes too.
Another strong contender for the ultimate Full English is Urban Deli (www.urbandeli.co.uk/) on Campo Lane, which does offer delivery.
For snacks, the Moor Market offers up all kinds of cuisine from Russian stews to beef burgers. Sheffield particularly excels at providing all kinds of exquisite Asian food, from cracking curries through to superb sushi, noodles and teppanyaki – head to Wasabi Sabi (www.wasabisabi.co.uk/) on London road for some of the best.
Dine in style at gastropub The Milestone (https://cutleryworks.co.uk/) on Green Lane, which offers Sunday brunch as well as lunch.
Also serving a solid Sunday lunch is the Old House on Devonshire Street. Looking for a venue with a bit of a buzz?
Try Cubana now (https://www.facebook.com/cubanatapasbar) situated in Leopold Square, here you’ll find a helping of salsa dancing alongside Spanish/Latin tapas.
The best view of the city:
With most of Sheffield seemingly sitting on a hill, it’s hard to narrow it down to just one viewpoint. If you fancy stretching your legs, take yourself to the top of Meersbrook Park for a unique perspective of the city and the surrounding hills. Also a secret spot for those in-the-know locals to gather on New Year’s Eve to watch the fireworks over Sheffield.
You can burn a lot of calories walking up and down Sheffield inclined streets or you can hop in a taxi and save your calf muscles some work. There’s also a reliable tram service and plenty of buses to take you from one watering hole or shop to the next.