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The Essential Guide to Sheffield's City Streets, Gardens, and Countryside

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For many visitors to Sheffield, the city's cultural and industrial heritage is the main attraction. Museums and galleries like the Millennium Gallery show off fine art and ingenious design. But despite its industrial roots Sheffield is one of Britain's greenest cities, with hundreds of parks and gardens like the iconic Winter Garden and The Peace Gardens. The Peak District National Park is minutes away.

Central Sheffield

 

Sheffield's city center is compact. In this part of town you'll find the Millennium Gallery, with exhibits devoted to archaeology, metalwork, and carved ivory as well as the eclectic Ruskin Collection of arts, crafts, books, and manuscripts. On Barker's Pool, the city center's main square, you can pause to admire the soaring columns and neo-classical portico of Sheffield City Hall. Built in 1932, it's central Sheffield's classical music venue, hosting ensembles like the Hallé, Moscow Philharmonic, and Prague Symphony Orchestra.

 

  • Millennium Gallery, Arundel Gate, Sheffield S1 2PP; Tel: +44 114 278 2600; Website: Millennium Gallery
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  • Sheffield City Hall, Barkers Pool, Sheffield S1 2JA; Tel: +44 114 278 9789; Website: Sheffield City Hall

Sheffield parks and gardens

 

Parks and gardens take up almost 70 percent of Sheffield's total area, so there are plenty of places where you can picnic and stroll on a sunny day. In less clement weather, you can head for the subtropical warmth of Sheffield Winter Garden. Facing the Millennium Gallery on Millennium Square, this jumbo glasshouse nurtures more than 2,000 plants, including lofty palm trees from Asia, America, and the Indian Ocean. Overlooked by Sheffield's gothic Town Hall, The Peace Gardens are a tranquil city center space full of fountains, flower beds, and cascades.

 

  • Sheffield Winter Garden, 90 Surrey Street, Sheffield S1 2LH; Tel: +44 114 205 3547; Website: Sheffield Winter Garden
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  • The Peace Gardens, Pinstone Street, Sheffield S1 2HH; Tel: +44 114 273 6895; Website: The Peace Gardens

 

Exploring Sheffield's early history

 

You need to be in the know to discover Sheffield's pre-industrial heritage. Urban redevelopment that began in the 18th century erased all but a few traces of the city's Norman castle and cathedral. But you can visit some relics of Sheffield's early past. Bishops' House is a charmingly ramshackle half-timber building that dates from the 15th century and is now used for exhibitions and concerts of early music. You can admire stained glass and 17th-century church masonry at Beauchief Abbey, founded in 1183.

 

  • Bishops' House, Norton Lees Lane, Sheffield S8 9BE; Tel: +44 114 255 7701; Website: Bishops' House
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  • Beauchief Abbey, Beauchief Abbey Lane, Sheffield S8 7BD; Tel: +44 114 221 1900; Website: Beauchief Abbey

 

Sheffield's industrial heritage

 

In Sheffield, you'll come across many reminders of the city's history as a place famed for superb steel and silverware. At Kelham Island Museum, you can discover technologies that made Sheffield famous and marvel at machinery that was revolutionary in its day. Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet recreates life and work in an 18th-century industrial community, with its original steel furnace, workers' cottages, and waterwheels.

 

  • Kelham Island Museum, Alma Street, Sheffield S3 8RY; Tel: +44 114 272 2106; Website: Kelham Island Museum
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  • Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, Abbeydale Road South, Sheffield S7 2QW; Tel: +44 114 272 2106; Website: Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

 

Peak District National Park

 

To explore wide open spaces, take a half-hour train or bus ride from Sheffield to Edale, Castleton, or Bakewell, gateways to the Peak District National Park. This expanse of wild moorland and gentle, wooded valleys is traversed by cycling and walking trails like the 270-mile Pennine Way. You can delve underground to discover spooky grottoes like Treak Cliff Cavern, filled with weird rock formations. You'll also find stately homes like Chatsworth House. Set amid formal gardens, this dignified mansion has been the home of Dukes of Devonshire since the 17th century.

 

  • Treak Cliff Cavern, Buxton Road, Castleton S33 8WP; Tel: +44 1433 620 571; Website: Treak Cliff Cavern
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  • Chatsworth House, Bakewell DE45 1PP; Tel: +44 1246 565 300; Website: Chatsworth House