20 Things To Do In Sheffield

- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

Sheffield is in South Yorkshire and is close to Manchester, Leeds and Nottingham. Sheffield is known worldwide as the city of steel, which was mostly produced during the late 1800s to early 1900s. Now that the stacks no longer smoke, the city has transformed into a modern metropolis filled with impressive architecture, open green spaces and is just a short drive away from the beautiful natural vistas of the Peak District National Park.

Sheffield’s cultural scene has come into its own with several independent restaurants, cafes, and shops opening over recent years. There are also many microbreweries and regular festivals celebrating food, drinks, music and culture. The city has its fair share of history, with many historical sites and buildings well worth visiting. Here are 20 things to do in Sheffield.

Sheffield

20 Things To Do In Sheffield

things to see in Sheffield cityscape at dusk
Sheffield cityscape view from South Street Park. Photo: Sheffield City Council.

1- Visit Sheffield Manor Lodge

Not far from the city centre is Sheffield Manor Lodge, which is set inside what for many years was the Great Sheffield Deer Park.

The lodge’s history stretches back to Saxon times.

Evidence suggests the Earl of Shrewsbury built the lodge in 1574, however, this is disputed among historians.

The manor is mostly in ruins these days, with only parts of the kitchen, long gallery, and the Turret House remaining.

Turret House is Grade II listed and is often called Queen Mary’s Tower because Mary Queen of Scots was held as a prisoner within the tower by the sixth Earl of Shrewsbury.

The site makes for a perfect day of exploring and learning about history.

There are many spots for picnics around the 14 ha site, while Sheffield Manor Lodge also holds talks and events, exploring its history.

Sheffield Manor Lodge is at Manor Lodge Discovery Centre, 197 Manor Lane, Sheffield S2 1UL.

2- Rafters

Sheffield things to do rafters meal
Dining at Rafters is the top thing to do in Sheffield for couples. Photo: Rob Whitrow.

Rafters is one of Sheffield’s best fine dining restaurants. The restaurant features exposed bricks against the backdrop of the city’s leafy suburbs.

The food served at the restaurant features a range of taster menus with paired wines.

The set menus at Rafters consist of four or six-course lunch or dinner menus to kitchen taster menus.

Prices start at £60 for the four-course lunch, with dishes regularly changing depending on which ingredients are in season.

Rafters is at 220 Oakbrook Road, Sheffield, S11 7ED.

3- Eyam Hall

things to do Sheffield Derwent Edge Wheelstones Peak District
One of the things to do near Sheffield is to visit the Peak District. Pictured here are the wheel stones at Derwent Edge.

Eyam Hall is a stunning Jacobean manor house nestled in the picturesque surroundings of the Peak District and is just a short drive from the centre of Sheffield.

Eyam Hall was built in 1672 by an unknown architect six years after the plague struck the village of Eyam.

The hall is the home of the Wright family, who have resided there for eleven generations.

There are portraits, furniture, and personal mementos from many family members within the hall.

The hall is only open for a select few days each year, however, its courtyard and restaurant are open year-round.

Eyam Hall is at Main Road, Eyam, Peak District National Park, S32 5QW.

4- Abbeydale Picture House

Abbeydale Picture House is a Grade II-listed historical building in the city’s centre.

The facade of the cinema is covered in 1920s tiles reflecting its opening in late 1920.

The picture house was neglected following its closure in 1975, but in recent years it has been undergoing a series of renovations to repair and restore the building to its former glory.

Abbeydale Picture House shows an eclectic selection of films and events such as talks, discussion groups, and film schools.

Abbeydale Picture House is at 387 Abbeydale Road, Sheffield, S7 1FS.

5- The Leadmill

The Leadmill is the longest-running music venue and nightclub in Sheffield opened in 1980.

The Leadmill has been voted the best live music venue in Sheffield and has won numerous NME and Live UK awards.

Music is not the only offering at The Leadmill.

Cinema screenings, theatre performances and regular comedy club nights appear regularly on their schedule.

Since it opened, The Leadmill has hosted bands such as Pulp, Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys and Oasis.

The Leadmill is at 6 Leadmill Road, Sheffield, S1 4SE.

For more ideas around England read:

6- Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre

things to do in sheffield this weekend falcon perched on a handler's glove
One of the fun things to do in Sheffield is to visit the falconry centre.

It’s easy to see why Tropical Butterfly House is rated at number one for things to do in Sheffield on Trip Advisor.

Tropical Butterfly House offers a family-friendly day filled with animal encounters, shows and walk-through enclosures for close up encounters with some of its residents.

Living in Tropical Butterfly House are lemurs, owls, otters, and butterflies.

Head to Lemur Heights and Otter Springs to see the most inquisitive animals and make time to see their live bird of prey show.

Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre is at Woodsetts Road, North Anston, Sheffield, S25 4EQ.

7- Mayfield Alpacas Animal Park

what to do in Sheffield girl feeding an alpaca
Feeding the alpacas at Mayfield Alpacas Animal Park is one of the fun things to d in Sheffield with kids. Photo: ©VisitBritain/Maureen Muglia.

Located in the beautiful Mayfield Valley is Mayfield Alpacas Animal Park.

The park covers 45 acres (18 ha) of land and is just a 10-minute drive from the city centre however it feels like you are in the middle of the countryside and miles away from the city’s noise.

The park is home to more than 60 alpacas and many llamas, goats, sheep and other animals.

Education is important at the park, with two trained teachers specialising in the animal industry-leading talks and group tours.

There are also information boards around the park to teach visitors about the animals.

Stop by the coffee shop for a bite to eat before browsing the gift shop, which offers handmade gifts from local artists and designers.

Mayfield Alpacas Animal Park is at Quicksaw Farm, Fulwood Road, Ringinglow Village, Sheffield, S10 4LH.

8- Rother Valley Country Park

Rother Valley Country Park sits on the border between Rotherham and Sheffield.

Covering three square kilometres (1.16 square miles), the country park is filled with nature reserves, a wide range of recreational activities and four lakes offering water sports.

The country park was opencast for coal before its excavation sites were filled to form the lakes, and the landscape was allowed to be taken back to nature.

Within the country is a wide range of activities for families, sports enthusiasts and those just looking for an escape from the city.

Cable waterskiing is a popular activity, and the newly opened Aqua Park features inflatables over water.

Rother Valley Country Park is at Mansfield Road, Wales Bar, Sheffield, S26 5PQ.

9- Weston Park Museum

things to do in sheffield city museum
One of the things to do in Sheffield is to visit a museum and there are several, including Weston Park Museum.

Weston Park Museum began its life as a private house surrounded by parkland.

In 1873, following the death of the last member of the household, architect E.M.Gibbs transformed the house into a museum and Robert Marnock turned the grounds into the first public park in the city.

The museum is filled with collections covering history, geology and archaeology.

The Sheffield Literary and Philosophical Society donated the original collections in 1874.

Housed within the museum is the city’s Ancient Egyptian collection, curated projects telling the story of Sheffield and its people, and favourite residents Snowy the Polar Bear and Spike the Wooly Rhino.

Weston Park Museum is free to enter and is at Weston Park, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TP.

Partly funded by local businessman John George Graves, Graves Gallery opened in 1929.

The gallery was initially opened as the Central Library and Graves Gallery.

Graves had an extensive private collection of art and gifted his collection of almost 700 paintings to the city to display in the new gallery.

The paintings displayed cover a broad and diverse range of subjects.

As well as Graves’ private collection, the gallery has also held exhibitions of William Blake’s artistic works, Leonardo da Vinci, and photographers Angus McBain and Tom Hunter.

Graves Gallery is free to enter.

Graves Gallery is at Surrey Street, Sheffield, S1 1XZ.

11- Victoria Quays

Victoria Quays is part of the Canal and River Trust.

The quay is a large canal basin close to the city centre and has served the area since 1819.

Victoria Quays offers a tranquil break from the city to observe the pretty and carefully decorated narrow-boats and spend time by the water.

Numerous events are held at the quay throughout the year, including the Sheffield Water Front Festival held each September.

It is possible to walk to Meadowhall, a large indoor shopping centre just four miles (six kilometres) along the canals from the quay.

In collaboration with Concrete Collective, a recent art trail has also been created along a stretch of the Attercliffe waterway, featuring 13 murals.

More artworks are scheduled to be installed and created over the coming months.

Victoria Quays is at Victoria Quays, Sheffield, S2 5SY.

12- Sheffield Botanical Gardens

things to do Sheffield Sheffield Botanical Garden
Wandering around the Botanical Garden is a relaxing thing to do in Sheffield for families. Photo: Sheffield City Council

Robert Marnock designed Sheffield Botanical Gardens, which opened in 1836.

The gardens cover 19 acres (7.6ha) of stunning Gardenesque style grounds.

Within the gardens are 15 unique areas featuring a wide range of plants from different climates worldwide.

There are more than 5,500 different species of plants housed in the gardens.

Each individually landscaped area has been designed to reflect the plants it houses.

Gardens include Mediterranean, Asian, American Prairie style, and woodlands.

There are several Grade II listed buildings within the gardens, including the Glass Pavilions, which are amongst the oldest in the country.

Sheffield Botanical Gardens is at Clarkehouse Road, Sheffield, S10 2LN.

Millennium Gallery, an art, craft and design museum, is one of Sheffield’s premier cultural destinations.

The collection in the museum reflects Sheffield’s history and heritage and includes displays of its metalwork heyday.

The history is reflected through photography, paintings and sculpture.

The gallery houses the Ruskin and Metalwork Collection permanently but also hosts temporary exhibitions.

Galleries such as the National Portrait Gallery, Tate and V&A have partnered with Millennium Gallery to share some of their collections.

Millennium Gallery is at Arundel Gate, Sheffield, S1 2PP.

14- Agden Bog

free things to do in sheffield Agden Bog in autumn
Exploring Agden Bog is one of the free things to do in Sheffield and a hit with photographers too.

Agden Bog is in the northwest corner of Agden Reservoir within Bradfield Dale.

The bog and the surrounding nature reserve are protected, as this type of bog has all but has vanished from the English landscape due to the land being drained for agriculture.

The bog is an important location for botany with sphagnum beds and purple moor-grass.

When visiting the bog, look out for wildlife like roe deer, brown hare, lizards, toads and numerous bird species.

Agden Bog is at Sheffield, S6 6JN.

15- City Hall

things to do in sheffield
The architecturally beautiful buildings of the Sheffield City Council and Town Hall makes exploring history one of the top things to do in Sheffield.

Vincent E. Harris designed Sheffield City Hall, which was opened in 1932, three years after the foundation stone was laid.

Harris designed the hall in the classical revival and Art Deco styles.

The hall comprises the Irwin Mitchell Oval Hall, the Memorial Hall, and the Ballroom.

Each area can be hired out and host more than 500 events per year.

The Ballroom is possibly the grandest of the three areas, featuring Art Deco interior design touches and a large dance floor.

The room hosts weekly tea dances and is used as a nightclub.

TV shows have been filmed in the ballroom, including Antiques Roadshow and X-Factor episodes.

City Hall is at Barker’s Pool, Sheffield, S1 2JA.

16- Winter Garden

things to see and do in Sheffield winter garden
Exploring the Winter Garden is another top thing to do in Sheffield. Photo: Sheffield City Council.

Winter Garden is an award-winning temperate glasshouse that is the largest in the UK.

Within the Winter Garden are more than 2,500 plants from across the globe.

The glasshouse is large enough to be filled with 5000 domestic greenhouses.

Inside the gardens are the Bessemer Gallery and a coffee shop.

Winter Garden is in the heart of the city and has direct access to both Millennium Square and Millennium Galleries.

Winter Garden is at Surrey Street, S1 2HH.

17- New Moor Market

fun things to do in sheffield cupcakes on a plate
Visiting the market to shop and taste yummy treats is one of the best things to do with kids in Sheffield.

New Moor Market is home to more than 90 independent traders and is considered one of the best indoor markets in the UK.

Stalls within the market include fishmongers, grocers, bakers, bars and delis.

The market offers a range of cultures and foods to sample and buy, including food items from India, China, Africa, Italy, France and more.

Aside from food and drinks, the market also has stalls offering haberdashery, vintage homewares and clothing, handcrafted items and furniture.

The market is a great place to spend an afternoon of alternative retail therapy with opportunities to grab a tasty bite to eat after treating yourself.

New Moor Market is open Monday to Saturday.

New Moor Market is at 77 The Moor, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield, S1 4PF.

18- Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House is the seat of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and is set in the stunning surroundings of the Peak District.

Bess of Hardwick began to build the house in 1553 and completed it during the 1560s.

Bess also designed the spectacular Hardwick Hall, which is close by.

Within the house are important collections featuring Old Master drawings, furniture and paintings dating from when the house was first founded to the present day.

Be sure to head to Chatsworth’s farm shop, only a short drive away from the main house, where you will find a restaurant and a well-stocked shop filled with local delicacies and produce.

Call into their restaurant for a tasty Sunday lunch, or on a fine day, purchase a take out cream tea for two and head into the Peak District for a posh picnic.

Chatsworth House is at Chatsworth, Bakewell, DE45 1PP.

19- Eccleshall Woods

Eccleshall Woods is a 1.4 square kilometre (0.54 square miles) stretch of beautiful semi-natural deciduous woodland.

Before being attained by the council, private corporations previously used the woodland for charcoal and timber production, which transformed it into a wildlife reserve with visitor access.

Inside the woodland are the remains of two mills and several archeological features.

Look out for the Charcoal Burner’s grave.

George Yardley, a charcoal burner, died when a fire swept through his cabin in the woods in 1786. A marker with Grade II listed status commemorates his life.

There is also a prehistoric carved stone featuring a cup and ring.

The carving dates back to the late Neolithic or Bronze Age period.

Eccleshall Woods is at Cow Lane, Sheffield, S8 OBJ.

20- Kelham Island Museum

things to do in sheffield city centre kelham island
Looking for things to do in Sheffield? You’ll find plenty to fill up a long weekend.

Kelham Island Museum is in one of Sheffield’s oldest industrial areas, and it sits on a 900-year-old man-made island.

The museum celebrates the steel heritage of the city.

It offers visitors an insight into how steelmaking began within the city and fuelled growth throughout the industrial revolution through to the end of WWII.

The museum has galleries focusing on The Victorian Age, Steel, People and Skills and Mass Industrialisation.

The Melting Shop is a must-visit stop in the museum when with children.

This interactive play zone allows children to simulate melting, rolling and hammering steel.

Kelham Island Museum is at Alma Street, Sheffield, S3 8RY.

Previous article20 Things To Do In Portsmouth
Next article20 Things To Do In Bakersfield
sarah holmes travel writer
Sarah Holmes is a travel and fashion writer living in the heart of England. From family adventures in numerous parts of the UK and Europe to exploring cities as an adult, Sarah has a wide knowledge of the best areas, sights and local tips that the UK and the neighbouring continent can offer. Sarah grew up in the North East of England, with incredible sights and landmarks only a short drive away. Her favourite places to visit include Seaham Beach, the Lake District and Alnwick Castle. Sarah has written for a range of fashion and travel blogs and print publications.