5 incredible free things to do in Sheffield
Sheffield: the greenest city in Europe, named so as it has more trees per person than any other city in Europe. With a whopping 4.5 million!! Sheffield is located in South Yorkshire, in the North of England, home to legends such as Sean Bean, The Arctic Monkeys and of course myself!! I may be biased but Sheffield is so beautiful and has loads of events going on all year round from music festivals, theatre festivals, nature walks, it’s filled with history and so much more! When visiting England Sheffield, definitely needs to be on your visit list.
Now we all know how expensive it can be when on holiday, it feels like you seem to never stop spending money, especially when on city breaks! I’m a firm believer that travelling should be as affordable as possible. Therefore I have created this blog post so you can find all the amazing free things to do in Sheffield, right from a local’s mouth. I’ve included everything from walks, museums, galleries and this is just to name a few.
Now enough of me rabbiting on, let’s get to my top 5 favourite free things to do in Sheffield.
Free things to do in Sheffield
Now I know a lot of people when writing these ‘free things to do in….’ posts often sneak in a few that cost a tiny amount. And if I’m honest it really pisses me off, as even if something only costs a couple of quid, it still costs money. Therefore I promise you everything I include in this list is free! Though I may include links to different products which could be useful for your stay.
1: Visiting our beautiful PARKS!
Now as we are the greenest city in Europe there is no way I couldn’t mention all of our incredible Parks! There are SO many and such a variety, from flat parks where you can do a nice loop walk, linked parks where, as you keep walking straight you will go through several parks. Parks with boating lakes, football pitches, huge wooded areas and stunning picnic spots.
Now the first park to mention is Graves Park. The largest park in Sheffield and I was lucky enough to live less than 5 minutes away! This park has everything from a HUGE wooded area (which I still can get lost in), a golf course, bowling green, tennis courts, football pitches and so many other sport areas. It has two playgrounds for younger children, a café, picnic spots, lakes AND an animal farm! And I haven’t even named everything!
Honestly Graves park has so much to do and it has events taking place throughout the year. I’ve brought a lot of friends to Graves Park and those from bigger cities such as London just cannot believe how huge, green and peaceful it is. So much so they make me bring them every time they come up.
Another great park is Hillsborough! Closer to the city centre, surrounded by shops, food places and bars it is certainly in a busier area. It is opposite Hillsborough swimming baths AND next to Sheffield Wednesday football ground (though I’m a United fan).
IT is a great park with beautiful lawns, a stunning secret garden to have a wander round and in the Summer is home to Sheffield’s largest music festival Tramlines! Which if you’re around for you HAVE to visit! It’s amazing and really brings our city together! Hillsborough Park also has sports facilities, a lake, and has had recent work on its play area to make it bigger and better!!!!
Now there are 50 parks across the whole of Sheffield, and it would be impossible for me to mention them all in this blog post about free things to do in Sheffield! If you are interested in visiting other parks, please check out my blog post here about the 5 best parks in Sheffield!
If you’re looking for a park with stunning views head to the top of Meersbrook Park. Here you will get the gorgeous backdrop of the Sheffield skyline. It’s beautiful!
Now this being said, Sheffield is in England and the North of England at that, so the weather isn’t guaranteed! We’ve had heat waves in March and sleet in August! Therefore I recommend being prepared. And what better way than these:
HOW cute is this rain coat?! IT reminds me of when I was younger and with it being yellow even when it’s raining you’ll be a little ray of sunshine to brighten yours and everyone around yous day! It’s lightweight, and warm which let’s face it can be rare with rain coats. And did I mention it was cute?! Honestly I’m in love!
OMG I LOVE LOVE LOVE this brolly! It’s so cute, goes with everything AND…. It’s actually good! Not one of those that you use once, gets a slight gust of wind and it turns inside out, breaks and goes in the nearest bin. It’s sturdy, affordable and you can take a little bit of love with you wherever you go! It’ll look so cute with your yellow coat. Ready for all the IG pictures!
2: Our Museums!!
Now I couldn’t do a list of free things to do in Sheffield, without mentioning our Museums. We have such a wide variety in our steel city! From history museums, to industrial and everything in between!
Weston Park museum has to be top of my list. It is such an amazing museum set at the entrance of Weston Park, Park (fun fact, my brother and sister in law got married in this park!) It is such a wonderful museum filled with local history, interactive displays and modern history and world wide exhibitions.
Their website is always kept up to date with their latest features and the different activities they have during the school holidays. I absolutely love this museum as it is so welcoming for everyone and of course FREE! They even have dress up areas for the little ones!
Now this next beauty is a place I have been going to since I was a child and I cannot get enough of it. Bishops House! Is a proppa locals treasure! Located in the aforementioned Meersbrook Park ( I promise not all Sheffield museums are located in parks). Built in the 1500’s this slice of historical heaven is a must visit! It’s only small and only open on weekends, but it’ll make you feel like you’re living in your very own Bridgerton. How could I not include it in my top 5 free things to do in Sheffield!
Sheffield has a lot of museums for you to visit, though these are the only two free ones. If you are interested in visiting the others check out my post here!
Now with all this walking around you’re going to need some comfy shoes! But even my comfiest shoes can leave your feet aching at the end of the day. Therefore I highly recommended buying these
These gel soles, just slip into the back of your shoe, and give your heel a much needed cooling hug. Which means your feet will not only be feeling better, but you can party the night away pain free!
3: Gorgeous Galleries
It wasn’t until I got a little older that I fully appreciated galleries for what they are. I find them incredibly relaxing, peaceful and a great place to spend my time when I’m feeling particularly anxious.
Now I love Site Gallery, a gorgeous space in Sheffield city just across from the train station! Site Gallery is such a unique building as it doesn’t just host exhibitions, but live performances and workshops too! It is a very beautiful space specialising in new media and moving images. It’s gallery space is small and friendly and they always have such interesting exhibitions as well as a library of books for you to read the day away!
Millennium Gallery! Located just up from the lovely Site Gallery, the Millennium Gallery is located in the heart of Sheffield’s city centre. A bigger gallery, the Millennium always has two permanent exhibitions and two rotating ones. The two Permanent are Ruskin Collection and The Sykes Gallery: Metal work collection. Both are great and I have visited them many times. They also have performances in the Site Gallery. I have been lucky enough to perform in some myself and watch a 24 hour performance by Forced Entertainment! It is definitely worth a visit.
4: Our Glorious Gardens!
Now I don’t mean to brag but Sheffield has SMASHED it with our gardens! They are so beautiful AND FREE! Meaning they had to be included in my list of free things to do in Sheffield. We have both outdoor and indoor gardens so you can visit one no matter the weather as well!
Now my first mention has to be the Botanical Gardens. Located just outside the city centre this beautiful haven is filled with history, luscious lawns, fountains and of course many different gardens. They also play host to events all year round from firework displays, to garden concerts and everything in between.
It also has a bear pit where you can learn of the awful history of these events and see what the spaces used to look like. If you’re visiting on a beautiful summer day make sure to pack a picnic with you, as there are plenty of benches or grassy spots. The Botanical Gardens is also a hot spot for the ultimate IG photos!
The next garden you need to visit is the Winter Gardens! Located smack bang in Sheffield’s city centre and is attached to the Millenium Gallery so you can visit both places at once! Fun bit of knowledge our winter gardens is one of the largest temperature glasses houses that has been built in the UK, AND the largest urban one to be built in Europe! How cool is that! Inside the Winter Gardens there are plenty of benches, gorgeous plants and sometimes they even have events going on! It is definitely worth a visit!
This picnic blanket is a must have for a British picnic. It’s waterproof and sand proof (and if you’re like me and HATE sand being on your towel this is PERFECT) and even better?! It fits into a small compact bag which can go in your pocket, OR the aforementioned bag set. It comes in a variety of colours and is perfect for so many different activities! And once again is super affordable!
5: Our Cathedral
And last but certainly not least Sheffield’s Cathedral! Now I have quite a personal connection to this place as my Nan worked at the Cathedral as a cleaner until she was 71! And she only retired because I was born and she wanted to look after me whilst my parents worked. Therefore my childhood was filled with all of her amazing memories from working here, from getting stuck under the HUGE christmas tree to people she met and of course regular visits.
I might be biased but I think Sheffield’s Cathedral is truly stunning. I often like to go, visit, have a sit and light a candle for my nan. It makes me feel closer to her. What’s even better as the Cathedral is so centrally located that bang opposite it is Sheffield’s main high street, a dozen bus stops and tram stops!
I highly recommend visiting here, even just to admire its beautiful architecture! Yeah, Sheffield Cathedral has a place in my heart, and I had to include it in my free things to do in Sheffield.
And that’s a wrap!
I’ve honestly gotten a little nostalgic when creating this list. As there are so many of my memories growing up in the wonderful city hidden away in these locations. Memories I hadn’t thought about for a while and it’s been really beautiful for me to remember them. I only hope you can create such beautiful memories as I have when visiting my home city.
And as always if you are in Sheffield, give me a shout I’d love to come say hello, give you recommendations of places to see, things to do and ensure you have THE best stay!
ALSO if you love going out for walks and fancy a scenic drive, make sure you check out The Peak District while you are here!
You are amazing babe x