Where is Sheffield?!
Ahh my beloved Sheffield, the hometown of legends such as Sean Bean, The Arctic Monkeys and of course myself! Situated in the North of England, UK in a county called South Yorkshire we are known as the cheaper, friendlier part of the country! Holding the title for the greenest city in Europe due to the fact that we have over 250 woods, parks and gardens, we fully deserve the title. Therefore we are the ultimate city to live in for outdoor activities. As we have plenty of choice, and I know that when my mental health is going through a rough patch I need to spend more time outside so that my mind can breathe!
But also suffering from mental health I understand that having anxiety and heightened mental health, having too much choice can be overwhelming. Therefore I have written this guide from a locals perspective to give you my top 5 best parks in Sheffield. With something in here for everyone! Whether it’s somewhere with short walks, a really nice café, beautiful plants, a play area or wooded areas. I have got you covered.
Right I’m going to start with the top dog of parks in Sheffield, Graves Park. The largest park in Sheffield city this place has it all. It is absolutely amazing and I am so lucky to have grown up less than a 5 minutes walk from its gates! It’s that large it has three car parks at various entrances to ensure that you have somewhere to park up. Also two of these three car parks are free to use. The largest and most popular of the car parks is situated at the Animal farm, and is also the only one you need to pay for. The car parks at the top of Derbyshire Lane and Charles Ashmore Road are both free to use! There is also a pedestrian entrance in Woodseats opposite the KFC.
There is so much for you to do in Graves Park, as you have huge open spaces to sit, have a picnic and relax. There’s a golf course on the Charles Ashmore side,as well as a bowling green and tennis courts. Therefore you have plenty of activities to take part in whilst you are there. They also have football pitches dotted around on the fields throughout the park with painted markings on the ground and some have goal posts.
There are maps at each of the parks entrances which show you the different walks you can take. And if entering the park at the top of Derbyshire lane, turn left and you will get a stunning view over south Sheffield and Derbyshire. It really is breathtaking.
There are two play areas in Graves Park, both are free to use. With swings, zip wires, trampolines, climbing frames and so much more! There is one located at the pedestrian entrance on woodseats. The second is located near the animal farm car park. There is also the Rose Garden cafe here, with inside and outside seating areas. On busy summer days you can expect to queue for a fair while here to get food. And on top of everything there is also the animal farm! Here there are pigs, cows, llamas, sheep, chickens, deers etc! If you go at the right time of year you might even see the baby piglets being born.
You honestly can’t ask for much more from a park. All of the above is why it is one of the best parks in Sheffield and highly recommend when in Sheffield you check this place out.
Now admittedly as the name suggests this next place is more of a garden than a park but it is stunning nevertheless, and definitely deserves its spot on the list of best parks in Sheffield. There are two pedestrian entrances for the Botanical Gardens, the main entrance is on Clarkehouse Road; there isn’t a car park here but there is parking available on the various side roads surrounding the gardens. The second entrance is on Thompson road just off the bustling ecclesall road.
At each entrance they have maps showing you the different gardens they have, as there over 18 garden areas for you to explore. They really are beautiful, hidden woodland walks, stunning flower displays and gorgeous water features. All for you to discover as you walk through these beautiful gardens. That’s the beauty of the Botanical Gardens, it’s deceivingly big, as when you first walk in and you are welcomed with the huge indoor greenhouse, a cafe, and walkway lined with well kept green grass, flower beds leading down to a beautiful fountain.
One of the most fascinating features hidden away here is the grade II listed bear pit. You can actually go in and read all the history of what used to happen.
Now this park is located just outside the city centre, opposite the children’s hospital, and is absolutely lovely, it fully deserves its place on the list of best parks in Sheffield! It has Weston Park Museum in it, if you would like more information this click here where you can find out all the info as well as various other indoor activities in Sheffield. Weston Park is a hotspot for students as well as families and couples. It has large greeneries where you can set up for a picnic, a bandstand which is the summer has various groups setting up to play music to you whilst you while away your day in the sun. There’s also a really nice lake for you to walk around.
One of my favorite things about Weston park is it is next to two other parks. Crookes Valley Park and Ponderosa therefore if like me you get itchy feet from sitting doing very little, you can go have a wander around the other two! And bonus Crookes Valley has an amazing restaurant called Dam House which does great food and you can get a cheeky pint whilst you’re out.
There isn’t any designated parking around here as it is next to three hospitals and in Studentville. There is street parking available though at weekends I would go early as it can go pretty quick!
Just down the road from the aforementioned Botanical Gardens,is Endcliffe Park. Located on Hunters Bar roundabout and the start of the Sheffield Walk Endcliffe Park has it all. There is a small amount of parking nearby, and plenty of street parking. It’s main entrance has a HUGE green field which is the perfect place for a picnic on a lovely warm day. And bonus tip, because there’s loads of restaurants and takeaways nearby you can just get something from there if you don’t want to cook. My favourite place is The Greedy Greek. Super big portions and super yummy food. Perfect to sit and eat in one of Sheffield best parks. There is also a café in Endcliffe park though this can get quite busy and you might have to wait quite a while!
As well as the picnic area, there is an outdoors gym, a play area, war memorial, a duck pond and a nice woodland walk. Admittedly Endcliffe Park isn’t that big, but if you are looking for a longer walk, simply walk straight through the park to the end, cross over and you will end up in Porter Brook, Whitley Woods, keep going through this park and you will end up in Forge Dam. Which has an incredible café with the yummiest chips ever! Altogether this walk will take you around an hour and is a nice way to see more beautiful green places about Sheffield.
And last but not least on the list of best parks in Sheffield, is Hillsborough Park and located bang next to the Sheffield Wednesday ground. This park has recently had a lot of renovation work and it is pretty bloody good! It is also where Sheffield’s festival Tramlines takes place! Nestled in the heart of Hillsborough this park is huge especially considering its location. It has a great play area, and even a jogging / activities track going through it. IT has great large fields where you can relax, have a picnic, play a game of football or my personal favourite when I was younger, making daisy chains. It’s main entrance is on Penistone Road (opposite Hillsborough swimming baths) and It has a large car park on Parkside road.
One of my favourite things about Hillsborough park is the Walled Garden. It’s just magical with winding paths and stunning flower displays, as well as a small pond! If you want to go feed the ducks there is a bigger pond in the main area of the park with plenty of space to do so! And there is even a library in the park! What more could you want?!
Outside = good mental health
Getting out and about although it can be difficult when you are struggling with your mental health can massively improve your state of mind. This is whyI have created this blog post. Because I totally understand how shit it is when your mind is being a dick but you haven’t got the energy or capacity to go on a 5 mile walk in the middle of nowhere.
So try doing something smaller, and go to your local park. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes I promise you will start to feel better! Here are my top recommendations for parks in Sheffield. I hope you enjoy it. And as always I’m here and more than happy to grab a brew together!
You are amazing sweet!