10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Sheffield

England's fourth-largest city lies approximately 35 miles south of Leeds on the River Don at the foot of the Derbyshire Hills. An industrial city, Sheffield is a popular base from which to explore the Peak District and has numerous well-tended parks and a beautiful greenbelt area.

It's well worth visiting the center of this university town, whose academic institutions have long worked closely with local industry, the most recent example being the Technology Park near the technical college. Sheffield is famous for knives, all types of cutting tools, guns and high-grade steel production, a fact Chaucer refers to as early as 1478 in his Canterbury Tales when he describes a "Sheffield thwitel", the ancestor of the modern pocket knife. Once made in home workshops, Sheffield's fine cutlery is still exported around the world.

1 Sheffield Cathedral

Sheffield Cathedral
Sheffield Cathedral

Dedicated to St Peter and St Paul, Sheffield Cathedral stands on the site of a parish church founded in 1100. The new church, built in late-Gothic Perpendicular style, replaced it in the mid-15th century; however, only the choir and the tower remain, and the nave was built in the late 18th century. When Sheffield became the see of a bishop in 1914 it was planned to make the present nave the transept of a new and much larger church, but this project was a casualty of the two world wars, leaving the church with an unusual ground plan.

Inside the cathedral, note the font, donated in 1884 by Freemasons, and the marble tomb of the Earl of Shrewsbury (d. 1538), which shows him between his two wives. The unusual portable sedilla of black oak in St Catherine's Chapel dates from the 15th century. The main decoration is provided by the colorful stained glass windows depicting the city's history, fitted at the end of the 1960s in the Chapterhouse. The Chaucer Window shows the miller of Trumpington (from the Reeve's Tale) with his Sheffield knife.

Location: Church St, Sheffield

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Sheffield

2 Cutlers' Hall

Sheffield's Cutlers' Hall, built in 1832 in the neo-Classic style, is the headquarters of the Company of Cutlers. Founded in 1624, it's authorized to grant trademarks for articles reaching appropriate standards of quality. The foundation date continues to be celebrated every year.

It has a fine collection of silver dating from 1773 to the present day, made up of one masterwork from each year stamped with the recognized seal of quality awarded by the Sheffield Assay Office.

Location: Church St, Sheffield

Official site: www.cutlershall.co.uk

3 Town Hall

Town Hall
Town Hall

The colorful pedestrian precincts of Orchard Square and Fargate with their numerous shops, restaurants and cafés lead south to Surrey Street, site of the Victorian Town Hall. This impressive neo-Renaissance building was erected in 1897 and enlarged in 1910 and 1923. The 193 ft high tower is topped by a figure of Vulcan, the blacksmith god - holding aloft the arrows he's just forged - a symbol of Sheffield's predominant industry.

East of the Town Hall is Tudor Square, home to several museums, theaters and Sheffield City Hall. Castle Market and Castle Square, to the north of Tudor Square, are modern, partly underground shopping centers.

Location: Pinstone St, Sheffield

4 Central Library and Graves Art Gallery

Central Library and Graves Art Gallery
Central Library and Graves Art Gallery Orangeaurochs / photo modified

The Sheffield Central Library and Graves Art Gallery, opened in 1934, contains an excellent collection of old masters and English art from the 18th century to the present day, along with major artists of the 19th and 20th centuries such as Cézanne, Corot, Picasso and Braque.

Art lovers will also want to visit the nearby Millennium Gallery featuring metalwork, contemporary art and design exhibitions, as well as the city's unique Ruskin collections. It also hosts touring exhibitions from partners including the Victoria and Albert, the Tate and the National Portrait Gallery. Also close by are the Lyceum and the Crucible Theatres, reopened in 1990 after extensive restoration.

Location: Arundel Gate, Sheffield

5 Kelham Island Industrial Museum

Kelham Island Industrial Museum
Kelham Island Industrial Museum Ed Webster / photo modified

Kehlham Island Industrial Museum exhibits steel and silverware from the past 300 years. Craftspeople can be seen at work in the Little Mesters workshop. A 1,200-hp steam engine is another of the museum's special attractions.

Location: Alma Street, Sheffield

6 National Emergency Services Museum

The National Emergency Services Museum houses a fascinating collection of more than 40 vintage vehicles including fire engines, police cars and ambulances, as well as uniforms and equipment. Old prison cells and the police horse stables are also fun to explore.

Location: West Bar, Sheffield

7 Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet
Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet http://underclassrising.net/ / photo modified

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, just three miles southwest of the city, is a fascinating 18th century Victorian village where visitors can learn about the traditional production of steel scythes. The site features warehouses, workers' cottages, water wheels, tilt hammers, a grinding hull and workshops, as well as the world's last intact crucible steel furnace.

Location: Abbeydale Rd S, Sheffield

8 Beauchief Abbey

Beauchief Abbey
Beauchief Abbey Kevin Hutchinson / photo modified

Beauchief Abbey, which combines the remains of an abbey founded in 1176 and a chapel built in 1660 is well worth a visit. The abbey still hosts regular worship services (check ahead for schedules).

Location: Abbeydale, Sheffield

Official site: www.beauchiefabbey.org.uk

9 Bishop's House Museum

Construction of the small wooden Bishop's House, the best surviving timber framed house in Sheffield, began in the 15th century and was continued in the 16th/17th centuries. Its building history is explained in two rooms, and other exhibits concern Sheffield's history during the Tudor and Stuart periods. Bishops' House also hosts art and cultural events.

Location: Meersbrook Park, Norton Lees Lane, Sheffield

Official site: www.bishopshouse.org.uk

10 Elsecar Heritage Railway

Elsecar Heritage Railway
Elsecar Heritage Railway Chris / photo modified

Located 10 miles from Sheffield, the Elsecar Heritage Railway is dedicated to the preservation, restoration and expansion of a railway line that includes historic locomotives that once belonged to the South Yorkshire Railway. Budding train engineers can even learn to drive a steam train through the railway's courses.

The railway is located adjacent the Elsecar Heritage Centre, an antique, history and craft center within the former ironworks and colliery workshops. Also of interest to transport enthusiasts is the South Yorkshire Transport Museum in Rotheram with its collection of 50 vehicles including buses, a tram, a locomotive and tractors.

Location: Elsecar Heritage Centre, Wath Road, Elsecar, Barnsley

Official site: www.elsecarrailway.co.uk



Worksop [Duncan] / photo modified

The coal mining town of Worksop is located 17 miles southeast of Sheffield and home to several places of interest, including Worksop Priory. The Circle Arts Centre features live music and arts performances, while Clumber Park has one of the longest glasshouses in England, as well as expansive parkland, woods, open heath and farmland.

The area was once home to the Dukes of Newcastle but all that remains of the estate are the Gothic Revival Chapel and the Victorian walled garden with the glasshouse. Also worth a visit is Mister Straw's House, an Edwardian house with displays of Victorian furniture, family mementos and a garden.

Location: The Estate Office, Clumber Park, Worksop

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