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Places Of Interest in Sheffield

Places of Interest in Sheffield The essence of Sheffield is often distilled down to two things, steel and the Full Monty, however the city has much more to offer than just that, and if you take the time to explore you’ll find it a much more interesting place that the stereotypes suggest.

Sheffield’s history goes back centuries before the city became known for its steel manufacture and there are a few historic places of interest, unrelated to steel that may be worth a visit.

Located to the south of Sheffield, Beauchief Abbey [map] is a beautiful example of 12th century architecture. Founded in 1183 the abbey was dedicated to St Mary and St Thomas Becket and inhabited by the Premonstratensian order. The abbey consisted of a church, cloisters dormitory and refectory all set in idyllic surrounds complete with a stream, but today only the western tower of the abbey remains as part of the chapel that was built in the 17th century as well as the medieval fishponds. This abbey is a great option for an afternoon out as it has great historic importance for the city and is still surrounded by historic woodland.

Historic flora and fauna can also be found at Cannon Hall [map]. The hall itself, once home to the Spencer-Stanhope family, is now a museum exhibiting paintings and furniture set in 70 acres of formal gardens and parkland, ideal for a relaxing afternoon.

You may be surprised to know that Sheffield is one of the greenest cities in England and as such has a number of gardens and green spaces for you to enjoy. There are the Botanical Gardens [map] created in 1836, which have been preserved, alongside the restoration of the glass pavilions, and The Curator’s House is a place of peace for relaxing and enjoying cultural events.

Sheffield’s Winter Garden [map] is another oasis of tranquillity in the heart of the city. As the largest temperate glasshouse in any European city, visitors can expect to see thousands of plants from around the world inside this architectural icon.

Recreating a little bit of the tropics in the city of Sheffield is the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre [map]. Here, as well as discovering some exotic fauna, you can catch a glimpse of the animals that enjoy it, including Philippine butterflies, American hawks, African Marmosets monkeys and Australian bearded dragons. But if warm weather wildlife is not for you, there’s also a nature trail with kestrels, woodpeckers, stoats and squirrels, and a nocturnal room where you can hang around with some creepy crawlies.

Venturing further afield the Earth Centre [map] in Doncaster offers people of all ages the chance to learn more about the world in which they live, with indoor and outdoor exhibitions that you can enjoy all day.

Back in Sheffield, if you did want to delve into Sheffield’s industrial past then you could visit Shepard Wheel [map] in Whiteley Woods. Here you’ll be able to see water-powered grinding wheels and other equipment used to make all kinds of knives from the 1500s through to the 1930s.

Sheffield’s importance as an industrial city spanned many centuries, and at Bishop's House [map] you can see how local people lived. Bishop’s House is Sheffield’s oldest surviving half-timber house, which has been preserved to give visitors an insight into Tudor and Stuart England. The various exhibits tell the stories of people who lived and worked in the area through the 16th and 17th centuries.

Looking into life in Victorian Sheffield, Birley Spa [map] is a Grade II Listed historic and architectural gem. As the only remaining Victorian Spa in the north of England, it is well worth a visit and guided tours are available.

For a different look at the history of Sheffield for those who are not easily spooked, you could take a trip to the General Cemetery [map] off Ecclesall Road. Established in 1834, it was one of the first commercial cemeteries in Britain and is home to thousands of Sheffield residents including some notable names as well as several listed monuments and buildings and unique catacombs. Although the thought of visiting a cemetery may seem a little morbid, it was actually originally designed as an uplifting place for the living as well as final resting place for the dead, so it maybe a lot more inspiring than you’d expect.

If you want to comment on our choices or recommend somewhere interesting in Sheffield, why not use our What You Recommend form to let us know.

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