For many students, Sheffield itself is the hidden gem of the north. Despite being overlooked in favour of Leeds and Manchester, the Steel City has plenty of hidden treasures to discover. Here are some of the best hidden gems in Sheffield.
1. The Independent Bar District
Address: Devonshire Street, Sheffield
It is every student’s rite of passage to take part in a West Street bar crawl, but few know that just one street over you can find Sheffield’s Independent Bar District. Devonshire Street plays host to numerous unique, independent bars suited to every taste. If you’re a sports fan, check out The Common Room. With over 50 TV’s showing up to 3 channels, there’s always something on from football to rugby to American Football. This theme is carried over into the menu, described as ‘American Style Comfort Food’ it is full to the brim with fried chicken, kebabs and fries suitable for both veggies and meat eaters. But if sports aren’t your thing, check out Bungalows and Bears. Housed in the old fire station, it frequently hosts jazz nights and DJ sets meaning it has something for everyone. With an ever changing host of craft beers on tap, it also pays homage to Sheffield’s thriving brewery industry. These are just a couple examples of Sheffield’s Independent Bar District which is not to be missed.
2. The National Video Game Museum
Address: Castle House, Angel St, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S3 8LN
Perfect for a fun afternoon with your flatmates or family, the Video Game Museum is definitely worth a visit. Right in the city centre, the museum narrates the story of gaming, from PacMan to GTA whilst displaying new, innovative designs. And the best part is, you can play every single game. At £8 for a student ticket you can stay all day, and don’t worry about food because they have an onsite cafe with loads of options. The Video Game Museum is a great example of a new, interactive museum and is a must visit even if you’re not a ‘gamer’.
Address: 121 Eyre St, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 4QW
In 2007, Sheffield was named the UK’s first City of Sanctuary, a status given to places which welcome those in need and look after their community. One such example is Foodhall. Nestled in the Cultural Industries Quarter, Foodhall was founded by former University of Sheffield students with the aim of tackling food waste, food poverty and social isolation issues. They serve vegetarian food on a ‘pay-as-you-feel’ basis, meaning you can get a reasonably cheap meal whilst supporting the local community. The bright colour scheme, comfy chairs and hanging lights give Foodhall a cosy, welcoming atmosphere which is reflected in its ethos. Tucked away on Eyre Street this hidden gem is really worth checking out.
4. Mayfield Alpaca Farm
Address: Quicksaw Farm, Fulwood Ln, Sheffield S10 4LH
Sheffield is 60% green space, and this will come as no surprise when you venture out of the city towards the Peak District. There lies Mayfield Alpaca Farm. Only £4.50 per person, you can see all kinds of animals. Reindeer, alpacas, llamas, sheep and goats are only some of them. Even better, you can buy some food to give to the animals and pet the Alpacas. Inside, there’s Meerkats, dormice, snakes and spiders which you can visit before a hot chocolate in their cute cafe. Mayfield Alpaca Farm is the perfect spot for a break from the city and the stress of uni life.
5. Street Art
If you wander around Sheffield long enough you will notice it is home to a large creative community from the street art plastered on the walls. You can follow Sheffield’s street art trail to enjoy pieces from artists like Pete McKee, Phlegm and Rob Lee. However, you don’t need to walk the 1.6 mile trail to appreciate Sheffield’s street art scene. Next to the University of Sheffield’s campus is Pete McKees mural, ‘The Snog’ and Frau Isa’s mural on the side of the cosy pub, The Red Deer. Exploring the street art scene is a great way to explore more of the city and its culture, all for free.
6. Peddler Night Market
Address: 92 Burton Rd, Neepsend, Sheffield S3 8BX
This market takes place on the first Friday and Saturday of the month. Situated in Kelham Island, an ex-industrial area now an up and coming indie food spot, Peddler hosts a wide range of street food. With fairy lights hanging from the warehouse roof, a variety of DJs, artists, designers and vendors, Peddler offers something new every time. Every so often they host Veggie Peddler, any vegan or veggie’s street food paradise. This is the perfect venue to have a meal with even the fussiest of eaters, enjoy a few craft beers or cocktails and support local food.
7. Our Cow Molly
Address: Cliffe House Farm, Hill Top Rd, Dungworth, Sheffield S6 6GW
At the door to the peaks you’ll find Rivelin Valley Trial. Park here and walk across fields to the Our Cow Molly, where you will find this hidden gem and be rewarded with homemade ice cream. Our Cow Molly is Sheffield’s only dairy farm and provides fresh milk to many local businesses. With a little shop on site and aesthetic pink benches which overlook Sheffield’s rolling hills, it’s a great retreat for a short ramble in the countryside.
8. Bird’s Yard
Address:44 Chapel Walk, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S1 2PD
Hidden down a city centre alleyway Bird’s Yard really is a diamond in the rough. This independent shop sells gifts by local artists. If you want something to remember Sheffield, Bird’s Yard is the place to get it. With a range of things from prints, to jewellery, to cosmetics and clothes, there’s something for everyone.
9. The Botanical Gardens
Address: Clarkehouse Rd, Broomhall, Sheffield S10 2LN
Close to both Sheffield Hallam and University campuses, the Botanical Gardens is the perfect place to chill and enjoy some nature. The gardens have a huge conservatory, a bear pit, fountains, a cafe and a shop, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon exploring. Even if you’re not into flowers, there’s some impressive sculptures and art dotted around. After exploring, you can enjoy some food at the bustling Ecclesall Road, which is a short walk away.
10. Vintage Shops
Around West Street and Division Street there are loads of vintage shops full of hidden treasures. The veteran’s location is COW on West Street. There you can find reworked vintage pieces as well as big brands, making it the no.1 vintage shop in the UK. Over on Division Street you will find Preloved Kilo, where you pay by the weight of your items and Vulgar, which you can’t miss with its bright pink store front. The wealth of vintage shops in Sheffield means there’s no excuse to not use this sustainable fashion alternative.
In short, Sheffield is home to a diverse range of hidden treasures. There’s so many that could not be listed here, but we hope that this has given you a push to start exploring what the Steel City has to offer.