Yorkshire's cities have really come to the fore in recent years, offering an outstanding choice of museums, art galleries, theatres, cinema, shopping and the arts. Sheffield has evolved into one of the best, and much like Glasgow pulls on both its industrial heritage with a new and vibrant leaning towards the arts. Sheffield's choice of art galleries is impressive, with the long-standing Graves Art Gallery in the heart of the city centre alongside the new Millennium Galleries with their contemporary edge plus the treasured Ruskin Collection on display in the Ruskin Gallery within the Millennium Galleries. Sheffield's theatre choice is likewise impressive, with the historic Lyceum proscenium arch theatre and the famous Sheffield Crucible which plays host to the Snooker World Championships annually and the smaller intimate Studio Theatre. The city's green spaces further boost Sheffield's appeal, particularly the spectacular Winter Gardens, a giant glass arched greenhouse, the largest of its kind in a European city! Winter Gardens and Sheffield's art galleries with adjacent Lyceum Theatre are all clustered together around cultural hotspot Millennium Square.
Just a mile outside Sheffield city centre sits the newly revamped Weston Park Museum, which looks set in its new format to be an award winning museum. Weston Park is the definitive museum on the history of Sheffield and South Yorkshire with now new themed galleries including Arctic World and About Art. For shopping, Sheffield is a Yorkshire city hard to beat. The Devonshire Quarter plays host to numerous designer names, with ample malls and shopping centres in the city centre. Hop aboard the supertram from Sheffield City Centre to Britain's top shopping centre Meadowhall on the city's outskirts. You've some premier live music venues here in Sheffield too, notably the Broadwalk and Leadmill.
Winter Garden is Sheffield's unique and increasingly iconic feature. A mammoth architecturally astounding glasshouse crammed with exotic plants you won't find every day in a European city centre. Only in Sheffield, the only European city with such a feature! Housing 2,500 plants from 150 species taken from around the world, Winter Garden is as awe-inspiring on the inside as it is on the outside.
Stroll through Winter Garden to link into the Millennium Galleries and adjacent Peace Gardens. City centre parks don't come much better than Peace Gardens in Sheffield.
The Victorian town hall serves as backdrop to the garden which boasts an array of fountains and water features and public lawn space. Monuments are within the Peace Gardens too including the Spanish Civil War Memorial paying tribute to all those from South Yorkshire who went over to Spain in the 1930s to fight against Franco and Fascism and the Holberry Cascades dedicated to Sheffield Chartist leader Samuel Holberry imprisoned after the Sheffield Rising in 1840. He died in York Prison in 1842.
For detailed guides and downloadable leaflets on Winter Garden and Sheffield's Peace Gardens checkout the Sheffield Tourist Webguide link. See also the webguide for Sheffield's Botanical Gardens situated just one mile to the west of the city centre.
Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, Kelham Island Museum, Alma Street (Off Corporation Street), Sheffield, S3 8RY
Telephone : 0114 272 2106 Fax : 0114 275 7847
Kelham Island Museum explores Sheffield's industrial history, particularly its steel heritage, via working machinery, exhibitions, activity areas and events. Situated within some of Sheffield's oldest industrial buildings on a man-made island, Kelham has recently experienced some flood damage, with restoration well on the way. (check the Sheffield Industrial Trust's webguide for details).
Sheffield is rich in industrial history and for an introduction into steel making and metal work Abbeydale is the place to start. This site has been used for iron making for over 500 years. Here you'll find forges, water wheels, crucible furnaces and more.
Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet Museum, Abbeydale Road South, Sheffield S7 2QW. Tel. 0114 236 7731. See also Shepherd Wheel, Whiteley Woods, Sheffield.
For more information about the industrial heritage of Sheffield visit the excellent Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust website.
Art, greenspace, top live music venues and great shopping facilities aren't the only areas where Sheffield excels. Sheffield's Theatre choice makes the city a top spot for theatre breaks.
Sheffield's Lyceum Theatre is a special theatre venue indeed. First opening its doors in 1897, the Lyceum underwent an extensive renovation in the late 1980s, reopening its doors in 1991. It's particularly special as its the only surviving proscenium arch theatre in the country outside of London. And what a theatre, inside and out. The historic setting adds to the enjoyment of the eclectic mix of musicals, dance and drama on offer here at the Lyceum.
Fans of snooker will certainly be familiar with Sheffield's Crucible Theatre which plays host to the World Snooker Championships annually. Dating from 1971, The Crucible is Sheffield's main theatre hub and has built up an acclaimed reputation for cutting edge drama over the years. Frequent productions of Shakespeare's plays are on offer here. 2008 sees The Crucible getting a major facelift. Check the Sheffield Theatres webguide right for details. The more intimate Studio Theatre offers a superb programme of touring drama and music, particularly classical.
For details on forthcoming programmes for all of Sheffield's theatres checkout the Sheffield Theatres webguide linked right. Sheffield Theatres Trust, 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield S1 1DA. Ticket Office Tel. 0114 249 6000.