5 free things to do in… Sheffield

Date Posted: 28/05/2014

Pictured: Peace Gardens.

Famous for its steel and snooker, groups on a budget can explore the Yorkshire city with plenty of free things on offer including art galleries, award-winning public spaces and city-centre green oases.  

1.    Visit the Peace Gardens

The Peace Gardens are Sheffield’s award-winning public space, taking visitors to the city from the railway station through a series of exciting new developments, each with its own distinctive lighting, public art and water features.

Originally the churchyard of the city’s St Paul’s church, the Peace Gardens are now home to a fascinating array of visual treats, including the Holberry Cascades, Standard Measures, the Goodwin Fountain, the Bochum Bell and a Spanish War Memorial.

The name of the Peace Gardens came about due to the popular desire for a return to peacetime during World War Two, and the name was made formal in 1985.

2.    Discover Sheffield’s metalwork heritage

The Millennium Gallery is home to some of the city’s heritage, including the metalwork which made it famous, alongside contemporary exhibitions.

The gallery’s metalwork collection claims to be one of the finest in the world. It contains cutlery, flatware and tableware produced in Sheffield, as well as objects from around the world. Comprising over 13,000 pieces, the collection pays tribute to the city’s past as well as highlighting contemporary designs from emerging talents.

One of the current exhibitions elsewhere in the gallery is entitled Recording Britain, a collection of artists’ impressions of places and buildings of characteristic national interest at the time of World War Two, which runs until 2nd November this year.

3.    Immerse yourself in horticultural surroundings

Sheffield’s Winter Garden is reportedly one of the largest temperate glasshouses to be built in the UK this last century, and is home to a green oasis right in the centre of the city.

Pictured: Winter Garden.

Containing more than 2,500 plants from across the globe including big palms from Central America and China, the building is 70 metres long and 22 metres high (large enough to house 5,000 domestic greenhouses).

And with the Bessemer Gallery inside the Winter Garden too, your group can relax with a cup of coffee in the horticultural surroundings.

4.    Admire the Sheffield Botanical Gardens

Located one mile west of Sheffield city centre, the Botanical Gardens is a 19-acre garden which opened in 1836.

Since the early 19th century, the gardens have undergone complete restoration with Grade II-listed curvilinear glass pavilions and multiple other listed buildings in fine condition.

The gardens feature an array of botanical collections as well as the National Collections of Weigela, Diervilla and Sarcococca, which act as gene pools for the future.

5.    Wonder at the city’s visual art collection

Another part of Sheffield’s museum offering is the Graves Gallery, situated above the central library and well away from the noise and hubbub of the city centre.

The Graves Gallery is home to the city’s visual art collection, and provides a full programme of temporary exhibitions. Its innovative use of iPods as tour-guides enhances the experience of seeing works by Turner and Sisley, as well as Damien Hirst and Bridget Riley.

The gallery also pays homage to local heroes George Fullard, Derrick Greaves and Stanley Royle alongside an engaging selection of current and upcoming exhibitions.

For further group travel information visit www.yorkshire.com.

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