Living in Sheffield – What is so great about the Steel City?

Sheffield is famous for many things. It is known as the ‘Steel City’ due to its long history of steel and cutlery making. It is also said to be one of the greenest cities in Europe, with 2.5 million trees and nearly two thirds of its area being green spaces.

It is a city that celebrates an array of talent, from bands such as Pulp and Arctic Monkeys, to athletes like Jessica Ennis-Hill and Sebastian Coe.

But what really makes Sheffield a great place to live and study?

Let’s start on the outside… Sheffield is right next door to the Peak District and the beautiful villages and moorlands that are found there. You can begin a walk in the city centre and end in the countryside. It is also close to picturesque towns such as Castleton and Bakewell, home of the Bakewell tart. Green spaces seep into the more urban side of the city, in the form of public parks such as Weston Park – complete with access to the Weston Park Museum, the Ponderosa, and Endcliffe Park.

Sheffield also offers a wide range of cultural activity. There are scores of bars and clubs, from the lively bars of West Street and Division Street, to the real ale pubs at Kelham Island, Sheffield’s answer to London’s Shoreditch. Clubs also vary from mainstream establishments such as the world-famous Leadmill and Corporation, to Yellow Arch Studios and the Night Kitchen, which host more specialist music nights.

Nightlife offers the advantage of a condensed city-centre, making it easy to hop from bars to clubs to wherever else the night may take you. This is also an advantage when it comes to shopping in the city centre. There is no need to exhaust yourself dragging your purchases for miles – even the infamous Meadowhall is just a short tram journey away.

Aside from the usual high-street stores, Sheffield is also home to a massive selection of vintage and independent shops, where you can browse through endless retro prints, old records and distinctive, one-of-a-kind furniture. Sheffield is great for the quirky shopper who prefers to have unique items.

On the higher culture side, the Millennium Gallery, displays historical and sometimes quirky inventions of metal-works such as a history of razors and decorative pocket-knives. The Graves Gallery, above the Art Deco Central Library, also dedicates a section of its space to the evolution of art in ‘Gallery V: A Century of Change’, featuring a Pierre Bonnard and a Peter Blake.

Art spills out onto the street in Sheffield, with street art and murals being a huge thing. The city is a canvas for street artists like Faunagraphic and Rocket01, who bless buildings with murals such as the mural of national treasure, David Attenborough. Famous Sheffield artist, Pete McKee has also helped to decorate the city with huge paintings on the side of pubs and other buildings.

The Winter Gardens in the city centre gives a peek at what is displayed in full at the Botanical Gardens off Ecclesall Road – an impressive and beautiful collection of native and exotic plants that would bring out the botanist in anyone.

Whether you are into the arts and culture, shopping – be that strutting up the high-street or exploring the depths of the vintage shops, long walks in the country, or just want to have a great night out, Sheffield has everything you could need for a great city experience

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