Lose yourself and wander off beaten tracks in South Yorkshire, because come what may, you never seem to run out of places to see or things to do here. Amidst the awe-inspiring scenery of this cosmopolitan county, let cities, market towns and model villages seeped in industrial heritage amuse you. Let’s have a look at 25 interesting things that you can do here:
Bask in peacefulness at the Sheffield Botanical Gardens
Care for some enchanting bliss at the secure laps of nature? It comes as no surprise that Sheffield is known as the Outdoor City. Its botanical garden, with its calm paths that take you through gardens, fountains, statues and treasures like the Bear Pit which was used as Yorkshire’s biggest compost pit for many years or the fossilized tree stump- will bring to you precious moments of peace and quiet amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.
Take a tour of the historic Haddon Hall
This Tudor manor house, currently home to Lord Edward Manners and his family, has been described as "the most complete and most interesting house of its period". This hall has been featured in a lot of literary and stage works and even in paintings. If you’ve seen the movie The Princess Bride, you will be surprised to know that the country house used as Prince Humperdinck's castle was actually Haddon Hall!
Have enchanting encounters at the Tropical Butterfly House
The Tropical butterfly house is home to several meerkats, prairie dogs, parrots and spectacular birds of prey. There is a fairy-guided tour for little adventurers to discover fairy hideaways, pixie dwellings and dragons! The activity centre also has various games and activities like face painting or fairy crafts.
A tour of the Heeley City Farm
The Heeley City Farm brings to you the peace of the countryside at the very heart of Sheffield. In addition to the friendly animals and the playground, you may want to visit the Garden Centre or find some healthy but appetizing food in the Farm Kitchen.
In the laps of nature at the Felley Priory Garden
The vividly colourful sights of trees, shrubs, roses, eucomis, bamboo and irises at this place all throughout the year never fail to leave visitors amazed. Beautified further with its ancient walls, this hidden spot also provides wonderful lunch and afternoon tea at the old-fashioned tea room.
Discovering history at the Kelham Island Museum
There’s plenty for the curious mind here, especially for one that is interested in industrial history. Besides displays of interesting old cars, steel products, vintage utensils and tools, this place also has the largest and loudest steam engine in all of Britain which is also one of the largest in the world-The River Don Steam Engine. For refreshments, visit the cafeteria adjacent to the museum and the pub with its in-house brewery.
Visit the Wentworth Woodhouse: The Largest Private House in England
Find this hidden treasure in the village of Wentworth- the largest private home in the United Kingdom and the epitome of elegance and englishness. You might want to book a guided tour through the pillars and neoclassical statues at this place. Briefly stop by to look at the massive stable block that could accommodate no less than a 100 horses before you discover this house that is in length shockingly twice more than the Buckingham Palace!
Some entertainment at the Lyceum Theatre
Although this theatre has had a troubled history, it still stands where it had in 1879 ever since it was established. Sit back in your reserved seat and enjoy some of the most brilliant productions of pantomimes in Yorkshire with an exceptional cast which includes aerial artists and stunning costumes, singing and staging. You can even get yourself a nice drink or even pre-order drinks for the interval.
Spend an adventurous day at Diggerland
For a fantastic day out with your whole family, visit Diggerland with its real JCBs and excavators, spindizzy, skyshuttle, groundshuttle, dodgems and go-karts. In addition to its full-size construction machinery, it has 20 different rides and activities galore to make sure you have just the thrilling experience you expect.
Walk around the Peak District National Park
Find both calmness and adventure at Britain’s first national park, the Peak District National Park. Discover the gritstone ridges and plateaus in the North, especially Kinder Scout- the park’s highest point and the famous stepping stones and the Lathkill Dale in the southern area.
Shop until you drop at Meadowhall
Meadowhall has a vast array of shops and food courts of all sorts for you to choose from along with a cinema. This place has over 25 million visitors a year and is in fact one of Europe’s largest shopping complexes. If you plan on giving this place a visit, make sure you come early just so you have a good amount of time in your hands to look around.
Experience shopping like a local at Doncaster Market
A variety of things will steal you attention once you’re in one of the largest markets in the whole country- the award-winning Doncaster market. The market days are Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Not only does it sell all sorts of things like exotic foods, locally sourced produce and snacks with live music, it even has an antique and second-hand market on Wednesdays. Enjoy the theatrical elements of the outdoor market as you witness traders who will try to compete for your attention by shouting their prices and deals to you.
A stroll in nature at the Endcliffe Park
One of the other local things to do in Sheffield is to spend a leisurely day in the leafy suburban neighbourhood of Endcliffe Park. After you’ve grabbed a bite to eat, you can stroll around the park and find everything from rivers to waterfalls to even a large pond where you’re allowed to feed the ducks.
Find inner peace as you walk on the footpaths past trees that have fallen over the winter and savour the sweet smell of the old woods at this haven of beauty. Later, treat yourself at the lovely cafe which offers sorts of cakes, toasts and other snacks and beverages at reasonable prices. For fellow pizza lovers, if you’re lucky enough, you will find a pizza van selling a wide range of pizzas, including a choice of vegetarian and vegan pizza.
Indulge in the beauty of nature at the Rivelin Valley Nature Trail
Enjoy a walk that is sure to clear your head and free you of your woes with its scenic beauty. Step over the stepping stones and wander on intertwined paths that take you on a beautiful journey along stunning sights of woodland, rivers, ponds and waterfalls.
Devour the sweets you fancy from a wide range of homemade brownies, truffles and chocolates in this cocoa lover’s paradise. Let your childhood finally return to you with its exquisite treats stored in sparkling glass jars. Allow this place to bring to you some Roald Dahl-esque nostalgia as you find comfort in the sinful sweet indulgences at its cosy lounge.
Marvel at the Last operating Vulcan Bomber at Robin hood Airport
If you’re an aviation fan, you wouldn’t want to come to Doncaster and miss out on your chance to see the last operational Vulcan bomber in the world, XH558. Get the opportunity to take the Vulcan Experience Tour of World War II and don’t forget to visit the bar later for some Vulcan Bomber Ale.
Witness a 17th century water mill
At the Worsbrough Mill, learn about centuries of milling and bread making- in the traditional way. It is interestingly one of the only remaining working water mills in the UK and still produces fine quality organic flour to be sold to its customers. You will have the opportunity to both learn as well as relax at this place. History comes to life here and the natural reserve that this mill is set in provides incredible views of nature and wildlife for viewers to enjoy while savouring a slice of some traditional Yorkshire cake at the cafe.
Explore the picturesque outdoors around Barnsley
Allow the routes in and around Barnsley to take you through fascinating scenery to heritage sites, wildlife havens and villages. Make sure you visit Worsbrough Mill Museum, Elsecar Village, Old Moor Nature Reserve and Wentworth Castle Gardens as you move across the countryside. There is simply no better way to experience the joy of being at this place than by exploring the network of trails that connect its significant attractions.
A day out at the Sheffield Antiques Quarter
Shop at the quirky little vintage shops, antique centres, cafes and bars. As you stroll through the odds and sods at this gem of a flea market, find retro collectables, vintage clothing, upcycled artwork and handmade crafts, local artisan produce and food and beers made in Yorkshire. It has quite a few places to provide you with some snacks and coffee and make sure you have an amazing day out.
Spend some time in the Winter Garden
Spend some time in this green space with tropical plants and beautiful flowers which not even the weather can spoil. It is the largest urban glasshouse in the UK. There’s also a giant garden, an onsite cafe and arts and crafts gift shops.
Witness magnificence at the Conisbrough Castle
This medieval fortification made of magnesian limestone is one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in all of Europe. This stunning castle built by the Earl of Surrey in the 11th century is known to have inspired Sir Walter Scott's classic Ivanhoe. The Visitor Centre also has an informative museum for its visitors.
Some thrill at the Doncaster Racecourse
Doncaster Racecourse is known to hold the world’s longest and oldest classic horse race. Experience the thrill of horse-racing and entertainment here with your friends or family. At the Family Enclosure, you’re even allowed to bring along your own food on a picnic.
The Millennium Gallery
Walk into this place right at the heart of the city of Sheffield and take home souvenirs and tokens to remind you of the wonderful time that you spent in South Yorkshire. As you look through the diverse range of exhibitions displayed at the gallery, you will also find information supporting the work displayed. You are sure to come across something that you will cherish for a lifetime.