Blake Walsh

20 Free Things to Do in Sheffield

  • Published 2020/05/25

Sheffield city is a metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Sheffield has an extensive collection of parks and gardens, where families gather in the summer to unwind. Once upon a time, Sheffield had one of the largest steel industries but this has since declined over the years. For sports fanatics, an interesting fact about Sheffield is that it is also the first place to have a professional ice hockey team in the UK, Sheffield Steelers. Planning a trip or a day out can often be relentless and expensive. Look no further than Sheffield, as it is the perfect destination for a great day out, without emptying your wallet. Here are some of the best free things to do in Sheffield, UK.

Picnic in the Winter Garden

Winter Garden Sheffield

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Winter garden is Europe’s largest urban temperate glasshouse. It has a wide variety of plants and a pleasant, calming atmosphere. This place is perfect for an afternoon picnic, with a variety of seating areas, the Winter Garden welcomes all visitors. As it is located in the center of the city it is easy to access. Entry to the Winter Garden is free but sometimes if they have any private events going on the garden may be closed.

Check out the art at Sheffield Millennium Galleries

Sheffield Millennium Galleries

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Sheffield Millennium Galleries is an art exhibition and museum. This glass building is situated near the Sheffield Theatre, the central library, and the mainline station. They have a huge collection of metalware including cutlery, flatware, and holloware. The metalwork collection room has steel playsets for kids to play. They also have many free visiting exhibitions.

Nature Walk in Endcliffe Park

Endcliffe Park Sheffield

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Endcliffe Park is a beautiful park with plenty of trails, woods, brook, weirs, ponds, waterfalls, and a brilliant café. Additional facilities include a play area for children, making Endcliffe Park the ideal family friendly area. Take a long stroll, soak up the sun and take pictures of the beautiful scenery.

Feed the ducks at Forge Dam

Forge Dam is easily accessible via public transport and is also free to enter. There are many naturalistic qualities of Forge Dam including streams, waterfalls, bridges, stepping stones, etc. No matter what season, this area is perfect for an entertaining day out. You can also spot ducks and many other wild animals here.

Pet farm animals at Graves Park

Graves Park

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Graves Park is an 85-acre land, with a huge play area, farm, and empty space to walk and relax. The play area is equipped with adventure games and also has a small sand area. They have a petting zoo with farm animals like goats, pigs, chicken, geese, and sheep, which you are often able to feed. There is also a small pond where you can go fishing. They also have a small café and a gift shop, perfect for relaxing and unwinding. This place is easily accessible by bus from Sheffield city center.

Weston Park Museum

Weston Park Museum

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Weston Park Museum provides the history of Sheffield from its early geological routes and how it has developed in all aspects to become the modern city it is today. They display toys and items used throughout history, offering an exclusive trip back in time. For children, they offer an inclusive range of activities such as dressing up, building an igloo, animal display, etc. For dining options, the museum offers an indoor picnic area which overlooks the play area.

Exploring the city by foot in Sheffield Round Walk

Sheffield round walk starts from Endcliffe Park and is a 15-miles long walk. You can access the map of this place from their official website. This exclusive activity offers the most picturesque views. For the majority of the walk, you are accompanied by the river, alongside magnificent views of bridges, woods, and surrounding villages. The walkway is well-maintained and wide, and also has a cycle track for those who prefer to bike. An alternative walking route is the Five
wire walk which is similar in scenery but is 8 miles long.

Rivelin Valley Natural Trail

Rivelin Valley Natural Trail

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Rivelin Valley Natural trail gives you an excellent walking experience and unforgettable sights of nature. There is also a play park and water park area which are particularly busy during the summer months. Around every corner, there are steams, stepping stones, rocks, trees, waterfalls, and so on. You are assured to see many jaw-dropping views that will give you “straight outta Pinterest vibes”.

Travel back to 16th Century Sheffield at Bishops House

Bishops House

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It is one of the three surviving timber houses in Sheffield, making it an important part of the city’s cultural heritage. It was built in the early 16th century and also has exhibitions on life in the 16th and 17th centuries. There are passionate volunteers who will explain the rich history and insightful stories behind the building. Though this place is worth spending a few Pounds, it is absolutely free. They also occasionally conduct some short workshops like Origami for free.

Feed the animals at Heeley City Farm

Heeley City Farm

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As the name suggests it is an animal farm located in the Halley district of Sheffield. It is a comparatively small farm with farm animals like pigs, goats, guineas, sheep, horse, turkey, cats, ducks, and chickens. These animals can be fed by buying food from here or you can also bring your own food to feed these animals. They also have a small café where they serve home-cooked delicious food. Though the entry to this farm is free, they encourage donations.

Chill at the Peace Gardens

Sheffield Peace Gardens

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The Peace Gardens is located in the centre of Sheffield, making it one of the most accessible and inclusive areas in the city. The Peace Garden is often known as the heart of Sheffield, due to its popularity, especially in the summer months. The main feature of this park are the fountains, where you’ll often find children playing in during hot summer days. The Peace Gardens is the perfect area for a family day out, many bring a picnic and lounge around the garden soaking up the soon. Throughout the year, Peace Gardens hosts several different stalls, however for those who also like to browse the High street, the city’s main shopping district is just down the road. Additionally, cafes and restaurants surround the perimeters of Peace Gardens, offering refreshments and the most exquisite food.

Start your forest adventure at Ecclesall Woods

Ecclesall Woods

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Ecclesall is a woodland situated between the south of Abbeydale Road and Ecclesall. The Woods hosts old trees, and a wide variety of wild animals such as squirrels, birds, and many more. Ecclesall woods remains one of Sheffield’s best walking destinations, as they have several streams and bridges. Additionally, There are trees to climb, fallen trees to clamber, dens, and a tree swing. This is the best place for a family outing, whether it be for a leisurely walk, or an all day picnic. An additional bonus to Woods, is that the entry to this beautiful scenic place is free.

Smell some flowers at Sheffield Botanical Gardens

Sheffield Botanical Gardens

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This is one of the oldest botanical gardens in England. It was built more than 150 years ago. They have more than 5000 species of flowers around the world, spread in the 19-acre field. For those who love nature and greenery, the Gardens are the perfect place to admire the flowers and plants on show. The Botanical Gardens is separated into districts, organised by the different types of themed gardens: formal gardens, large glass houses, and many more. This colourful, perfectly aligned, and well-maintained garden is the perfect photo destination.

Enjoy the steel adventure park at Norfolk Heritage Park

Norfolk Heritage Park is a local park located outside the city center in the south of Sheffield. This park has a large play area, spaces for a picnic, event space, and woodland. Their adventure play area in the middle of the woods is largely made out of steel. The path of this wood is wide and accessible. They have café, benches, a golf course, and the place is well maintained with clean toilets also. It also has some great views over the city.

Pay your respect at Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul

Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul

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Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul is located on the church street in the city center. It is the parish church of Sheffield and is also known as Sheffield Cathedral. Some stones in this church dates back even to the 13th century. This building is one of the oldest buildings in Sheffield and it seems to have been growing along with the city. It still has traditional worship spaces including the grand high altar and the quiet crypt chapel, and historical items like, a knight in armor, little fences made out of swords, and so on. It is open every day of the year.

Sheffield Town Hall

Sheffield Town Hall

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Sheffield Town Hall is one of the most beautiful buildings in Sheffield. It is beautiful inside and out. It is a busy municipal building with daily activities and many tourists. Friendly staff in the hall will enlighten you with the history of the building. They also rent a few of their halls and rooms for private events. They also have a fountain outside which many visitors sit beside and unwind. It is situated in the heart of Sheffield and is easily accessible.

Lake view at Millhouses Park

Millhouses Park

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Millhouses Park is located on the banks of River Sheaf. It is a free water park with a splash pool, see-saw that pumps water, fish ladder, and many other water games. The water based play area is open all year and is located near the picnic area, allowing both parents and children to relax and utilise the endless features of the park. They also have a huge play area, a place for skating, basketball court, tennis court, and a boating lake.

Hillsborough Park

Hillsborough Park

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Hillsborough Park is more than a century old now. It is a huge park with ample space for various activities. It has a large lake with ducks, swans, and geese, which the park allows you to feed. Hillsborough Park is often popular among dog walkers due to the extensive, open space. This place is both tranquil and well-maintained, perfect for a picnic, or for kids to play.

Watch Fishing at Damflask Reservoir

Damflask Reservoir

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Damflask Reservoir got its name after Damflask village which was washed away in Great Sheffield flood. The path to the Damflask reservoir is well-maintained and easy to find. It is a large lake that is particularly popular amongst fishermen who come here in their fishing boats. The lake is a perfect place to visit for a walk amongst the waters edge before dining in one of the many nearby restaurants , pubs, and cafes.

Retail Therapy at Meadowhall Shopping Center

Meadowhall Shopping Center

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For the locals of Sheffield and surrounding areas, Meadowhall Shopping Center is one of the areas most well known establishments. With hundreds of shops, Meadowhall houses a large variety of brands from luxury to high street. This shopping centre attracts visitors from all over Yorkshire and even beyond, as it is easily accessible by both train and car, due to being situated on the outskirts of Sheffield. The centre offers Free Parking, and a variety of entertainment throughout the year, such as the annual Christmas light switch on, a concert that
hosts several performers. Meadowhall is not only recognised for its retail, but also its countless dining options in the Oasis Quarter. From fast food chains, to pubs and waiter service restaurants, Meadowhall really does have it all.

The places mentioned above are some of Sheffield’s most notable areas, however there are also alternative sites for visitors such as: Fox valley, Five weirs walk, Shepherd Wheel, Alferd Denny Museum, Crookes Valley Park, Cathedral Church of St. Marie and many more, which all offer free activities to do in the city.

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