So, this is Sheffield.
New to the city or an old acquaintance? Visiting Sheffield for an afternoon or a long weekend? Tourist or local, we hope you find something to excite you on our site. Below you'll find our monthly cultural roundup. And a bit below that is the practical stuff: tips to help you get to Sheffield and get by when you arrive.
The month for kicking up leaves and carving pumpkins is (finally) here. Hello, October.
Nowhere’s better for a good leaf kicking in autumnal Sheffield than the Botanical Gardens. And if you want to send someone a "wish you were here", you'll find an illustration of the gardens in our 35 Postcards of Sheffield.
Now, on to the many festivals, exhibitions and events that’ll give you reason to get out in the city pretty much every day this October.
It’s a very good month for theatre in Sheffield. After much anticipation, Theatre Deli is reopening in its shiny new place on Friday 20th with a brilliant double bill of Tomorrow’s Parties – a hometown show from theatre experimenters Forced Entertainment, and We Are Ian – based on the anecdotes of a one-time raver. Other shows to come at Theatre Deli throughout the month include stories of hope and courage from asylum seekers and refugees, a two-wheeled Shakespeare troupe, Third Angel’s take on the subject of birth, a funny yet touching look at friendship, an evening of healing words, stories of Sheffield through the eyes of its older people, and treasured family fables from the Indian sub-continent. At the Crucible, meanwhile, there’s the new non-nuclear family drama Of Kith and Kin, and a tale of family, tragedy, passion and fate in Desire Under the Elms (starring Matthew Kelly). There’s loads to look forward to in the city’s theatres in November as well. Phewf!
There’s a ton of festivals this month too. Melanin Fest is a citywide celebration of black excellence marking Black History Month, with workshops, film screenings, gigs, open mic nights, exhibitions and discussions, on everything from Maya Angelou to mental health and feminism. Find out more from its inspiring organisers, the grassroots community known as Our Mel. Meanwhile, No Bounds will bring audio adventures to warehouses, galleries, a cemetery, and even a swimming pool this month – Sheffield's own Blood Sport are on the bill, and they've shared their top picks from the lineup with us. Autumn in Sheffield is synonymous with literary delights, as Off the Shelf returns. Make plans for the Festival of Words with our top 20 picks – featuring everything from viral poetry to storytelling ceramics to Brian Blessed. Four beery, cidery days in Sheffield's industrial heartland, the Steel City Beer and Cider Festival is coming to beautiful Kelham Island Museum again this month. And there's chance to catch the last few events at Sensoria, Sheffield’s innovative festival of sound and vision.
Naturally, you’re in for a few scares this month. Sheffield’s very own horror film festival Celluloid Screams is back, just in time to get you sufficiently spooked for Halloween. And Out of this World is taking magic, sci-fi and fancy dress family fun to the city’s streets.
Nothing quite so spooky going on in our music picks, which this month include the undisputed King of Grime, speed metal pioneers, political post-punk, the stripped back sound of austerity Britain, and more. Our film picks for October, meanwhile, feature a couple of Black History Month one-offs, a new documentary about Labour MP Dennis Skinner AKA the Beast of Bolsover – who’ll also be in town for a Q&A, a double bill of silent classics The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Battleship Potemkin with live scores in the atmospheric Abbeydale Picture House, and more.
Highlights on the city’s art trail this month include Going Public, which is bringing a private art collection out of hiding – read our Hannah’s review. Black Blossoms is highlighting the voices of black women in the UK today, while The Plant Room is a show of all things botanical. At Bloc Projects, the month starts with a solo show from Lucy Vann – who you can get to know better in our Meet the Locals Q&A – and ends with an open residency from Duncan Higgins, exploring his years of work in northern Russia.
As usual, the month begins with street food/music treats at Peddler. The first weekend of this month is also all about “radical fun”, as Fun Palaces take you behind the scenes in the theatres and to a futuristic playground. And on the first Saturday, it's Photomarathon time! Organised by yours truly, Photomarathon Sheffield is a photo challenge, giving entrants six hours to take photos on topics set on the day. Everyone registered will be entered into a competition and exhibition, but if you don't have a place, you can join in just for fun – check Facebook for the topics on the day and share your snaps with the hashtag #PhotomarathonSHF.
All that leaf kicking, theatre, festival-going and spooky stuff should be plenty to be getting on with until November. Have a great October, and a happy Halloween!
How to get here and get around
Sheffield is a well connected place, with direct trains to most of the country’s major cities running regularly. Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham are each less than 1 hour away by train; London St Pancras 2 hours; and Edinburgh 4 hours.
National Express coaches regularly pull up at Sheffield Interchange, right in the city centre. Megabus drops off and picks up at out-of-town shopping monolith Meadowhall, a tram ride away.
To avoid navigating the ring road and one-way routes of the city centre, Park and Ride is the way to go. Coming from the M1, park at Nunnery Square or Meadowhall, or from the west park at Middlewood, and catch the Supertram into the centre.
Hop on the Supertram at various points across the city – stops include the station, the University, Sheffield Cathedral, and Shalesmoor (right by Kelham Island).
Sheffield’s bus network reaches far and wide, and offers the best option if you fancy exploring the city’s glorious back garden: the Peak District. Pick up a timetable from Sheffield Interchange (over the road from the railway station), or use their handy journey planner.
Don’t let the hills put you off. The city centre isn’t huge, and you’re bound to discover more of the little things to love in Sheffield when you’re able to amble any which way you fancy! And, as its paths slope up and down, your view of the city will constantly change when you walk around.
Since we live here, we don’t have much cause for frequenting the hotels and B&Bs. Our Sleep pages can offer a few pointers, though, if you need a place to rest your head after a busy day of culture and tourism in Sheffield. For more, see Welcome to Sheffield.
Make use of our map below, get out there, and discover your favourite places. Let us know what you find.