Sheffield – Greenest City in England

Sheffield - Greenest City in England

Sheffield may not spring to mind as the destination of choice for a city break or romantic getaway but perhaps it should… Famous for steel and its industrial heritage, it has much more to offer than its history would suggest. It is surprisingly green due to the woodlands that have been kept throughout the city and has a vibrant network of parks and gardens to explore as well as galleries, museums and a thriving city centre.

Sheffield Botanical Gardens

Designed in the 1830s in the then fashionable ‘gardenesque’ style, the Botanic Gardens house several plant collections. The most impressive feature, however, is the curved conservatory. The gardens have undergone vast restoration and have many events worth investigating.

The Winter Garden

By contrast, this modern temperate glasshouse is one of the best examples of interior landscaping in the UK. It has high-tech systems in place to keep the attractive and interesting planting alive. With cafes, galleries and shops, a visit – particularly on a rainy day- will revive.

Shopping in Sheffield

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The city centre has all the usual chains, as does Meadowhall, a large shopping centre on the outskirts of town.. For more interesting and unusual things, Ecclesall and Abbeydale Roads are the best for specialist shops and cafe culture with many boutiques and delicatessens. While exploring the city centre, take in the extensive landscape features…

Sheffield’s Inner-City Regeneration

Recent landscape projects have transformed the city centre into a modern and thriving area. Sculptures, fountains and quality hard landscape abound. There are also pockets of innovative planting, the use of perennials in bedding schemes; ecological planting resulting from the influence of Sheffield’s strong landscape architecture department, championing new wave and prairie-style planting.

The Peak District

Tiring of the urban? Sheffield has the Peak District to play in. Open moorland, country pubs (try the local Bakewell pudding) and stone villages to explore with craggy peaks covered in lycra-clad climbers at the weekends. It is only a short drive from the city out into the countryside.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

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To see so much high quality sculpture and land art set in magnificent parkland is impressive. The facilities are excellent too, with cafes and shops. The park is large and to see everything would take a few days – wear sturdy shoes to explore the whole area. There are pieces by Barbara Hepworth, Andy Goldsworthy and many other leading artists in the field (literally). The sculpture park is at Bretton Hall, near Wakefield, approximately 40 minutes from Sheffield.

Chatsworth

One of the best family days out around Sheffield has to be Chatsworth House. This stately home has stunning gardens for the grown-ups and a large adventure playground for the kids. It does get very busy, but is well worth a visit to see an example of a living landscape garden that has survived and continued to develop into the 21st century. Keep an eye out for events – there are often sculpture shows and country fairs. Chatsworth is located near Bakewell, roughly 30 minutes drive from Sheffield.