A Student’s Guide to Sheffield
One of Yorkshire’s leading student cities, Sheffield is the fifth largest place to live and study in the UK. So much here is geared towards their student population, which now totals more than 60,000. As with many other two-university cities, it is a very diverse, multicultural city that has developed a reputation for being one of the friendliest and safes places for students to live in the UK. There’s something for people of all tastes and hobbies; from sporty, active people to music fanatics, artists and designers.
What’s great about Sheffield is that it’s the UK’s most centrally located city, broadening its appeal to students living in all four corners of the country. It’s a stone’s throw from the picturesque Peak District and 60% of the entire city comprises plenty of green space to explore and unwind in. Whether you’re planning to enrol at the University of Sheffield of Sheffield Hallam University, here’s the basics you need to know about the ‘Steel City’ to get you started.
Main attractions in Sheffield
- Since 1932, Sheffield City Hall has been one of the most popular venues for live entertainment in the city. Whether it’s live music, comedy or a professional theatre production, you can find it all here. The City Hall is on the city’s tram line, with its own stop on the Yellow and Blue routes. The Grade II listed building overlooks Barker’s Pool which is one of the main squares in the city centre. With a capacity of over 2,000, it’s not arena size, so you can really get up close and personal with the acts here.
- If you know your Picasso from your Monet, you’ll enjoy taking a trip to Sheffield’s premier destination for the arts. The Millennium Gallery was established in 2001 and retains very close links with London’s V&A Museum. It is also the place to discover Sheffield’s proud heritage, with exhibitions and collections of artwork and designs synonymous with Sheffield life. Sheffield’s nickname is the Steel City and there is an exhibition of the city’s steelwork which put Sheffield on the world map.
- The Peak District National Park is quite literally on the doorstep of Sheffield’s city centre. In fact, a third of the city’s rural area is within the boundaries of the Peak District, the country’s inaugural national park. For those that enjoy leading an active and adventurous lifestyle, the Peak District offers lots of opportunities to explore, from hiking and climbing to mountain biking and fell running. If you get into fell running for the first time, you might fancy entering the Red Bull Steeplechase which is a gruelling run from Bamford to nearby Castleton.
Restaurants in Sheffield
- As you would expect from a city boasting two universities, Sheffield has plenty of dining options for those looking to eat out without having to splash out. If you’re a fan of artisan pizza, make sure you check out Craft & Dough in the Kelham Island area. Their stone-baked pizzas are great-value and they also specialise in a host of other Italian dishes for less than a tenner. For liquid refreshment, these guys also boast a great selection of craft beers from across the UK and beyond.
- If your tastes extend to south-east Asian flavours, Saigon 68 on London Road is guaranteed to be a regular haunt, providing warming bowls of Vietnamese goodness. Their noodle soups are packed with flavoursome broths, meats, fresh veg and noodles for a vibrant, well-balanced student meal. They offer a 10% discount with your student ID card, which is yet another reason to check them out!
- The perfect Sunday afternoon haunt, The Old House is an excellent shout for a chilled Sunday roast and a great choice of local ales, beers and over 100 gins. Their hearty, homemade dishes certainly don’t scrimp on the portion sizes, which is music to the ears of a starving student! You can grab a bowl of homemade soup and a generous roast dinner and get change from a tenner.
Nightlife in Sheffield
- If alternative and indie music is your thing, make sure you check out The Leadmill. With three different rooms, all of which are indie-influenced, it’s a great night out for those looking to let loose and rock out. The Leadmill also regularly plays host to some of the up-and-coming British rock bands, with Sheffield’s very own Arctic Monkeys playing here before hitting the big time.
- Head on over to Carver Street where there is a cluster of at least five different bars and clubs within a 60-second walk of each other. Every Thursday, the city runs a Carver Street Block Party, where students can purchase a single wristband securing them entry into all five clubs on the street. Our personal favourite out of the five is The Viper Rooms, which is probably the most upmarket of the cluster, featuring a characterful basement dancefloor.
- Sheffield’s biggest student night can be found at Embrace on a Wednesday night. It’s organised by the Hallam Union, but University of Sheffield students are welcome too. There’s five different rooms in Embrace, which give you plenty of choice for music to get your groove on to. A word of warning – be prepared to queue for drinks as the wait is almost legendary among the city’s students!