South Yorkshire

Once Yorkshire's proud City of Steel, Sheffield is in South Yorkshire, close to borders with Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

The city is some distance away from some of its South Yorkshire neighbours. Rotherham is around 7 miles to the north-east, Barnsley is 12 miles to the north and Doncaster is 17 miles to the north-east. The small South Yorkshire market town of Thorne is 26 miles north east of the city.

Sheffield was ideally placed for steel production when it had local sources of iron ore and coal. With several rivers to provide water-wheel power for grindstones it became a top location for knife production and had become England's main centre for cutlery making by the start of the 17th century.

As a major steel producer in the industrial revolution, Sheffield saw a near 10-fold increase in population in 150 years from the start of the 19th century, rising to just over 577,000 in 1951. Now, with nearly the same population today, Sheffield finds itself still looking in new directions and for a wider base for its economy.

Much has been spent in the past few decades in remodelling areas which had already become run-down through the gradual near-collapse of the steel industry and in ensuring that Sheffield became a modern city made more attractive with new gardens and squares.

One kick-start for modernisation was the Meadowhall Shopping Centre, which opened 4 miles north east of the city centre in 1990. Such has been the success of the centre that it became criticised for decline in Sheffield city centre and also causing severe damage to an already struggling town centre of Rotherham, only 3 miles in the opposite direction.

Another step in the modernisation of Sheffield was the introduction of a tram system, the likes of which can be found in many European cities. This is the only one in Yorkshire but has involved considerable construction work to create it, including new bridges and flyovers over the traffic. It began operation in 1994, providing a link to Meadowhall where it joins the existing rail network and bus interchange near the shopping centre. Three years of further work should see tram-train operation between Sheffield and Rotherham by 2018. While the present system sees trains operating between the city and town in around 15 minutes, the new tram-trains will by-pass the Meadowhall Interchange and allow travel from the south side of the Meadowhall shopping centre to Rotherham's out-of-town shopping centre at Parkgate.

Sporting events provided boosts for Sheffield after it had been marred by tragedy. Two years after the Hillsborough football stadium disaster in 1989 resulted in 96 deaths, the World Student Games in 1991 provided a reason to build new sporting complexes such as the Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield Arena and the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre with its Olympic-size swimming pool, deep diving pool and huge events space. The £29m Don Valley Stadium, however, has not survived. The venue was demolished in 2014, but is set to become an Olympic Legacy Park as a result of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The park will incorporate Ice Sheffield, which was another major boost for the city in 2003. The £15m arena boasts two Olympic-sized ice rinks which are used for leisure skating and ice hockey games.

The Sheffield City Council area extends way beyond the city limits into neighbouring villages and countryside, some of which falls within Peak District National Park. The modernised city of Sheffield offers one potential base for exploring out from Yorkshire into this great scenic area.

City features

Sheffield presents the opportunity to shop until you drop. The Meadowhall Shopping Centre, about 4 miles north east of the city centre, is one of Britain's biggest indoor shopping centres and home to nearly 300 high street retailers. Sheffield also has bustling city centre shopping stretching from Fargate, Orchard Square and Barker's Pool, along Pinstone Street to The Moor and offering department stores, big high street names and local traders.

Those with a love of traditional market town-style shopping can visit the recently-built £18m Moor Market in the city. It opened its doors in 2013 to offer a variety of market goods from independent traders. There are also open stalls at The Moor and King Street.

Sheffield has a Post Office in Norfolk Street and branches around the city and its districts.

Sheffield has bank and building society branches.

There are many pharmacies throughout the city and its districts.

The city has a vibrant centre with a large selection of pubs, bars and nightclubs and there also many pubs and bars throughout its districts.

There are many cafes throughout the Sheffield area.

Sheffield has a huge selection of restaurants, catering for all tastes.

A full range of cuisines is provided by the selection of takeaways throughout the Sheffield area.

The city has a central library at Surrey Street and branch libraries in its districts. The central library is being considered for redevelopment as a five-star hotel by the UK operations of the Chinese investment partner of Sheffield City Council, which would mean the library moving to another location.

For museums in the area see below.

For entertainment in the city see below.

The city has many schools and colleges. For its two universities see below.

Places of worship: Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, United Reformed, Baptist, Islamic, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, other

Five rivers come together near Sheffield City Centre. At Malin Bridge, 2 miles north west of the city centre, the River Rivelin joins the River Loxley, which continues for about a mile before joining the River Don, near Hillsborough. In the city centre, under the railway station, the Porter Brook joins the culverted River Sheaf which continues to join the River Don.

The Sheffield and Tinsley Canal, opened in 1819, provides a 4-mile link from the Sheffield Canal Basin, or Victoria Quays, to the navigable River Don.


Sheffield City Hall

Barker's Pool
Sheffield City Hall offers musical concerts, big name artists from music and comedy, operatic performances and a ballroom venue.

Sheffield Arena

Broughton Lane
With a capacity for up to 13,600 people, Sheffield Arena has become a major venue for musical superstars and sporting greats.

The Crucible

Norfolk Street
Venue of the World Snooker Championships for 40 years (April 15 to May 1 in 2017) and also for major touring shows and local artists, The Crucible was opened in 1971. The Crucible, Crucible Studio and neighbouring Lyceum Theatre are run by Sheffield Theatres.

Lyceum Theatre

Norfolk Street
Near to The Crucible, the Lyceum Theatre, the city's last Edwardian auditorium was saved from demolition in the 1970s and given a major renovation between 1988 and 1990 and a further restoration in 2014. It is run by Sheffield Theatres in conjunction with The Crucible and Crucible Studio staging touring West End shows, pantomimes and other artists.

Library Theatre

Tudor Square
Located at Sheffield's Central Library, close to its larger theatre neighbours, the 260-seat council-run Library Theatre offers the opportunity for an eclectic mix of smaller stage events, which have included everything from wrestling to burlesque, together with local theatre.
Further details at the  Library Theatre web pages.

The Leadmill

Leadmill Road
The Leadmill on the edge of the city centre has become Sheffield's most renowned live music venue and nightclub with a history of some very well-known names having performed upon its stage.


Sheffield United

'The Blades' play Premier League football at Bramall Lane.
 Sheffield United Official website.

Sheffield Wednesday

'The Owls' play Championship football at Hillsborough Stadium.
 Sheffield Wednesday Official website.

Sheffield Eagles

The Eagles play Rugby League at the Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park, Bawtry Road.
 Sheffield Eagles Official website.

Sheffield Tigers

The Tigers play Rugby Union at Dore Moor, Hathersage Road.
 Sheffield Tigers Official website.

Sheffield Steelers

Sheffield's ice hockey team play at Sheffield Arena with some games at Ice Sheffield
 Sheffield Steelers Official website.


University of Sheffield

Western Bank
The University of Sheffield is based in an area around Brook Hill and Western Bank at the west side of the city centre. The university received its royal charter in 1905 as a successor to the University College of Sheffield establishe eight years earlier, but has roots in the Sheffield Medical School dating back to 1828.
 University of Sheffield Website.

Sheffield Hallam University

City Campus and Collegiate Campus
Sheffield Hallam University is centred on a city campus at Howard Street, close to the rail and bus stations in the city centre, and a campus at Collegiate Crescent, off Eccleshall Road, about a mile to the south west of the city centre. Sheffield Hallam University emerged from Sheffield Polytechnic in 1992 but can trace its history through mergers of several educational establishments and back to the Sheffield School of Design, founded in 1843. It is the largest of the universities of Yorkshire in terms of the number of students it has enrolled.
 Sheffield Hallam University Website.


Weston Park Museum

Western Bank
Tells the story of Sheffield through the ages, from pre-historic times to the present day.
More information at the  Museums Sheffield - Weston Park Museum web pages.

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet

Abbeydale Road South
About 4 miles south west of the city centre, Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet provides a recreation of life at an 18th century industrial works. The site is a former agricultural tool maker's works and what was once the largest water-powered industry on the River Sheaf.
Further details at these  Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust web pages.

Kelham Island Museum

Alma Street
About half a mile north of the city centre, the museum follows the steel making industry in Sheffield and how it shaped the city's growth through the industrial revolution and world wars. It features a powerful working steam engine which was originally built to roll armour plate for First World War battleships.
Find out more at these  Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust web pages.

Places to visit

Sheffield Winter Garden

Surrey Street
Opened in 2003, this massive award-winning 22-metre-high greenhouse in the heart of the city is home to more than 2,000 plants from around the world. It is situated next to the city's Peace Gardens and Millennium Galleries.

Peak District National Park

The vast area of the Peak District National Park starts just four miles west of Sheffield city centre, stretching from Yorkshire into Derbyshire and beyond. For more details see our Peak District page.



Sheaf Square
Sheffield railway station offers inter-city, regional express and local services and around 9 million rail passenger journeys start or finish at the station each year.
Station managed by East Midland Trains. Operators: East Midland Trains, Cross Country, Transpennine Express and Northern. The station also has a Stagecoach Supertram stop.

 Northern - Sheffield Station and departure information at Northern website.

Meadowhall Interchange

Meadowhall Road (4 miles from city centre)
Meadowhall Interchange, close to the Meadowhall shopping centre, offers regional and local rail services.
Station managed by Northern. Operators: Transpennine Express and Northern. It is also a Stagecoach Supertram terminus. Trains, trams and buses all connect Meadowhall to the city centre about 4 miles away.

 Northern - Meadowhall Station and departure information at Northern website.

Bus interchanges

Sheffield has a city centre bus interchange at The Archway Centre, Pond Square, and another at the Meadowhall Interchange, about 4 miles north east of the city centre near to the Meadowhall Shopping Centre. The Meadowhall Interchange is also a terminus of the Stagecoach Supertram. The tram and local bus services have stops in city centre streets.

Road travel

Sheffield city centre is just a few miles from the M1 motorway providing convenient links south to the East Midlands and London, north to Leeds and North East England and via the M18 north east towards East Yorkshire and Hull. Less easy to reach by road is Manchester, 33 miles to the west north west, which would require a journey of nearly 1hr 30min using winding single carriageway moorland roads (an average speed of around 22mph based on the crow-fly distance). The motorway alternative would be a journey of 72 miles taking at least 1hr 50min (18mph).

Doncaster Sheffield Airport (Robin Hood Airport)

Finningley, Doncaster
Sheffield thinks well beyond its boundaries in adding its name to Robin Hood Airport - it's some 25 miles by road away, near Doncaster - much further than Heathrow to central London but with no rail link. There is now a direct bus to the airport at certain times, taking a minimum of around 45 minutes and more at peak traffic hours. At other times a train is needed to Doncaster and then bus to the airport, taking 1hr 5min to 1hr 25min from Sheffield. The airport offers flights to Europe and to Mediterranan holiday destinations with some flights to the USA and Canada. Sheffield also has a direct rail link from its station to Manchester Airport in about 1hr 15min.

The HS2 effect

Our new study has assessed cities and major towns throughout the Yorkshire region for the benefits HS2 will bring in travelling from Yorkshire to London when the proposed section between the Midlands and Leeds is complete in 2033. The line is also planned to link to existing lines to Sheffield and York. Each city or town has been given one of three simple ratings based on convenience and time saved over existing services.
White elephant: Takes the same time or longer than an existing service* or saves less than 10 minutes while now causing a change of trains. (* or HS2 completed to Manchester).
Coffee break: Saves 10 to 45 minutes. Time for a cup of coffee at your destination rather than on the train?
City slicker: Saves 45 minutes or more on existing service getting you to that all-important London meeting in good time.

We've been fairly generous to HS2 in making the assessment. Where a change of trains is now needed, we have assumed that you are on the fastest train to the station where you change to HS2, that it arrives on time, you have 10 minutes to change to the HS2 platform and an HS2 train is waiting to depart at that time. No assessment is made of additional journey costs possible in connecting to or travelling on HS2. The assessment is made on journeys from Yorkshire to London with again no account taken of any convenience or inconvenience in arrival at London Euston rather than London King's Cross station. Further details about our study can be found on The HS2 Effect page.


Although the HS2 journey from Sheffield, rather than the originally planned Meadowhall, would operate over conventional lines via Chesterfield in Derbyshire before joining the high speed track it is estimated it will shave 40 minutes off current fastest journeys to London with a fastest HS2 time now set at 1hr 27min.

Emergency services

South Yorkshire Police  South Yorkshire Police website.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue  South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

Local government

Metropolitan district council

Sheffield City Council

Sheffield City Council's area extends several miles beyond the edge of the city, including rural areas, particularly to the west and north-west of the city where the district includes part of the Peak District National Park, a few hamlets and small villages and the town of Stocksbridge.

The council's 84 elected councillors are elected three per ward across 28 wards.

One councillor per ward is elected in each of three years out of four for a four-year term. An election of one-third of the council due to be held in 2020 has been postponed to 2021.

Link to  Sheffield City Council website.

The political composition of the council after the May 2019 election is:

49 *2681
84 members * Including some Labour and Co-operative members

County strategic authority

Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority
Covers South Yorkshire. A mayoral election for this authority was held in May 2018.
 Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority website.

Police and Crime Commissioner

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner
 South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner website.

Fire Authority

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority
The fire authority is made up of elected members of each of the four metropolitan district councils of South Yorkshire - Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
 South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority web pages.

Ceremonial county

South Yorkshire


-1974 County Borough within the West Riding of Yorkshire.

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