From rugged and breathtaking countryside to pulsating cities, you can enjoy the best of both worlds in South Yorkshire.
But if a quieter life appeals, look to one of the county’s smaller market towns or villages.
Living in South Yorkshire
You’ll find many of the county’s museums, canals, railways and architecture are testament to South Yorkshire’s strong industrial heritage.
But the county’s urban centres today are a hub of green and high tech business, sport, music, art, culture and research. In fact, Sheffield is one of the 10 happiest cities to work in the UK, according to the business psychologists OPP.
The Peak District National Park sits to the west of South Yorkshire so there’s also plenty of scope to get out in the open air.
The beautiful countryside features rugged hills, stone walls and green pastures (some white with snow in winter). It’s perfect for cycling, climbing and hiking. You can relax and recharge your batteries with a peaceful country walk or paraglide just a few miles from home.
And if you’re a foodie, you’ll no doubt enjoy visiting South Yorkshire’s farmers’ markets and shops, and meeting passionate food producers.
Where to start your property search
Average property values in South Yorkshire are £161,595, having risen £23,214, or 16.8% in the past five years.
There are four major urban centres in South Yorkshire – Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster and Sheffield.
Its market is 700 years old and supports 300 stalls (nearby Goldthorpe, Hoyland and Wombwell host their own regular markets as well). The town’s attractions include the Cooper Gallery, Lamproom Theatre and the Victorian Arcade.
To the west of Barnsley lies Penistone, the highest market town in the county. On the very edge of the Peak District, it’s paradise if you’re an outdoor lover. It has a good community feel, with fine pubs and schools, and its own railway station. Check Barnsley house prices here. If you're interested in a new-build home in Barnsley, then check out Taylor Wimpey's Kingstone Grange development.
If you’re a foodie, you should look no further than Doncaster, which has the best food market in the country, according to the BBC.
The town is home to a world-class racecourse, one of only three Mansion Houses in England, and a grand Gothic minster designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping, with the Frenchgate shopping centre, Wheatley Shopping Park and Lakeside Village designer shopping outlet all within easy reach.
Near Doncaster is Yorkshire Wildlife Park, which claims to be the UK's number one walk-through wildlife park adventure, with over 300 different animals.
Sheffield has property to suit all budgets and buyers. New-build apartments form the core of city centre housing. Further out, Ecclesall is popular with families thanks to its delis, café-bars, independent shops and good schools. The Sunday Times rated it one of the best urban communities in the country.
Rotherham’s 1,000-year-old historic minster is at the heart of the town. Its high street, currently being renovated, hosts a mix of independent shops, cafés and well-known retail chains.
Getting around and about South Yorkshire
The journey from Barnsley to London by train involves a change at either Sheffield or Wakefield.
Rotherham to London Kings Cross is two hours, while Doncaster to London Kings Cross is less than two hours.
Car: South Yorkshire has excellent connections north and south thanks to the A1/A1(M) and M1, plus the M18 link over to East Yorkshire.
You’ll have to go to Leeds to pick up the M62 to Manchester and Liverpool. Alternatively, there is a scenic route west via the Peak District.
Things to do in South Yorkshire
Doncaster racecourse is a popular day out. It’s Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes is one of the British Classics - five races known as the most prestigious in the horse racing calendar.
The great outdoors
Go camping, cycling, walking and pony trekking or join one of the rock climbing, caving, wind-surfing, fishing or hang-gliding events organised in the Peak District National Park.
South Yorkshire is the heartland of football. Cheer on the Tykes (Barnsley Football Club’s nickname). Expect a rollercoaster ride of emotion each season if you become a regular in the stands.
Alternatively, follow another of the area’s teams. Sheffield has four to choose from: Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, Hallam FC and Sheffield FC (the oldest football club in the world).
South Yorkshire’s music festivals include Tramlines in Sheffield as well as Coalfields and Underneath the Stars, both in and around Barnsley.
Worsbrough Mill a 17th century watermill set in a country park on the edge of Barnsley is a major attraction. You can buy freshly ground organic flour from the mill shop or from independent food outlets.
Get involved in more than 100 hands-on exhibits at Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham – stand next to a fire tornado and operate a giant water cannon. Set in the former Templeborough steelworks, you can discover how steel is made from one of the former steelworkers.
Hidden South Yorkshire
The Trans Pennine Trail was voted the best long distance cycle route by the charity, Sustrans. It passes along picturesque rivers and canals as well as the region’s historic towns and cities.
3 reasons to live in South Yorkshire
• Countryside: with the Peak District National Park on your doorstep, there is a wealth of outdoor activities to enjoy.
• Buzzing towns and cities: Sheffield is reinventing itself.
• Food markets: the finest meat and poultry as well as fresh fruit and vegetables are all on tap.