With its reputation as the greenest city in Europe, there’s a lot more to ‘the city of steel’ than might at first appear.
Although traditionally Sheffield is synonymous with manufacturing the world’s finest cutlery, today its top universities, contemporary culture venues and sport stadiums attract business from all over the world.
And who can forget that World, Commonwealth, European and Olympic champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill is a Sheffield lass through and through?
What to expect living in Sheffield
As the UK’s fifth largest city, Sheffield is a vibrant place to live. In terms of its countryside it’s best in the country according to a recent survey by BBC Countryfile Magazine – and the city also ranks highly in annual student polls year after year.
Workers in Sheffield are also among the happiest in the country according to a recent Guardian survey. Sheffield is built on green rolling hills and set on 150 miles of waterways (including five rivers). With its three million trees – that’s around four to every resident – there’s plenty of fresh air and nature.
Where to start your property search
If you’re sold on Sheffield, where should you start your property search? The good news is the city is still pretty affordable. Average house values are still under £180,000 according to Zoopla data. Sheffield’s industrial history has also prompted all styles and sizes of homes, with many built in local sandstone with slate roofs. Occasionally, an industrialist’s mansion will hit the market for house hunters seeking something grand.
If you’re looking for an up-and-coming pocket, check out the city council’s development schemes, which aim to create routes to key regeneration hubs, and the ‘Grey to Green’ initiative, designed to complement Sheffield’s planned High Speed 2 station.
Crookesmoor and Crookes – close to Sheffield’s centre – hold wide appeal for home-hunters on a variety of budgets, with the area’s parks – Crookes Valley, Ponderosa and Weston – being particularly suited to families. Weston itself has also seven Grade II-listed structures.
In the city centre, you’ll find a whole range of new-build apartments as well as some that have been converted from public buildings. Homes like these are great for young professionals or property investors looking for reliable rates of occupancy.
Easy access to the Peak District makes the city’s south-west suburbs such as Nether Edge and Brincliffe, popular also.
Ecclesall has been rated by the Sunday Times as one of the best urban communities in the country. This area offers café and deli culture, independent shops, bars and restaurants. It also has a reputation for good schools. Ecclesall’s 350-acre ancient woodland has its own discovery centre and coffee shop.
Nether Edge is a thriving suburb with a fayre, festivals and farmers’ market, while Ranmoor – a favourite with Sheffield’s wealthy Victorians and philanthropists – has found more recent favour with students.
South-west of Sheffield, lies Dore, a village with its own train station. Services take just 10 minutes to Sheffield city centre or 43 minutes to Manchester Piccadilly. The village has good schools (Birkdale and Sheffield High) and busy clubs and societies – so it’s ideal for retirees as well as expanding families.
Getting around and about
Tram: Sheffield is famous for its Supertram network, linking the city’s big destinations, such as the Meadowhall shopping centre, the universities and Sheffield Arena through a convenient system of mini stations.
Car: Car journeys to the urban centre can be frustrating at peak times. The city council encourages pedestrians and use of public transport – the city’s tram system is effective and inexpensive. Out of peak hours, the M1 is about 10 minutes’ drive from central Sheffield via Sheffield Parkway.
Air: The Robin Hood Airport at Doncaster is the closest to Sheffield – but Leeds Bradford, East Midlands and Manchester are all within little more than an hour of the city centre.
Things to do in Sheffield
The Great Outdoors: The Peak District National Park is on the doorstep of Sheffield, so walking, hiking, mountain biking and climbing is all on tap. The Sheffield City Council website hosts downloadable walking maps and leaflets.
Sport: Sheffield offers unbeatable live events and facilities both to watch and to take part in. The English Institute of Sport (EIS Sheffield) boasts the largest multi-sports centre in the country, while ICE Sheffield has two Olympic ice pads and offers lessons in skating and curling. Both host elite training and competition.
The city has two top ice hockey teams – the Sheffield Steelers and the Sheffield Steeldogs – and two top-flight football teams at Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United. Or get the real deal at Sheffield FC (the oldest association football club in the world) or Hallam FC, who play at the oldest football stadium in the world.
Theatre and music: World-renowned theatres, such as the Lyceum and the Crucible (which is also the home of the world snooker championship), as well as venues hosting art exhibitions, food, music and floral festivals all contribute to Sheffield’s appeal.
Clubs: The city is also a dance music hotspot, and home to legendary house club Amnesia.
Shopping: Meadowhall is one of the largest indoor shopping centres in England, but look out for the quirky independent retail experience too – Sheffield has a thriving retro and vintage scene in the smaller streets of the city centre.
Best kept secret in Sheffield
The industrial museums – including Kelham Island Museum and the Abbeydale Works – which showcase Sheffield’s industrial story from industrialisation right up to today.
5 reasons to live in Sheffield
Unrivalled access to the countryside from the city
Sport and culture to watch and take part in
Excellent transport connections – local, national and international
Affordable and wide range of housing options