The best things to do for free in Sheffield

18 Aug 2022

Who says that a city break has to be expensive? Sheffield is a visitor-friendly city that offers numerous free attractions for travellers on a tight budget. 

Whether you’re a backpacker on a budget or a local looking for a cheap day out, Sheffield has lots to offer! Explore its nature and outdoors opportunities without breaking the bank.

We’ve created a guide with the best free attractions to help you get the best out of Sheffield. Continue reading to see our top six things to do in Sheffield for free. 

The green city of Sheffield

People often consider Sheffield an industrial city due to its international reputation for steel production in the 19th century. But in reality, it’s one of the UK’s greenest cities. 

There are more than 250 parks, woodland areas, and gardens in the city — and 61% of Sheffield’s area is green space.

A third of Sheffield sits in the Peak District National Park, which has around 4.5 million trees, giving the city the highest ratio of trees to people of any European city.

So dress comfortably and get ready to walk — most of our recommendations will include some form of outdoor activity!

Explore the city by foot with the Sheffield Round Walk

The Sheffield Round Walk starts and ends at Endcliffe Park. This 15-mile walk passes through picturesque woodland and parks showcasing the city’s natural beauty, greenery, and wildlife. 

The walk follows rivers alongside magnificent views of bridges, woods, and surrounding villages. And the walkway also has a cycle lane if you prefer to go by bike. 

The route takes roughly 6–7 hours to complete. If you want to take it easy, split the Round Walk into four linear sections of 3–4 miles, and tick off each section on different days.

Look out for the Sheffield Round Walk acorn signs along the route for easy navigation.

Have a picnic at Sheffield’s Winter Garden

Winter garden is a true oasis in the heart of the city. 

It’s Europe’s largest urban temperate glasshouse with a calming atmosphere and a wide variety of plants (over 2500!). 

At 70 metres long and 22 metres high, the building is impressive. And its various seating areas make it the perfect place for an afternoon picnic. Entry is free, but check out their opening hours before visiting. 

Admire 5000 flower species at Sheffield Botanical Gardens

Sheffield Botanical Gardens is one of the oldest botanical gardens in England.

It was built more than 150 years ago and is home to more than 5000 species of flowers from around the world. 

Visitors can take several winding paths to explore over 18 garden areas based on geographical or botanical themes. These well-maintained gardens are the perfect photo destination.

Explore Sheffield’s Metalwork Collection at Millennium Gallery

You might have heard Sheffield referred to as the Steel City or the steel-making capital of the world. It gained this reputation in the 19th century during the Industrial Revolution.

Sheffield Millennium Gallery is an art exhibition and museum that celebrates this history. 

The Metalwork Collection is one of the world’s finest collections, including cutlery, flatware, and hollowware. 

And as a bonus, many Millennium Gallery exhibitions are free!

Stop by the Peace Gardens

The Peace Gardens are one of the most accessible areas in Sheffield’s city centre. They’re famous for the Goodwin Fountain (with its 89 water jets) and eight large water features. 

The Peace Gardens are perfect for a family day out or a picnic. 

Throughout the year, the gardens host several different market stalls. But if you’re looking for a proper shopping location, the city’s central shopping district, High street, is just down the road.

Pet farm animals at Graves Park

If you’re coming with kids, they’ll love our next suggestion — Graves Park.

Graves Park is set over an impressive 85 acres, with a huge play area, sandpit, farm, and areas where you can walk and relax. 

And here comes the best part — there’s a petting zoo with goats, pigs, chickens, geese, and sheep, and a small pond where you can go fishing! It’s the perfect location for a family day out as the park has many different areas and activities for everyone.

If you get tired or hungry, there’s also a small cafe where you can grab a bite or a drink and relax. 

Travel back to 15th century Sheffield at Bishops’ House

Bishops’ House is one of the region’s architectural treasures. It’s the oldest example of a timber-framed house in Sheffield that dates back to the late 15th century.

It’s a fascinating landmark that often hosts art events, weddings, and other community-based activities. 

Bishops’ House opened its doors to the public as a museum in 1976. You can visit this remarkable little house full of history for free — instead of an admission fee, they accept donations. 

Ready to explore?

It seems like you have a lot to explore in Sheffield! To move around more efficiently, order a Bolt ride and get from one location to the next in comfort. 

Bolt is available in more than 15 cities around the UK. Download the app today and start exploring! 

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