Good morning. This week we’re headed up north to…Sheffield!
Did you know that Sheffield has 22,000 acres of green space, 250 parks as well as 52 square miles of national park? All of this combines to give Sheffield more trees per person than any other city in Europe 🌳🤯 (bet you didn't expect that from the steel city!). In addition, Sheffield is home to two world-class universities, some impressive sporting heritage, a great music scene and was voted as the best city in the UK for starting a business (outside of London).
Need to know…
🚆 Travel time: With its fairly central location, Sheffield can be easily accessed by road, air (there are 4 international airports within a 90 minute drive; Manchester, Leeds Bradfords, East Midlands and Birmingham) and rail (1hr from Manchester and Birmingham, 2hrs from London, and 3hrs 30 from Edinburgh).
🌡️ Weather: Today, partly cloudy with a high of 17°c
😋 Must try dishes: If you’re planning a trip to the chippy (maybe after a few drinks), then a local delicacy is the Sheffield fishcake. It’s essentially a piece of fish (typically cod or haddock) between slices of potato that’s been battered and deep fried. Another local ‘must try’ is Henderson’s Relish. It looks similar to Worcestershire sauce (but without the anchovies, making it suitable for vegans).
🚲 Getting around: Sheffield can easily be explored by foot, or alternatively hop on the Sheffield Connect, a city-centre bus service running every 10 minutes. A single journey is just £1 and both cash and contactless are accepted.
💬 Key phrases & slang:
Nah then (Now then)
I reyt love some Hendos me (I really love Henderson’s relish)
Tin Tin Tin (It isn’t in the tin)
What to do?
Explore secret tunnels to find the Megatron
Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust
👮 First up for your trip to Sheffield, a few unusual things to see (and hear). If you’re passing the town hall, keep an eye out for the vibrant green police box (giving serious Dr Who vibes) - the lone survivor of 120 that used to be dotted around the city.
🕸️ Next, take a walk across the cobweb bridge. This footpath passes through the Wicker Arches railway viaduct. The steel “webbing” secures the bridge to the underside of the viaduct and if you look up you’ll spot a giant metal spider.
🚨 If you’re in town, keep an ear out for the 1 O’Clock time signal. Located above the jewellery store HL Brown, you’ll spot a sign and siren. Since 1874 (when clocks and watches were less reliable) every day at 1pm a siren has sounded, informing people of the time. This siren, linked directly to Greenwich via telegraph, allowed residents to reset their watch to the correct time.
🥌 Finally a couple of things to see at the two universities. At Sheffield Hallam University, you need to check out the student union building. Known as ‘The Hubs’ and comprising 4 stainless steel drums with rotating turrets, this unusual structure has been compared to curling stones and apples. It’s definitely a marmite structure!
🛗 In the Arts Tower at Sheffield University is a Paternoster Lift. One of only two in the UK, and the tallest in all of Europe! For those who don’t know, a Paternoster lift uses open compartments on a continuously moving loop, one side going up, the other down, allowing you to just step on and off to travel between floors.
🐄 If you’re a big fan of dairy then take a trip to Our Cow Molly. I completely appreciate that summer and the warm weather seems to be quickly abandoning us, but this is a great spot to get some delicious ice-cream or milkshake! It’s located on a family dairy farm that’s been operating since 1947, and making ice-cream since 2007. Personally I’m a big fan of the chocolate (yes, boring I know), or the bakewell tart.
🐈 Looking for a café with a difference? I highly recommend a trip to Tabby Teas - probably one of the best cat cafés in the UK! I’m a huge cat lover so probably a little biased, but this is a great spot to check out. There’s 11 friendly cats (who all come from rescue charities) to make friends with, while enjoying a great cup of coffee. The café itself has a range of seating options to get cosy, and loads of great spots for the cats, from climbing towers to cat beds. Bookings are essential so make sure you book in advance before visiting!
🤖 For those seeking adventure, why not go on a guided tour to find the Megatron… When I first heard about this I thought Megatron was a character in the Transformers, so I didn’t really know what to expect. In Sheffield, the Megatron is a Victorian, cathedral-like subterranean storm drain. Thanks to the Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust, there’s opportunities to go on guided tours, to explore Sheffield’s hidden underground tunnels and rivers. Inside this ‘secret’ lair, there’s some great history to be discovered including the remains of old crucibles, oyster shells and old Sheffield bricks.
🌵 After spending some time beneath the city, you’ll probably be craving some light and life, so why not take a wander around Sheffield Winter Garden. One of the largest temperate glasshouses built in the UK during the last 100 years, and the biggest urban glasshouse anywhere in Europe, this tropical paradise is home to over 2,500 plants from across the globe. Not only does the Winter Garden provide a great opportunity to connect with nature, it’s also a great place to warm up during the winter!
🍹 If you’re in Sheffield with some friends, I’d highly recommend a trip to the Treehouse Board Game Café. The first of its kind in Sheffield, take your pick from over 800 different games while enjoying a coffee, beer or bite to eat.
When you’re done playing games, head out of the city to Nether Edge where you’ll find Barrowboy. A trendy, independent cocktail bar with a great atmosphere and serving some delicious Bao Buns. It’s about a 15 minute taxi ride from the city centre, and well worth making the trip for.
Where to stay?
Eat well, sleep well, live well
Our first option is the boutique House of JÖRO. Just a stones throw from the popular restaurant (JÖRO), stay in one of 4 beautifully designed bedrooms for the ultimate foodie getaway. All rooms feature a king-size bed, and a TV with Netflix, meaning after a long day exploring the city you can kick back and relax, catching up on your favourite binge-show. Being an expansion of a restaurant you can expect a fantastic breakfast, but there’s also options to a book a 5 or 8-course tasting menu at JÖRO as part of your stay.
Next up, stay in one of the most homely and community-centered boutique hotels - Brocco on the park (who’s mantra is “eat well, sleep well, live well”). Located on the edge of Endcliffe park, this 8-bedroom hotel has been styled with a focus on creating a welcoming, calming and homely vibe. With a neutral palette of colours, the rooms feel incredibly soothing and relaxing (possibly helped by each being named after a bird’s home). Downstairs there’s a cosy seating area and a fairly large bar and restaurant where you can enjoy a wide range of food ranging from brunch and small bites, to afternoon tea and Sunday lunch.
For our last suggestion why not consider The Psalter. Housed in a beautiful Victorian building with some great original features, and located in Nether Edge, close to a wide assortment of independent restaurants and bars, this is a great option for trip to Sheffield. The largest of our three options, this hotel has 23 rooms, all featuring cool artwork and luxurious furnishings. The staff are incredibly welcoming and friendly, and the breakfast is delicious.
The friendliest city in the world - Glasgow
Next week we’ll be exploring the largest city in Scotland, famous for its role in architecture, known for its Scotch Whiskey and home to two world famous football clubs; Rangers and Celtic.
We really want to leverage the incredible travel knowledge from the thousands of subscribers that make up our Porter community. Therefore, if you’ve ever visited Glasgow, let us know the things you loved doing, or the places you stayed at. If we love your recommendations we’ll feature them in next week’s newsletter.