Many families across Sheffield don’t have the spare cash for exotic holidays this summer. Here is Nancy Fielder’s guide to a great staycation.
Welcome to Sheffield.
We hope you’ve had a good journey and we know you are going to have a great break in this fantastic destination.
Once you’ve all had a chance to freshen up, in accommodation so comfy you’ll feel like you’re at home, we’ll share all the secrets of this amazing city and its worldwide reputation.
There is so much to do you may have trouble cramming it all into two weeks annual leave but the good news is you can come back whenever you like - in the blink of an eye.
No decent welcome meeting could begin to provide an introduction to Sheffield without pointing out not only its fearsome industrial past but also its picturesque countryside.
In fact, a third of the city actually lies within the Peak National Park.
Scenery, history, shopping, sports and nightlife, Sheffield has some hidden gems as well as the old favourites.
Most importantly the people are without a doubt among the most friendly in the world - just ask any local if you don’t believe us.
We may be landlocked but if Sheffielders can’t get to the beach, then the beach comes to Sheffield.
Families can enjoy sand and hopefully sunshine at a beach right in the city centre thanks to the temporary attractions available in the Peace Gardens.
There are rides and stalls galore until Monday, August 29, so grab a stick of rock and pull up a deck chair.
As the greenest city in Britain there are also lots of parks, woodlands and nature reserves to explore and with more than 80 to pick from, there are very few people who can say they have been to them all.
Sheffield has more than 175 woods packed with two million trees and teeming with wildlife for those who take the time to explore.
You’ll find more animals at the city’s farm attractions including Graves Park, Whirlow Farm, Heeley City Farm and the Tropical Butterfly Centre at North Anston.
You can make your own local guidebook for free and get more information than you could ever use by doing a quick internet search.
Holidays are all about meeting new people and even in your own city you will find new friends joining the city council’s rangers on one of their free events.
On Sunday you can pick between helping clear the fishponds at the corner of Richmond Road, or if you prefer something less like hard work, join the rangers discovering natural history on the circular Holmesfield Ramble.
Ranger events take place right through the week whether you want something different to do with the kids or just fancy learning something about the area where you live.
There are lots of walks designed to help people find out more about our city, including Sheffield Round Walk.
It covers 14 miles through the parks, woodland and countryside of the south west, starting at Endcliffe Park through the Porter Valley to Ringinglow.
You’ll see the Limb Valley, Ecclesall Woods, Ladies Spring Wood, Chancet Wood and Graves Park before rambling through the Gleadless Valley, Meersbrook Park and Chelsea Park.
On the other side of the city you’ll find Stone to SteelStone to Steel, celebrating 10,000 years of human history in the Upper Don Valley.
It includes 10 square miles around the Don and Little Don river valleys up to the border of the Peak District and taking in Stocksbridge, Deepcar, Wharncliffe Side, Oughtibridge, Bolsterstone, Midhopestones and Grenoside.
There are a range of walks to discover every aspect of history, from pre-historic settlements to Victorian industrialisation.
This diverse landscape has supported and sheltered Sheffielders through thousands of years of change but there are many living here now who have never even visited. There are plenty of good pubs where you can enjoy a pint and home-cooked food or gorgeous places for picnic pitstops along the way.
Talking of food, you’ll find restaurants from every continent but you can’t leave without trying the local delicacy, true Sheffield fishcakes.This is something you really can’t get outside this region although there are poor imitations to be found worldwide.
You can wash it down with real ale brewed in the heart of the city or sip a cocktail in one of the many bars scattered around the centre.
If you enjoy finding out more about your holiday destinations you can gorge on Sheffield history for free at the city museums.
See the enormous River Don Engine at Kelham Island, step back in time at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, get arty at Weston Park or find out about prisoner Mary Queen of Scots at Manor Lodge.
Once you’ve had your fill of shopping at Meadowhall or the city centre, there are lots of specialist craft centres like handmade chocolates and the Bear Emporium at Ridgeway Craft Centre.
If you are wanting presents for your nearest and dearest there is always Sheffield’s unique Henderson’s Relish but why not treat yourself to some local produce from a farm shop such as Liberty Foods on Baslow Road?
So off you go and explore the largest village in the world - but don’t forget to pack a waterproof alongside that sun cream.
Get the most out of Sheffield
Find out about Sheffield’s museums at www.museums-sheffield.org.uk
Discover the local area with rambles from www.stonetosteel.org.uk
Pick your favourite park at www.sheffield.gov.uk/out--about/parks-woodlands--countryside
Join free rangers events at www.sheffield.gov.uk/out--about/parks-woodlands--countryside/rangers/all-about-us
Head on the Sheffield Round Walk, www.sheffieldroundwalk.co.uk/