With a growing food scene, top theatres and surrounded by glorious countryside, Sheffield has all the ingredients for a blissful break away.
Now the city has been hailed as the best destination in the country when it comes to a bargain weekend trip for the bank holiday later this month.
Travel website TripAdvisor found a three-night trip in Sheffield would cost £614 – half the price of an equivalent stay in London at a hefty £1,331.
Last year Sheffield topped the firm’s survey on value short breaks, pipping Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham and Manchester.
Ian Slater, chairman of Hospitality Sheffield and manager of the Metropolitan Hotel, said visitors came for a combination of reasons, from visiting Chatsworth to taking part in sporting competitions.
He said: “I think Sheffield is still good value, the room rate is very competitive in Sheffield compared to somewhere like Manchester but you still need to have the content.
“If there is not something to do it doesn’t matter what the rate is, people won’t come if you don’t have the likes of the Peak District on your doorstep, things to do in the city and a good night time economy.
“Sheffield is still a very popular place for a night out and many visitors go to the Peak District, we have a Chatsworth House package which has been more popular this year than ever before.”
Other northern cities such as Liverpool, Newcastle, Leeds, Chester and Glasgow were also in the top ten cheapest destinations list.
Sheffield’s value for money dinners and inexpensive hotels drew in the tourists, while London was the most expensive because of its expensive taxis, meals and attractions.
Coun Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for neighbourhoods at Sheffield Council, said: “Those of us that live here know that Sheffield is a wonderful city with a vibrant centre and easy access to some of the most beautiful countryside in Sheffield.
“We have a whole range of hotels to suit every budget, most of which are within walking distance from the train station, and there is certainly plenty to do on a short break.
“I hope the survey will encourage more people to visit Sheffield for the first time.”
Top bargain trips in Sheffield
1) There’s no need for the seaside – Rivelin Valley Water Play off Rivelin Valley Road has interactive water play equipment and free entry. It’s open until the end of September.
2) Sheffield has more than 800 green spaces. Sheffield Botanical Gardens, off Ecclesall Road, is a Grade II listed attraction with stunning glass pavilions, 19 acres of greenery and a bear pit. Across town Graves Park is the city’s biggest park, and includes a petting zoo. Entry to both is free.
3) Alpacas, wallabies and even reindeer roam around the Mayfield Alpacas farm in Ringinglow. Adult entry is £3.50, children £1.50, and the nearby Norfolk Arms pub also has a stunning view over Sheffield.
4) Discover the story of Sheffield at Weston Park Museum, which also has temporary exhibitions and interactive learning displays. Entry free.
5) Kelham Island is hailed as an up-and-coming area of Sheffield. As well as Kelham Island Museum, which tells Sheffield’s industrial story, there are award-winning pubs like the Kelham Island Tavern which helped Sheffield clinch the title of ‘Britain’s best beer city’ in the New York Times. Museum entry is £3.50 for adults, free for children.
6) One of the city centre’s many impressive structures is the Winter Garden, home to more than 2,500 plants, linked to the Peace Gardens and Millennium Galleries and one of the largest temperate glasshouses built in the UK.
7) Norfolk Heritage Trail begins at Sheffield Railway Station and takes in the iconic Park Hill flats and Manor Lodge – where Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner.
8) Shop until you drop at Sheffield’s quirky independent stores – including those on Devonshire and Division Street in the city centre and Sharrowvale Road off Ecclesall Road.
9) Sheffield has dozens of restaurants, but for bargain gourmet-style street food to the bi-monthly Peddler Night Market in the Cultural Industries Quarter. The next event is on October 2-3. Entry free.
10) Art lovers can peruse thousands of pieces on show at Art in the Gardens on September 5 and 6 in the botanical gardens. Entry is £6 for adults and free for children.
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