New Sheffield guidebook is a love letter to the city

Sheffield - the steel city, home to the world-famous Crucible, a city of seven hills and the birthplace of the Arctic Monkeys.

Wednesday, 20th April 2016, 6:00 am
Our Favourite Places. The front Parlour -Shaun Bloodworth.

But a new guidebook, billed as a love letter to Sheffield, has been produced to showcase the hidden gems the city has to offer - the businesses and attractions off the beaten track.

Aimed at attracting more tourists to Sheffield, the book - Our Favourite Places - features the some of the city’s more well known draws, such as the Lyceum theatre, the Winter Garden and the Peace Gardens complete with their fountains in the shadow of the city’s impressive Town Hall.

Our Favourite Places. Seiko Kinoshita at Yorkshire artspace - Nigel Barker.

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But setting the handy-sized guidebook apart from rivals is the in-depth knowledge of its contributors, each focusing on the shops, cafes, restaurants, attractions and activities they feel make Sheffield unique and which the masses may not have yet discovered.

In addition to appealing to people from outside Sheffield who want to find out about the UK’s fourth largest city, the book is also designed to appeal to local residents who want to learn more about the place they call home.

It features suggestions for places people could visit if they have 24, 48 or 72 hours to spend exploring the city, including Sheffield’s oldest Indian restaurant, Ashoka on Ecclesall Road; the Devonshire Quarter, made up of independent shops and a wide selection of bars and restaurants, plus the Sheffield Tap - once a fancy Edwardian refreshment room at Sheffield Railway Station and a now a pub which opened in 2009 and boasts a 100-strong beer menu.

Copywriter Kathryn Hall, who helped produce the 130-page book for design company Eleven Design, based in Kelham Island, said: “It’s a love letter to Sheffield.

Our Favourite Places. Record collector - Gemma Thorpe.

“The idea is that it will appeal to tourists and attract more people to Sheffield but that it will also be of interest to local people wanting to find out more about the city. There will be people living here who have no idea about some of the places the book features.

“In fact we do get thank yous from people for recommending places top them which they had no idea about.

“Our Favourite Places was created to let others in on what makes Sheffield unique, to bring perceptions up to date and to encourage people to either visit or be tourists in their hometown.”

The book is split into areas of the city, which each boast a wide selection of places to visit including the city centre, Kelham Island, Sharrow Vale and Ecclesall Road, Western Bank and Broomhill and London and Abbeydale Roads.

Our Favourite Places. Friday night ride - Gemma Thorpe

A vintage shop which has been run by a Sheffield family for over 30 years is one of those with pride of place in the book.

Set up by Betty Nash in 1979, The Front Parlour on Sharrow Vale Road is described in the book as ‘an utter delight’.

“It’s a joy to step back in time her, never sure of what you’ll find,” the book enthuses.

Now run by Jane Grant, after her mum, Betty, retired two years ago at nearly 88 years old, the shops sells an eclectic collection including vintage clothing, homeware and costume jewellery.

Our Favourite Places. Seiko Kinoshita at Yorkshire artspace - Nigel Barker.

Jane, who opens the shop on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and spends the rest of the week scouring the country for treasures to sell, said: “We are really proud to be featured in the book, it’s an honour.

“We have loyal customers who have been coming to the shop now since we opened, we just rumble on. It will be nice to see some new faces in here and hopefully they will appreciate what we do to keep the place interesting for people.”

Another shop which features in the book is Record Collector in Broomhill, described in the guide as a ‘music lover’s mecca’.

It goes on to sell the shop as being ‘at the heart of Sheffield’s music scene for nearly four decades’ and describes it as ‘a cornerstone of the city’s cultural life’ and a ‘local institution’.

The Yorkshire Artspace on Brown Street - home to scores of artists and craftsmen and women - is also showcased in the book, as a hub of creative activity.

In a section of the book titled ‘Other Good Stuff’, attractions and places to visit are listed, including Millhouses and Graves parks, Ecclesall Woods, the Rivelin Valley and the ruins of Manor Lodge.

Our Favourite Places. Record collector - Gemma Thorpe.

The lodge was built in 1516, was once at the heart of a huge deer park and for 16 years Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner there.

It also promotes the Friday Night Ride event, which is a monthly gathering of cyclists who meet up in Sheffield explore the city on their bikes, with each ride based on a specific theme.

Our Favourite Places. Friday night ride - Gemma Thorpe