My title really makes you want to book tickets to Sheffield England right now right?
Okay, so here’s the thing, Sheffield England is like ‘Anycity’ to us. It’s in the Middle of England but some call it the North however based on the map…I beg to differ!
We had our 3rd housesit in England in Sheffield and we were here for 16 days in the Greenhill area. It was a rural area just outside the big city. October 1st thru 16th 2016.
Sheffield, a city in South Yorkshire, England. Humans have been in this area since the Ice Age! Isn’t that amazing and crazy? Sheffied has always been an industrial town and is noted for it’s production of quality knives, steel and for silver plating.
Unfortunately, after the 1973 Oil Crisis, and the downturn of world trade, this industrial city has seen a huge economic downturn leading to the closure of many of the steelworks. Sheffield has never fully recovered.
When we told others from England that our next location was Sheffield, they ALL looked at us quizzically and said “Why?”
What’s weird is that it’s a nicer area than many others we’ve seen and been to and it borders the Peak District. The Peak District is an upland area in England at the southernmost end of the Pennines. It falls mostly in northern Derbyshire but also includes parts of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire and Yorkshire and is also a National Park. It’s gorgeous and a huge draw to nature and outdoor lovers.
Being from Seattle, WA in the USA we are accustomed to being in a big city while also having smaller, but thriving and bustling cities in the outskirts such as Tacoma & Everett.
As a comparison, Seattle Washington and Sheffield England are both around the same size with Seattle being about 100k Larger at 650k people.
When we first drove through the city, by bus, on the morning we arrived at our House Sit, we noticed a lot of elephant art banners.
These Elephants made us wonder if there was something special or some exhibits we must see while here so we got on Google. Apparently, these Elephants were a special fundraising effort on behalf of Sheffield Children’s Hospital called The Herd of Sheffield. This was the biggest Public Arts Event the city has ever seen and apparently was a huge success. We happened to arrive on the last weekend that the Elephants were to be seen so we didn’t get to experience it in person.
On our drive we saw big and small buildings, houses of all shapes and sizes. As we wound our way to our destination we saw more homes and mom & pop shops along with the Tesco’s (convenience stores all over like 7-11), Morrison’s and Sainsbury’s (think your national grocery chains) scattered all about and the schools and fields.
Just as with the other cities and towns we’ve visited, the homes all looked very similar and the architecture and building colors and shapes were all the same to us.
We ventured into the city a couple of times just set about on foot and using the transit system to get around. The overall vibe of the city, that we felt, was kind of just like at home.
The mall was like Bellevue Square – a upper end mall that has more well dressed consumers looking to get their shop on and be seen. There was a crazy huge food court with everything from Indian to American fast food and sit down dining.
The people don’t look you in the eye, smile or are friendly when walking but one on one the people are great. Isn’t that weird that people act this way? Not just here but in most places.
Hey Everyone! Look up and at people walking by if you are going out in public. You can look at your phone at home, on the bus/train and in bed at night.
Not because the city didn’t have any life in it but because we’ve seen it all before if that makes sense.
We left Seattle because we wanted to see new places and cultures and more. Sheffield is so similar with it’s large shopping malls filled to the brim, art, people, transit, parks and greenery, and just everything…that we might as well not have left at all.
I think that if we had visited Sheffield as our first stop we might not have felt this way but we do.
I’m sure that if you are looking for a big city to visit (that is still much friendlier than London) then you will most likely enjoy Sheffield and all it has to offer.
We have no complaints about Sheffield or it’s inhabitants.
The people were very nice and we talked to everyone we could: from the local Butcher who had the best sausages and beef we’ve ever eaten but the worst fish selection ever; to the locals at the tavern on a Friday Night who we danced with to a great local cover band; to the excellent mail delivery guys who were so pleasant and timely.
The people we met were all wonderful and we felt very welcome and safe everywhere we went, even in areas that were a bit shady looking.
Apparently we were house sitting in one of the nicer areas of Sheffield. I’d equate it with staying in the Queen Anne Neighborhood of Seattle but without the super cool and unique homes. Most of the homes in England look the same. Color and materials and even design.
Our best find in Sheffield was just a short walk away from where we were staying. There was a farm, Border View Farm, which is in an area called Derbyshire.
The kids (our Teenagers) LOVED petting all the farm animals and talking to them. Sam told us that he couldn’t ever remember petting a horse or goat before. Good thing we took him to all those petting zoos when he was younger…guess we made some lasting memories for him! He kills me sometimes.
Alex loved the horses the most and Sam just loved all the animals and got so happy when he found out there were Llama’s too. It’s funny sometimes how you think your kids will react to things. I thought that Alex would be more jazzed than Sam but he’s surprised us a lot on this trip and he’s been so excited about almost everything which is Awesome for all of us.
Anywho, we meandered around the farm until we ventured into their Shop. They had freshly butchered meats and fresh cheeses which were all just – okay. BUT, we found some Horseradish and bought 2 along with one Jam.
Our plan was to send one of each back home to my parents and then to use one horseradish ourselves for steak that night with our newly purchased meat.
OMG. I’ve had a LOT of horseradish in my life. From freshly grated, homemade, different varieties canned and from restaurants and then this. The best horseradish in the entire world. I’m not even joking.
The kids loved it. Shawn and I couldn’t get enough. We ate it with every meal we could over the next few nights just so we could have some more. It was so sad when we finished the bottle. I wish we could take one with us along on our adventures but we just don’t have the room. I did take a photo of the ingredients so I can try and replicate it. They don’t sell it online – yet – but I hope they see this post and get it out there because it could become a major deal for them. No Joke!
Anyway, we ate at some nice restaurants as well as not so good and really loved the S17 Bistro and visited twice. What a great, high end, and delicious find in an unlikely location. Everything was great and I still fantasize about their Brownies. Every little detail about their meals and even their served drinks were well thought out and beautiful. We highly recommend visiting here if you make it to Sheffield.
Isn’t this a beautiful shot of the South Yorkshire countryside? I took it as the sun was just starting to set right after walking away from the Farm. I peeked through some trees and saw this view. This is what I personally prefer to see of England.
The landscapes here are amazingingly beautiful and lush. I thought that Washington was Lush but upon seeing England, I’ve realized that I didn’t understand the true meaning of the word. LUSH is what the English Countryside is. STUNNING.
In fact, I highly recommend you taking a Train from South England up to Edinburgh Scotland so you can also see a good stretch of coast which is just breathtaking.
On October 10th Shawn and I both woke up not realizing it was our Anniversary. Thanks to Facebook Memories, we were reminded. After being together 20yrs we just don’t really think of our Anniversary as being a huge day because we are together every day and we are celebrating life right now by traveling the world and going after our dream!
Well, that’s when we went to get that brownie at S16 Bistro and we also each picked out some great chocolates at a shop around the corner from the restaurant. We spent our day with the kids watching The Office reruns, eating, going on walks and just being with one another. It was a great day.
Our stay in Sheffield was fairly uneventful which was nice in some respects because we were trying to plow through some work for our Scentsy business and school assignments for Sam so we could head for a week of fun to Ireland and Scotland without doing either!
We took care of a Terrier Puppy name Bella and the easiest cat ever – Terry. The family we sat for were lovely, very warm and welcoming and we felt totally at ease in their home and neighborhood.
Overall, I say that Sheffield is a nice place to visit. Nothing super exciting but it’s also got plenty to keep you occupied and satisfied.
I think we are just ready to visit somewhere more exotic. Sorry Sheffield. I wish I could’ve said we can’t wait to come back. BUT, if we happened to pass through here I’d have good feelings and wouldn’t resist.