What’s it about?
Famous for its history of heavy industry – steel and spoons mostly – and for a film about desperate unemployed men, with no industry left to work in, stripping for money. Which was treated as a feelgood 90s comedy fun.
Right next to the Peak District and of such steep gradient the residents are perpetually breathless, which at least stops them calling each other ‘duck’, Sheffield is like Paris in the Belle Époque compared to neighbours Rotherham and Barnsley.
Any good points?
A thriving cultural scene built mostly around The Full Monty and Pulp – both over 25 years old – and bugger all else. The former’s being revisited in a Disney sequel to answer the key question of whether Robert Carlyle’s ballsack now reaches his knees.
Music remains important to the city, with Arctic Monkeys exploding onto the scene in 2006 and remaining relevant right until their lead singer started talking like an American. For cool points, pretend you saw them at the now-closed Boardwalk before they were signed, or indie club The Leadmill, a historic venue that’s about to be sold up for flats.
Sheffield also spawned Tony Christie, singer of (Is This the Way to) Amarillo, which you’ll now have stuck in your head all day. You’re welcome.
The local delicacy is Henderson’s Relish, which the locals put on everything from cheese on toast to fish and chips. Try not to say it’s a shit version of Worcestershire sauce. Just think it.
The hills, oh god, the hills. The pints might be cheap but the hills are steep. Looming over the city on one of its seven hills is the brutalist Park Hill estate, a hideous inner-city landmark used as slum clearance in the 60s and then unsurprisingly a no-go area by the 80s.
It’s been saved from demolition so that a new generation of Sheffield residents can try to ignore this massive fucking eyesore, and so arty students can take wanky black-and-white snaps for their poverty porn final-year projects.
From there, take a spin around Park Square, a colossal fucking roundabout, and into the city centre while trying not to get run over by one of its many trams, which it’s easy to forget exist because this isn’t the 1900s. Imagine having ‘run over by tram’ on your death certificate.
Hang out at…
The Crucible, a venue features everything from classical music to experimental theatre which is chiefly known for hosting the World Snooker Championships. Year after year, snooker nerds descend on the city to listen to their little radios, drink halves of bitter in the pubs and generally be boring as fuck.
Endless bars on Division and West streets are there to cater to pissed-up students, whether clever ones from the University of Sheffield or ones doing sports science at Sheffield Hallam.
Fans of rough families in tracksuits should head to the Meadowhall, the super-sized and dated shopping centre. If you like the cheaper end of the high street and a food hall that stinks of flatulence while being impossible to get a table in, you’ll love it.
Where to buy?
If you’ve got a few quid, you might be able to afford a flat in an old knife and fork factory near the city centre. If you do, the cone-stealing antics of hammered students will delight you seven days a week.
Hipsters buy in new creative area Kelham Island, which has a microbrewery and somewhere that does fancy pizzas. There’s plenty of good living out of the city, but remember if you get to Rotherham you’ve gone too far. Far too far.
From the streets:
Helen Archer, aged 30: “Nah then. When people slag off Sheffield it makes my reyt mardy. Do tha not think so, duck? Sorry, I’ve actually only lived here six weeks and I don’t know what came over me then.”