“Built on seven hills like the Italian capital of Rome, Sheffield is a top choice for those seeking urban convenience with an outdoor lifestyle, and was also rated best student city by Times Higher Education in 2014”
Moving to Sheffield
Situated in South Yorkshire, the northern city of Sheffield is home to around 570,000 residents, including a strong student community of around 60,000 university students. Once the heart of the UK’s steel production and a key centre for the Industrial Revolution, Sheffield has long been associated with the idea of the bleak, grim North. However, the historical city of Sheffield couldn’t be further from this dark and dingy stereotype – with two thirds of the metropolitan area dedicated to green space (not to mention two million trees), it’s one of the greenest cities in the UK, home to a thriving retail and cultural sector, and is renowned for being one of the friendliest cities in the country.
Built on seven hills like the Italian capital of Rome, Sheffield is a top choice for those seeking urban convenience with an outdoor lifestyle, and was also rated best student city by Times Higher Education in 2014. The Peak District is a short drive away, while within the city itself there are a vast array of great parks and open spaces to explore, helped by Sheffield’s compact size and walkable nature. The music scene is another big draw, particularly for young people, with the city’s many venues hosting iconic and up-and-coming bands alike, while world-famous groups including Pulp and the Arctic Monkeys both hail from Sheffield. After a difficult period following the decline of industry, Sheffield has seen a remarkable revival with many tired areas redeveloped and modernised to transform the city into the vibrant, lively city we see today.
House prices in Sheffield
With an average house price of around £180,000 as of 2017, living in Sheffield is an affordable option for many young couples and families looking to get their foot on the property ladder. South and West of the city are generally considered to be the most sought-after areas, with popular suburbs including Ecclesall Road, Nether Edge, Hunters Bar and Crookes.
“Sitting between the Peak District and the M1, Sheffield is well connected by road and rail, with direct services to cities including Manchester, Leeds and York as well as straight-forward connections to London”
Sitting between the Peak District and the M1, Sheffield is well connected by road and rail, with direct services to cities including Manchester, Leeds and York as well as straight-forward connections to London. Within the city, a good network of buses transports locals and visitors across the area, while for travel further afield there are a number of airports nearby, including Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Leeds Bradford Airport, and Manchester Airport.
As well as being close to two of Northern England’s best retail centres at Manchester and Leeds, Sheffield also boasts a brilliant selection of shops and restaurants in its own right. A number of major shopping centres, including the enormous Meadowhall Shopping Centre and Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre, ensure residents are never far away from popular high-street chains, while the city centre areas of Orchard Square and the Devonshire Quarter are home to the likes of Waterstones and Schuh alongside independent boutiques. Meanwhile, for some of Sheffield’s best independent shops and restaurants as well as a lively ambience, head straight to the quirky Eccleshall Road area, or to Moor Market for stalls selling everything from ice cream to craft fabrics.
Beer drinkers are in luck – Sheffield has a reputation for excellent small breweries, with many flocking to the Kelham Island Tavern to try their renowned range of real ales. The dining scene throughout the city is varied, with a huge range of restaurant to chose from including popular French bistro Le Bistrot Pierre, the chic Mediterranean Ego Restaurant, and classic Indian dishes from Ashoka.
Passionate home-cooks won’t struggle to find ingredients in Sheffield, with multiple branches of major supermarket chains including Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s throughout the city. Good independent grocers and food shops can also be found, such as top butchers shops Kempka and Battys.
Health & Sport
As well as hosting the UK’s oldest football team, Sheffield FC, Sheffield is a great spot for keeping fit with an array of council-run leisure centres as well as branches of major gym chains including PureGym, The Gym, and Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Gym.
With the largest theatre district outside of London, over 1,000 listed buildings and plenty of renowned local music venues, it’s almost impossible to be bored in Sheffield. Major venues include the Lyceum and the Crucible for theatrical productions and the Leadmill and Picture House Social for music, whilst art fans and history buffs will enjoy the likes of Weston Park Museum, the Millennium Galleries and Chatsworth House. Add a number of annual festivals, blockbuster and independent cinemas and the Sheffield Walk of Fame, and there’s more than enough to keep even the most picky residents entertained.
“Beer drinkers are in luck – Sheffield has a reputation for excellent small breweries, with many flocking to the Kelham Island Tavern to try their renowned range of real ales”
Schools and Education
Historically Sheffield hasn’t offered the best selection of schools for families with children, but results are steadily improving and there are some excellent options to be found. Totley Primary School, Stocksbridge Junior School and St Theresa’s Catholic Primary School are among the leading primary schools in the city, all with over 97% pupils reaching expected levels in Maths and English. For older pupils, the independent Birkdale School and Sheffield High School are extremely sought-after, as are top state options Notre Dame High School and King Ecgbert School.
For higher education, there’s both the University of Sheffield (regularly ranked among the UK’s top 20 universities) and Sheffield Hallam University.
With a crime rate of 78 crimes per 1000 people as of 2017, Sheffield is considered to be a safe city and has a much lower crime rate than that of neighbouring Leeds.
Over 22% of Sheffield is made up of green space, making it one of the greenest cities in the UK. While parks and green spots can be found all over, Norfolk Heritage Park and Sheffield Botanical Gardens are two of the finest in Sheffield, with the latter particularly renowned for its incredible selection of plant life. For some properly rugged countryside, the Peak District National Park is a short distance away and offers plenty of opportunities for hiking and exploring.