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Great accessible UK weekend breaks: Sheffield

25th March 2019

Known as the Steel City, Sheffield is an iconic place to head to for a long weekend as you can explore the city’s history in the industry as well as the green, modern cityscape you see today.

There’s so much to see and do with award-winning theatres, festivals and art galleries just some of the places you can visit during your stay. Being the compact city it is, Sheffield is also renowned for being really accessible and easy to get around for visitors who suffer from mobility problems and need aids like walk in baths and stairlifts to get around their home.

How to get to Sheffield

Travelling to Sheffield by rail

The mainline station in Sheffield has fast direct links to London and there are hourly fast trains to Manchester City Centre and Manchester International Airport.

Travelling to Sheffield by road

With motorway links with the M1, junctions 33 and 34, the city is very accessible via car. There are also regular national coach and National Express services to the city from around the UK as well.

Travelling by air

There are four international airports within less than an hour's drive, meaning the city is easy to reach from overseas destinations and other airports across the UK.

Best accessible attractions to visit

Sheffield has lots of amazing attractions to visit and here are three accessible places you can head to.

The Crucible Theatre

This iconic theatre was originally opened back in 1971 but in 2010 it underwent a £15.3 million redevelopment to modernise its facilities.

The world-famous Crucible Theatre is a Sheffield landmark you must head to during your visit to the city. With a distinctive stage that’s surrounded by seating on three sides, you will not be more than 20 metres from the action.

The theatre has a reputation for putting on unforgettable productions; from classic dramas to shows that are going to be the next big thing.

The World Snooker Championships are held at the Crucible every year and if you’re a snooker fan then you could coincide a weekend break to the city with the championships. This year the event takes place from 20 April to 6 May.

The Crucible Theatre is very accessible with level access points, ramps, lifts and disabled toilets available for all visitors with mobility problems to use.

Sheffield Botanical Gardens

The Sheffield Botanical Gardens has 15 different areas featuring collections of plants from across the globe. There are plants from the Mediterranean, Asia, the US as well as woodland and rock-and-water plantings that visitors can see.

The gardens aren’t only home to the national collections of Weigela, Diervilla and Sarcococca, but there are several listed buildings located here. These include the Grade II listed curvilinear Glass Pavilions, some of the earliest ever built.

Despite the botanical gardens being opened back in 1836, the attractions are extremely accessible to visitors with mobility issues. People in wheelchairs can access all parts of the gardens and there are two mobility scooters available to hire for free.

If you’re looking to go for a gentle stroll or want a beautiful getaway in the centre of Sheffield, then the botanical gardens should be on your bucket list.

Millennium Gallery

The Millennium Gallery is the premier destination for art, craft and design and here you can get a great insight into Sheffield’s unique heritage.

Visitors can see the metalwork which made the city famous all over the world as well as displays of contemporary art and design.

The gallery also hosts some of the finest touring exhibitions and this includes displays from the V&A, Tate and National Portrait Gallery.

Exhibitions at the Millenium Gallery include Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, the Ruskin Collection, The Sykes Gallery: Metalwork Collection and Christopher Dresser: Pioneer of Modern Design.

The gallery has full wheelchair access from its Winter Garden and Cadman Lane entrances as well as the Arundel Gate entrance. Those who struggle to walk for long distances, or an extended period of time, can benefit from the ample seating that is available in the main foyers of the gallery.

Best restaurants in Sheffield

Sheffield is well known for being home to a number of top restaurants that serve up foods from around the globe. Here are just some of the most popular and accessible ones you can visit.

The Devonshire Cat

If you’re looking for classic gastropub food, then you should look to give the Devonshire Cat on Wellington Street a try.

The pub is easily accessible to diners with mobility issues as there are disabled parking spaces near the pub and bus and tram stops just five minutes away. There are also disabled toilets inside the pub.

The pub is renowned for serving foods that are locally sourced, fresh and homemade. The menu changes regularly, around every three months, to make the best use of seasonally available produce at every step. Some of the foods you could try include grilled lemon and herb chicken breast and beer battered cod.

Café Rouge

For visitors looking for a bite to eat in the city centre, the Café Rouge is a great option. It serves French food and wine in a Parisian bistro-style setting.

Café Rouge became a household name after the chain featured in Bridget Jones’s Diary as a favourite hangout for Bridget and her friends. You can recreate some of the famous scenes in Sheffield’s Café Rouge and enjoy classics like steak and moules frites and baguettes.

The café is also very accessible to visitors with mobility problems as there is level access throughout the eatery, accessible toilets and disabled parking on the street adjacent to the restaurant.

Ego

Part of a family of Mediterranean inspired pubs and restaurants, Ego will offer you freshly cooked Mediterranean dishes, wine and cocktails.

Being located in the heart of Sheffield city centre, in the beautiful Winter Gardens, the restaurant is close-by to attractions such as The Crucible and The Lyceum.

The menu offers a mixture of cuisine from France, Spain, Italy and Morocco, while it’s a la carte menu offers fish and seafood options, steaks, pizza, pasta and paella.

Ego is renowned for being an accessible restaurant for visitors who have mobility problems. There is a ramp to the entrance and is flat throughout as well as boasting nearby car parking and disabled toilets.

Best accessible tours

There are lots of accessible tours in Sheffield that visitors with mobility issues can go on and below are the ones which are recommended.

Tour of St Marie's Cathedral

With fine carvings, sculptures and beautiful stained-glass windows, there is lots to be discovered at St Marie's Cathedral in Sheffield.

There are now free accessible tours available every Wednesday at 2.30pm and are led by the cathedral’s experienced guides.

Guided tours of this hidden gem are highly recommended as it has a fascinating history and impressive architecture – some of which was designed by the world-famous architect, Augustus Pugin.

The cathedral itself is very accessible with wide aisles, sitting and resting areas available and a disabled toilet on site too.

Kelham Island Food Tours

If you are a foodie, you should consider going on guided food and drink tours around the historic district of Kelham Island.

With Kelham Island Food Tours you can now explore the district and its wealth of small food and drink producers. Here you can visit Sheffield’s first and only urban cheesemaker, micro-bakeries, coffee roasters, local gin and beer producers.

There are a number of accessible tours you can go on and here are some of their most popular ones:

Sheffield Boats

If you want to put your feet up, then a trip with Sheffield Boats is a great option. Here you can cruise from Sheffield’s city centre at Victoria Quays and by mooring, in the heart of the city, it is easy walking distance to the city’s hotels and other top attractions.

Sheffield Boats run trips for a variety of occasions and the facilities are excellent, especially for those with mobility problems. There is a full kitchen and licensed bar as well as low windows, accessible toilets and wheelchair access.

These trips allow you to see parts of Sheffield and the surrounding area that you may not see.

Other activities

Visit the Peak District National Park

Just 30-minutes away from the Steel City is the Peak District National Park, which boasts some of England’s most spectacular scenery.

From the spectacular views and amazing geology to picturesque villages and towns, there are lots of things you can do during a visit here.

The Peak District boasts an extensive public transport network, and this gives visitors to Sheffield the perfect chance to visit the countryside without worrying about driving

For people who are less mobile, or have young families, the national park provides visitors with information and ideas about what you can do during your visit. There are Miles without Stiles routes in the park and this is perfect for wheelchair users and those of you who are less mobile.

If you decide to drive to the national park, then there are lots of disabled parking bays in the car parks and disabled toilets available throughout the park.

Get a great insight into Sheffield’s industry

The Kelham Island Museum was first opened back in 1982 and is located in one of the city's oldest industrial districts.

Here you can explore industrial Sheffield and walk through interactive galleries that tell you about the early beginnings of the city to the powerhouse it became. Visitors will also get an insight into what it was like to live and work in the city during the Industrial Revolution, the Victorian Era and the two world wars.

The different exhibitions explore:

  • Steel
  • Growth and Power of the city
  • Mass Industrialisation
  • People and Skills
  • The Victorian Age
  • The Transport Gallery and Open Store

The museum caters for visitors with mobility problems as there are blue badge parking bays at the museum, there’s a firm and level footpath which has recently been installed over the cobbles and there are automatic doors and lifts throughout the building.

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Image credits: Andreas Mortonus

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.