Sheffield is more than just a nice place to live, it is the most unique city in the UK. We know that’s a bold claim, but there’s only one city in the world with 61% green space, and that’s Sheffield. If you’re thinking about moving to Sheffield, we’re going to make your decision a whole lot easier. Keep reading to learn about many of the things that make Sheffield so great.
The Outdoor City
If you love to spend time outdoors but need to live close to a city for work, Sheffield could be perfect for you. As the Peak District National Park makes up a whopping one-third of the city, Sheffield stands in a league of its own regarding green space.
Hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing are just a few outdoor activities that are popular in Sheffield. The hilly nature of the city also makes it a fantastic place to cycle and run – not only for fitness but to experience breathtaking views.
But if you prefer gentle walks in quiet places, you’ll find no shortage of urban greenery in Sheffield. And if you want to immerse yourself in a landscape of valleys, caves and waterfalls, it won’t take long to venture deeper into the Peak District.
Many locals rate the vast amounts of open green space as the best thing about Sheffield. This, along with the friendly atmosphere and community feel, have contributed to Sheffield being dubbed the biggest village in England.
You’ll never be bored
Don’t be fooled by the size of Sheffield and think there can’t be much to do. Sure, it’s smaller than nearby Manchester, but Sheffield has a vibrant culture and social scene. Aside from what’s on offer to outdoor enthusiasts, what else is available in the Outdoor City?
If you love a night at the theatre, Sheffield might be best the place outside of London. The Sheffield Theatre Complex is the largest outside of the nation’s capital and contains three unique theatres, each with schedules jam-packed with world-class productions.
If music is more your thing, you’ll be pleased to know Sheffield is more than just ground zero for successful acts like Arctic Monkeys and Joe Cocker. Every year, the city hosts Tramlines, one of the UK’s most popular music festivals. What’s more, recently Sheffield has stepped forward as a hotspot for electronic music and now puts on No Bounds, an indoor festival taking place for the 7th time in early autumn of 2023. Adding to the eclectic menu of live music events is Sheffield’s Chamber Music Festival, which features intimate performances of classical music.
There are more than just festivals, though. Live music venues are abundant in Sheffield, including the 3,500-capacity Utilita Arena and the O2 Academy. Plus, a night out on the town is always on the cards in Sheffield. The wide range of bars and clubs makes sure everyone’s music tastes are catered to. Tank, Gatsby and Onyx are just a few of the top-rated late-night venues.
You can often tell how good a city is by looking at how good its restaurants are. Sheffield certainly delivers on that front. You’ll find no shortage of great places to eat, whether you’re grabbing soulful street food on the go or treating your taste buds to a fine dining experience. According to TimeOut, as of 2022, some of the best restaurants in Sheffield are Joro, Rafters and Old Vicarage, three of the nine restaurants in Sheffield featured in the Michelin Guide. Whether you’re in the mood for an 8-course tasting menu with local produce or a sweat-inducing Thai or Indian curry, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Sheffield.
What we’ve mentioned only just scratches the surface of Sheffield’s diverse cultural and social scene. Maybe it seems too good to be true? Check out some of the cons of living in Sheffield to get a balanced perspective.
Fantastic job opportunities
According to Core Cities UK, Sheffield’s economy is worth over £11.3bn. Of the many sectors that contribute, like digital & tech, energy, and healthcare, Sheffield’s advanced manufacturing & engineering sector takes centre stage. Global companies Boeing, Mclaren and Rolls Royce situate key headquarters in the city. Sheffield’s diverse, modern economy is a far cry from the old days when the city was synonymous with the steel industry and had to rebuild itself after the industry declined. Due to the strength of these industries, Sheffield provides ample job opportunities to professionals.
But Sheffield is also a hospital place for entrepreneurs thanks to the low cost of living and large working population. That’s why Startups.co.uk ranked Sheffield as the best place to start a business outside of London in 2022. With two top universities in the city, business owners will find no shortage of capable candidates with the skills they need. Sheffield was also found to offer excellent support to new businesses.
Such is the confidence in Sheffield’s potential to become even better that hundreds of millions of pounds are being pumped into the city’s infrastructure. Bold plans are on the horizon to spruce up various parts of the city centre, including a £500m scheme to transform the Heart of the City. Insiders expect this to create thousands of new jobs and uplift the retail scene.
If you’re looking to move to Sheffield, have you considered using a cash house buyer to get your property sold ASAP? We Buy Any Home is Nottingham’s top cash house buyer, and we’ll guarantee you a fast, hassle-free sale of any property type in any condition.
Cheap living alongside friendly people
Affordability is a buzzword that gets thrown around all the time, but Sheffield actually has the numbers to back up its claim of being an affordable place to live. In terms of cost of living, Sheffield is 24.1% cheaper than London, excluding rent. To rent, it’s 61.3% less expensive than in London.
Sheffield also beats out neighbouring Manchester for affordability with lower prices for consumer products, restaurants and groceries. All this data come from the cost of living track Numbeo.com. The Student Living Index by the bank NatWest also identified Sheffield as the UK’s 3rd more affordable student city – good news for the 60,000-strong student population.
What’s the use of living somewhere affordable if there’s nothing to do and the people aren’t nice? We’ve already covered some of the endless things to experience in Sheffield, and, fortunately, the people in Sheffield are just as amazing. It’s no secret that Yorkshire folk have a reputation for being friendly, and that’s not just because the dialect sounds so warm. Sheffield’s unique brand of northern kindness is something you’ll always remember after coming here.
Lower house prices than the UK average
Throughout Sheffield there are serene suburbs with excellent housing stock, in addition to city centre areas with modern, lavish apartments like Kelham Island. In the last 12 months, Rightmove found that the average Sheffield property had a price of £241,957. When we consider that the average new seller asking price is £372,812 in the UK as of June 2023, Sheffield is clearly a place on the more affordable end of the market.
Dore and Fulwood are two expensive suburbs in West Sheffield that more than justify their prices. They’re especially safe and green areas with massive detached houses. We’d recommend looking for a property there if you can afford it. Another area that is arguably just as good but is less expensive is Norton Lees. You can learn more in our guide about the best places to live in Sheffield.