The most alt places in The Guardian’s alt guide to Sheffield
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Are you tired of going to the same student-filled clubs every week? Do you long to explore more of Sheffield than West Street Live? The steel city often gets a bad rep for being more middle of the road than nearby Leeds or Manchester. However, The Guardian’s alt guide to Sheffield proves that there is more going on between these seven hills than initially meets the eye.
We’ve published guides on everything from cocktails to Peddler Night Market to help you make the most of living in Sheffield. The Guardian praises the city that, “never shouts about itself and doesn’t compromise, detests careerism and prizes individuality.” Makes it sound pretty sick, right? So, if you miraculously wake up without a hangover one weekend, take a ride off the beaten track to one of these haunts.
99 Mary Street
99 Mary Street is an art gallery and events space. Entry is free and it is open 10.30am-5.30pm during exhibitions. It is inside an old cutlery factory near the station. Art lovers may have already exhausted Sheffield’s better known galleries like the Millennium and Graves galleries. 99 Mary Street offers something more, offering talks with artists and jewellery making, amongst other activities. Sign up to their mailing list for news about exhibitions and events.
Dina hosts everything from comedy nights to club nights. You can catch art exhibitions and films there too. This eclectic venue shows the diversity of Sheffield’s art scene. Situated on Cambridge Street, it is pretty central. Head down there for their free monthly comedy nights, spoken word and fashion events. They put on nights for the women’s music network and there’s a building tour at the end of the month that teaches visitors about the building’s Tudor architecture.
S1 Art Space
S1 Art Space is inside Park Hill, the brutalist flats that look down over Sheffield. The estate has long been associated with the arts, having featured in Arctic Monkeys’ music videos and iconic film, This Is England. Urban Splash are transforming the flats and S1 Art Space is part of their artistic vision for the estate. Set up in 1995, S1 Art Space have nurtured the talent of six Turner Prize winners and continue to work with young local artists. Check out their website to see what’s on.
Handmade Cinema is an immersive cinema experience. Sheffield has a reputation for independent film, with Showroom being the largest independent cinema outside London. Handmade Cinema uses craft activities, decor, live music, themed food and interactive workshops to create a truly immersive viewing. Before the screening, people are invited to explore the film’s ideas through crafts, film-making, creative writing, pottery, drawing and more. Screenings take place all across the city. The next one is a screening of Matilda on the 1st April at the Jubilee Centre, which is near Ecclesall Road.
The Audacious Art Experiment is a DIY record label and arts collective. Audacious Space hosts gigs, events and exhibitions. Loïc Tuckey, who works with The Audacious Art Experiment, describes their ethos as, “be excellent to one another.” Their next event is a disco/house night on the 18th February.
Record Junkee can be found near the Moor Market. What better way to end an afternoon at the market than browsing through records? Record Junkee also hosts live music and lets you trade your old vinyl for cash. Check their website for upcoming events.
Sheffield is famous for its real ale and Shakespeare’s is one of the city’s ale hotspots. It is part of the Don Valley real ale trail between Kelham Island and the city centre. Head there if you fancy a pint in a cosy local pub. They also have a quiz every Thursday.
Walkley Beer Co
Walkley might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of Sheffield’s hipster locations, but this small suburban beer shop and bar has a unique and intimate atmosphere. You can pop into the shop to stock up on real ale or sit down and enjoy it there.
The Tramshed has a real community spirit. A piece of artwork displayed behind the bar proudly declares, “Community lives!” It is situated on Chesterfield Road in the Antiques Quarter and offers cheap, but classy snacks to line your stomach for, yes, more craft ale.
Haggler’s Corner on Queens Road was converted into a community venue in 2011 and now has a cafe, yoga rooms and artists studio. You can see live music there too. Haggler’s Corner are hosting the Sharrow Folk Festival next month.
The Bhaji Shop
The Bhaji Shop is, unsurprisingly, famous for it bhajis, but it has a range of global dishes on its menu. Meals are around £10 per person so head here for a special occasion. Find The Bhaji Shop on Ball Street in Kelham Island.
Two Steps is pretty much just a regular chippy, only its been open since 1895 and is famous for its classic Yorkshire dishes. Its history is documented with old photographs on the walls. Maintaining a traditional Northern identity, local favourites include rissoles, fish cakes and buttered breadcakes. Food is as cheap as any other fish and chip shop. Visit Two Steps at Sharrow Vale Road.
Forge Bakehouse is on Abbeydale Road. As well as baking artisan breads and serving amazing food, Forge Bakehouse also hosts events and have a pop up pizzeria.
The Guardian’s guide also mentioned some student favourites. For nights out, theatre and workshops head down to the old Woolworth’s at the Moor, now fully redeveloped into the Theatre Delicatessen. Visit Night Kitchen, The Harley, Hope Works and Picture House Social for live music and great nights out. Street Food Chef and Tamper are recommended for your next lunch out.
Even if you only have six contact hours a week, there’s really no excuse to be bored. Go out and see what the city has to offer.