Tuesday 7 July 2015
The city of Sheffield in the West Riding of Yorkshire is famous for its steel production. The city takes its name from the River Sheaf which runs through the city. One of the UK's largest cities, Sheffield has experienced much redevelopment in recent years. Having suffered a loss of much of its old industries the city has diversified and now achieves regular and steady growth economically.
Coal Mining stopped in the 1980's and this also lead to the decline of the steel industries although any visitor to Sheffield will still see evidence of this historic past and indeed some companies still operating in the steel industry. With more than 250 parks the city of Sheffield has an estimated 2 million trees which makes it one of the highest ratio of trees to people than any other city in Europe.
Sheffield is an old established city and it has been inhabited for over 12,000 years. Records show Sheffield as a small market town in 1296 and as a centre of knife production and cutlery during the 1600's. Sheffields importance as an industrial town was tested during the Second World War when many of its factories were bombed by the Germans.
Sheffield is an interesting blend of new and old. The Park Hill flats on the outskirts of the city centre are an example of how a brutalist piece of architecture can be softened up to look more pleasing and in keeping with modern times. Visitors can see the contrast between half of the improved estate and its untouched neighbouring flats next door.
The city centre of Sheffield has some worthy places of interest. The Peace Gardens in front of the magnificent Gothic Town Hall with their water features are a popular destination as is the covered Botanical Gardens and the Millenium Centre. The city of Sheffield is a major retail centre with its inner city brands and out of town stores which include the Meadowhall Shopping Centre with its 280 stores and 12,000 parking spaces.
Sheffield is a worthy destination in terms of its attractions and during the weekend it has a European feel with its tram system and vibrant daytime activity. Whilst it has a good selection of branded and independent shops the choice of restaurants in the city centre is below what you might expect for such a large city and the city centre is very quiet outside of normal shopping hours when it suddenly and magically seems to become empty.
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