The Fresher's Guide to Sheffield
Welcome to Sheffield: home of Nick Clegg, The Full Monty, and those four blokes that reckon you look good on the dancefloor. Get ready to spend the next three years clambering up hills, shouting at Sheffield Hallam/ Uni of Sheffield (whichever one you’re not at), and denying your love of Pop Tarts. If that doesn’t sound like your wildest uni dreams come true, don’t worry–the Steel City has tons to offer (geddit?). From the thriving dub and reggae scene, to the Varsity Sports Week that divides the city, Sheffield has a little something for everyone. Fortunately, we’ve sussed out the best nosh, nights and boozers the city has to offer and stuck it in this handy Sheffield City Guide for you…
Wednesdays | Corporation
Dig out that old white shirt, slap on a blouse, and wrap your tie around your head – Skool Disco is going to give you an education in cheesy choons and cringe dancefloor moves. With three rooms of musical mayhem and drinks that are criminally cheap, it’s so bad it’s good.
Wednesdays | Crystal Bar
Get over the mid-week hump with a bump-and-grind to your favourite tunes at Hallam’s sports night. DJs spin everything from student anthems to R&B to hip hop, so you don’t have to be one of those Larrys yelling requests over the booth. Find out for yourself why it’s the longest running student night in Sheffield…
Saturdays | Foundry and Fusion
Poptarts is your one stop shop for retro pop. Sing along to hits from the early noughties, ‘90s and ‘80s in the Foundry. Or dance through the decades in Room 2 with the best ‘50s Rock & Roll, ‘60s pop and ‘70s rock and disco. Despite being held in Uni of’s SU, everyone’s welcome at this nonstop guilty pleasure fest.
Thursdays | Code
Award-winning club night Jump Around brings bass-driven madness to Sheffield every Thursday. With music in the safe hands of DJ Stoxx and Stu Mac, expect to hear the sweet sounds of house, hip hop, and chart. Dress casual because with drinks at £1.50 it’s bound to get messy.
Wednesdays | Foundry, Studio & Fusion
Brace yourself. With a track record of selling out, Roar is the wildest Wednesday night rumble. So slap on that face paint, don those stripes, and get ready to unleash your wild side.
Another of Sheffield’s multi-purpose spaces, Hope Works gives artists a place to work during the day, and a platform to perform during the night. The venue’s raw warehouse feel lends itself perfectly to the cutting edge listings, which feature electronic artists from across the globe. Their remit is simple: music and art first.
Moor Theatre Delicatessen
Although the Moor’s programming leans heavily towards theatre, it’s well worth keeping an eye out for the student-friendly events that occasionally pass through. Previous nights have included popular ‘90s garage night Bluewave x Woolworths, and Nice Like Rice– who casually brought Soichi Terada & Dekmantel Soundsystem along with them. Wouldn’t want to have missed that now, would you?
The Tuesday Club
Sheffield Student Union
The Tuesday Club’s roll call of previous guests reads like an A-Z of the biggest names in electronic music. From Annie Mac to Jamie XX, these guys have pulled in a plethora of world-renowned artists. They’ve also hosted stages at Parklife, Soundwave and The Warehouse Project, and this September they’ll welcome Toddla T and Sub Focus to Sheffield SU. With an event catalogue as impressive as theirs, there’s no doubt that your Tuesday night is in safe hands.
Yellow Arch Studios
Yellow Arch Studios may be renowned for the esteemed artists that have passed through its doors, but it also boasts a full schedule of live listings. With three bars, a 150 capacity main hall, and an outdoor courtyard, you’ll find the place teeming with artists and musicians, day or night. It’s also a popular choice for Sheffield’s multi-venue festivals like Tramlines, and plays host to regular club nights such as Dub Shack.
Since 1999, Dubcentral has been uniting people of all walks of life through a love of UK dub and roots reggae. The Sheffield collective of DJs, musicians and artists first began as a Sunday chill out session at the Vine Pub, but has now been hosted by Yellow Arch Studios for over a decade. They’re also responsible for bringing some of the scene’s most celebrated artists to Sheffield such as Mad Professor, Desmond Dekker and Johnny Clarke.
Outside Over There
After the recent closure of widely-adored club The Night Kitchen, the team behind the Sheffield nightspot have emerged with a new, crowd-funded warehouse space called Outside Over There. The launch will take place in September, and if the former venue’s track record for white-hot programming is anything to go by, there’s bound to be some big names showing their love for the next chapter of TNK.
Various Venues | July
Tramlines is Sheffield’s answer to Brighton’s The Great Escape. Taking place once a year in July, the festival is spread across 70 venues and attracts over 200,000 punters– so it’s essentially a pub crawl with a world-class soundtrack. The festival invites local and national artists to grace its many stages, with this year’s lineup having featured The Libertines and Twin Atlantic. Though you’ve missed the years when the festival was still free, Tramlines is well-worth forking out a few bob for.
Sensoria fuses Sheffield’s creative and technical innovation with its rich musical heritage. The celebration of music and film boasts a heady mix of screenings, performances, talks, events and exhibitions. The event takes place between the 30th of September and the 8th of October, so you artsy and media students out there should make yourselves seen!
Devonshire Green | August
Bratwurst, Bavarian booze and beer steins could only mean one thing: Oktoberfest. Since 2015, the drinking extravaganza has been providing Sheffield with an excuse to don the Lederhosen and drink beer out of frighteningly big glasses for one day of the year.
Sheffield Ice Hockey Varsity
Sheffield Arena | March
The annual varsity Ice Hockey match is undoubtedly one of the biggest events in the Sheffield student calendar. The action-packed event sees the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam battle it out on the ice for the coveted trophy. It’ll probably be the only time you’ll be fiercely passionate about your university, so just embrace the atmosphere and accept the inevitability of losing your voice for the next few days.
SSU | June
You won’t fully know the meaning of ‘go hard or go home’ until you’ve attended a Uni of’s Summer Social. This year’s end of term blowout saw the Social transform into a chocolate factory, with Oompah Loompahs, a Wonkavision Room and mountains of edible delights. It’s known to sell out in a matter of hours so you’ll need to keep an eye out if you want to avoid a ‘Netflix-and-Chill’ on Sheffield’s biggest night of the year.
City centre | July
Once a year the centre of Sheffield is transformed into a giant playground for this adrenaline-fuelled outdoors festival. Cliffhanger encourages punters to get involved in all-things outdoorsy: from mountain biking to parkour and slacklining. So, If you’re looking for an excuse to flex those guns, or make your mate look like a mug on a skateboard, head down next July for the free festy.
You couldn’t count on one hand the number of functions that The Harley offers. Bar, restaurant, micro club, hotel, tea room– you name it, the Harley does it. But what makes it such a hidden gem is their intimate stage which has played host to an impressive range of breakthrough artists including AJ Tracey and Palace. It’s free entry, so you can dance and feast on the best burgers in town until the small hours from Monday to Saturday.
Peddler Night Market
On the first Friday and Saturday of every month, Peddler Night Market presents a variety of street food, art, crafts, and bevvies in Burton Road’s mammoth warehouse. If you want to snaffle the best street food or bag the best bargain, better head down early as Peddler’s soaring popularity has seen punters queue up around the block to get through the door.
Over the last 25 years Record Junkee (formerly Reflex Records) have been working their butts off to put Sheffield back on the ‘music map’. Since their humble beginnings, the vinyl hoarders have accumulated the largest collection of records in the Northern perimeter and unveiled a fully-refurbished 150 cap venue. Head down to the shop to dig through their treasure trove of wax, or swing by the venue to catch performances from some seriously cool emerging artists.
Sheffield has gifted the world more than its fair share of musical icons over the years, and most have walked through the doors of 2Fly Studios. Situated on John Street, they have played host to everyone from Pulp to Richard Hawley, while Arctic Monkeys recorded a number of hits here including ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’. Sound.
Abbeydale Picture House
This former 1920s cinema plays host to a whole range of productions, from silent films to classic plays to the occasional rave. Though this hidden gem may be a little far out of town, it’s well worth the venture – even if it’s just for the craft ale and ping pong.
Frog & Parrot
There are two reasons why Frog & Parrot is a hit with the students: their blaringly snazzy decor, and their ridiculously strong beer. The Roger & Out boasts a mean 15-percenter and once held a world record for being the World’s Strongest Beer. Drink three in a night and you get a certificate that you’ll treasure for way longer than your Degree. Have a go if you think your gastric organs are ‘ard enough.
There are three reasons to visit Forum: the Italian sourdough pizza, the vast selection of gin and the unbelievable student offers. Fork out three quid for a Forum card and you’ll be sorted for cheaper drinks and food throughout the week. It’ll be the only piece of plastic you’ll cherish more than your credit card.
Fox & Duck
Union-owned Fox & Duck has all the features a Sheffield student could dream of. Outrageously cheap booze? We’re talking £1.60 a pint. Rowdy pub quiz? Every Sunday. Pub garden? Yes, Sir. Live sports? You bet. What more do you need?!
The Wick At Both Ends
‘The Wick truly begins to burn from 5pm onwards’ so they say. But with ‘After Work’ drinks offers kicking off at 4pm, we reckon the party starts even earlier at this West Street haunt. It’s double for the price of a single on house spirits, and £2.60 on selected ales till 9pm Monday–Friday is certainly a draw, while the £2 off on all cocktails deal will keep you coming back for more. From the Rhubarb & Custard to the Tequila Colada, the cocktail list boasts a vast array of twisted traditions and quirky creations to quench your post-lecture thirst.
If there’s one pub that’s down with the kids, it’s gotta be The Cavendish. It may be the craft beer, the live sports, the beer garden or the array of pub games that reel you in, but it’s the extra lengths they go to that’ll keep you coming back. It’s rare to find a bar that actually offers to charge your phone, rather than begrudgingly taking it. It’s even rarer to find a bar that’ll print your essay for you if yours is in a jam. Slap a free WIFI code on top of that and you haven’t just found a great pub, but a great study spot too…
Known locally as ‘The Tardis’, this little Commonside boozer will transport you away to a heavenly place. Loved for its outside seating area, ever-changing selection of beers and oak furnished pool room, we can guarantee your first visit won’t be your last.
Located in the heart of Uni Of’s campus, this popular boozer boasts the best beer garden in town. With an incredible view overlooking the river, you’ll be hard pushed to find a seat on the decking on those sweltering summer days.
Craft & Dough
Kelham Square/ Ecclesall Road/ Campo Lane
Purveyors of pizza perfection, Craft & Dough, sure know how to reel you freshers in. They’re offering 2-4-1 on doughy delights on Wednesdays, bottles of prosecco for a tenner on Fizzy Fridays, and you can flash your NUS card anytime for a 15 percent discount. If that hasn’t sealed the deal for you, take a look at their mouth-watering creations. You won’t find any run-of-the-mill Ham and Pineapple on there, either..
Hearty and Wholesome is the name of the game at Harland Cafe. Inspired by good old-fashioned hospitality, they pride themselves on always having a big pot of tea and homemade cake on the table. With deals running throughout the week, you can bag yourself a bargain on breakfast and lunch.
There’s no better testament to good grub than a queue of hungry customers spilling out of the shop onto the street. For Falafel King, this is a regular occurrence as their famous falafel wraps combine a variety of salads, hummus and cooked meats– which’ll never cost you more than £3.50 each. If you’ve got a little more cash to splash, opt for a larger dish for less than a fiver.
The Greedy Greek Deli
Sharrow Vale Road
Much-loved by locals and visitors alike, The Greedy Greek Deli is a family-run Sheffield institution on Sharrow Vale Road. All starters cost a fiver or less, a generous traditional Greek wrap or a salad box will set you back no more than £6.75, and you can stuff your face with a main meal for less than a tenner. If you’ve got time to hang around, you can enjoy your kebab whilst soaking up some rays in the deli’s outdoor area. If not, you’ll save yourself a few bob by takeaway.
Prefer spicy samosas to superfood salads? If the answer is yes, you need to try the devilishly-delicious dishes that Urban Choola has to offer. The street food-inspired Indian cuisine has been heralded as ‘the true taste of India’, serving up everything from tandoori specials to traditional kebabs. You think that sounds tasty? Wait until you hear about the 15 percent off on takeaways and the BYOB policy…
Nothing quite soaks up a hangover like a homemade pie from Nottingham House, and don’t Sheffield students know it. The pie makers are renowned for their affordable prices, top-notch ale, and delicious pastry delights. There’s no soggy bottoms here, people.
Flocking to Broomhill Balti King after a messy night out is practically a rite of passage for Sheffield students. Known for it’s lively atmosphere, 4am close and– of course– tasty curries, you’re bound to find yourself inhaling Indian here a few times a week.