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13 November 2017


it's not news that i'm a massive fan of a backyard holiday, and would often prefer a staycation weekend than a weekend at home, so i was shocked to read that almost 1.4 million millenials took less holidays at home last year. i can't count on two hands how many uk holidays i took last year, because there was literally so many, and the majority of my pals are the same. there are still so many places in the uk that i want to travel to, and i'll get to those eventually, but one that's been on the list for more than a few years, is sheffield.

when planning my getaway up north, i figured it was my duty to help bring that statistic up out the bin by inviting along another blogger who herself doesn't do enough uk travel, considering she has a car, and lives in one area of the country that we both want to explore more of: donna. with the itinerary planned and her little car filled with petrol, we met in sheffield to begin the weekend adventure through the peak district. we actually hadn't caught up since almost two years ago when i very briefly stopped over in manchester before heading up to ediburgh for christmas, so it was awesome to be able to have a good catch up with her, while discovering all the great things the northern city has to offer. like:

winter gardens

deceptively named, because it's open all-year 'round, the free winter garden is a bit of an oasis in the middle of the city. the impressive, and multi award-winning winter garden is one of the largest glasshouses to be built in the uk, and has created this little, warm, hideaway with more than 2,500 plants from all around the world. the garden isn't as big as i'd thought it would be, which left me a little underwhelmed unfortunately, but that minor disappointment was soon forgotten as soon as i craned my neck skyward, to try and take in the full height of the greenhouse. it's 22 metres high, which i suppose it needs to be when you consider how bladdy tall some of those trees are! donna and i spent a good amount of time wandering the paths that snake in between the exotic plants, in between a totally candid and random photo shoot we totally did not plan at all...

street art

this might be less common news, but sheffield is home to some of the uk's best and most well-known street artists and muralists. kid acne and phlegm's pieces were spotted all over the northern city they both call home, and we were constantly hopping in and out of the car to scout out the next big and colourful piece. fun fact: the first ever in colourful company colour walk happened in sheffield too, and we tried to spot as many of their spots as possible too. donna's fiance (as well as her) is a massive street art nerd (in the best way possible), so kept sending us pins of locations we had to find, as well as dying of jealousy over finds we made that he's not seen before himself. it's a very bright and vibrant city!

kelham island

the revamped industrial area was recently named as one of the top ten areas of the uk in travelsupermarket's hip hangout neighbourhood index, which showcases the most up-and-coming areas in the uk. with that sort of accolade hanging over it, we had to stop by, no?! thankfully, the list was pulled together based on the area's creative spirit not the beard to craft beer ratio - though it didn't stop us from finding both. think shoreditch or the northern quarter, but less pretentious. craft and dough had everything we were looking for after a day of wandering the city, from artisanal pizza and nutella dough balls, to some totally fresh and refreshing cocktails to cheers to a great first day in the city. plus: beardy bartenders. win/win. 

brocco on the park

this beautiful, award-winning boutique hotel was a real delight to fall into after a long day walking around the city in totally uncomfortable shoes. not to mention i'd been up since very early that day to make it to sheffield by lunchtime, but the modern, scandi-inspired hotel was just the thing we needed to finish one day, and start the next. the staff were some of the friendliest i've ever encountered, and our rooms - me: the owl's burrow, and donna: the nightjar's nest, were more than what we could have expected. they were packed full of edwardian character, while throwing in all the creature comforts you expect from scandinavian decor. thick blankets, comfy pillows, and a giant bed for one. what more could you want? plus: the best protein pancakes i've had in a while, thanks to the brocco kitchen.

the antiques quarter

sheffield's antiques quarter sit in an area historically known for its - well, its antiques, really. nowdays though, it's become an eclectic destination full of diverse independent and local businesses. the "antique soul" is very much still there, and is obviously the the place to come for anything retro and vintage - furniture or otherwise. donna and i are both old souls, and have always had a soft spot for the quirky and original, and sheffield antiques centre was our mecca. we fell in love over and over and over again in that giant warehouse full of vintage and previously loved bits and bobs, and then again in the vintage pantry upstairs, over afternoon tea and coffee. what started out as a wander through "some junk" really turned on its head and became an afternoon of treasure hunting, and i can't recommend visiting this area enough.

the city's quite nice, too

i wasn't sure what to expect from our time in sheffield, but in a matter of hours i totally fell in love with its northern charm. i mean, it's a yorkshire city so it was never going to be anything other than wonderful, but actually being there and exploring it with my southern eyes and another out-of-towner's wonder was really lovely. we both got excited by silly things like the beautiful leaves and the super friendly people out in the street, and just generally wandering the city on foot. thanks to visit england, we had the best itinerary that allowed us to see sheffield in all its glory. we saw the heart, the personality, and the opprtunity there is for newbies to the city, so... join the world and discover sheffield yourself - seriously, do it.