8 Best Day Trips From Sheffield

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Written by our web team

8 min read | 03 May 2024

Around 17 million people visit Sheffield on average every year. A vibrant, modern city, there’s plenty for visitors to see and do here. It’s also a great place to base yourself for short trips to other UK towns, cities, or even the seaside.

Whether you’re thinking about heading to Sheffield or beyond, here are some tips on where to visit and how to get there by train. 

A wide-angle shot of Sheffield Town Hall in the evening light.

Travelling from Sheffield

Sheffield has one main train station with plenty of onward public transportation links, including a Supertram connection. This station is easy to get to from the rest of the UK, with these travel times from other major British cities:

Sheffield is England’s greenest city. The Winter Gardens in the city centre is one of the UK’s largest temperate glasshouses and the Botanical Gardens offers stunning glass pavilions reminiscent of Crystal Palace.

Getting from Sheffield to the Peak District National Park is also easy, with a third of the city lying within its boundaries. You can cycle from the city's outskirts to local market towns like Edale and Hathersage, so natural beauty is never too far away here.

If it’s a buzzing cultural scene you’re after, Sheffield won’t disappoint either. The Crucible may be best known for snooker, but it also hosts performances ranging from ballet to opera. The Lyceum Theatre is renowned for its plays, while the Millennium Gallery has contemporary art and crafts.

For nightlife, check out the legendary Leadmill Club. If you want to get to know the friendly locals, go to the welcoming bars and pubs on trendy Eccleshall Road.

A panorama of Sheffield’s city skyline at night from the top of South Stree Park steps.

Places to visit around Sheffield

Sheffield is undoubtedly a Yorkshire city, but its location actually makes it easy to get to from Lancashire and the Midlands. The following three cities are less than an hour away by train.

1. Manchester

If you love culture, Manchester is a must-visit. Start at the Manchester Art Gallery. Home to more than 46,000 costumes and examples of fine and decorative art, it also has regular visiting exhibitions.

The Northern Quarter is one of the trendiest places in the city. For sightseeing with a difference, take a tour of the many street murals around Manchester. There’s also the vibrant Gay Village, which seldom offers a quiet night with karaoke and cocktail bars being commonplace almost every night of the week.

HOME Theatre Manchester on Tony Wilson Place always promises a great night out. This independent cinema, theatre and gallery has new events and exhibitions every week, so you won’t see the same show twice.

Getting to Manchester from Sheffield

There are trains from Sheffield to Manchester Piccadilly up to three times an hour during weekdays.

  • Journey length: 32 miles
  • Journey time: Just under an hour

2. Leeds

Leeds is a shopper's paradise. In 1996, it became the venue for the first Harvey Nichols store outside London. No wonder locals call it the "Knightsbridge of the North".

Victoria Leeds is a partly restored 19th-century arcade and runs from Vicar Lane to Briggate. With a stunning interior and lots of luxurious retailers, it’s a shopper's paradise. 

Next, head to Trinity Leeds. Opened in 2013, there are more than 120 retailers here and a large street food arcade offering a variety of cuisines. 

Last but not least, head back to Briggate. This wide boulevard has even more first-class retailers, pubs and restaurants for you to enjoy. 

Getting to Leeds from Sheffield

There are trains from Sheffield to Leeds up to five times an hour during weekdays.

  • Journey length: 29 miles
  • Journey time: 40 minutes

3. Derby

Many academics consider Derby the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Find out all about this history at the Museum of Making. 

A short walk from the train station, this converted old mill tells the story of manufacturing in the city, ranging from silk making to Rolls Royce's flying machines. 

To experience the modern city, head to the area around Derby Cathedral, where there are plenty of shops and cafes. Or find out more about local history and escape to 105 acres of gardens by catching the bus to Chatsworth House.

Getting to Derby from Sheffield

There are trains from Sheffield to Derby up to three times an hour during weekdays.

  • Journey length: 32 miles
  • Journey time: 30 minutes

A long-exposure shot of Park Square Bridge, also known as Supertram Bridge, taken at night.

Destinations reachable by train within two hours from Sheffield

There are plenty of great places to visit within two hours of Sheffield by train, including Liverpool, York, and Bradford.

4. Liverpool

Liverpool is the "World Capital of Pop", with music still pumping through the veins of the city.

Experience this with a visit to The Beatles Story at the scenic Royal Albert Dock, which also features charming eateries. Relive the historic rise of this iconic band before heading to the nearby Cavern Club venue, home to some of their earliest gigs. 

Discover even more at the British Music Experience. Listen to the UK’s best artists as you walk through the exhibition and play instruments yourself in the interactive studio.

Getting to Liverpool from Sheffield

There are trains from Sheffield to Liverpool twice an hour during weekdays.

  • Journey length: 62 miles
  • Journey time: One hour and 45 minutes

5. York

York is a must-visit destination for chocolate lovers.

Start at the York Chocolate Story. Here you'll go through the 4,000-year journey of chocolate and learn to think like a chocolatier. Take part in a tasting session to see how experts create their sweet magic.

The York Cocoa Works opened in 2018 and teaches visitors about how factories mass-produce chocolate. Learn how the experts source the very best cocoa beans and what they look for in your bars.

Round the day off at Betty's tea room. It's been open since 1936 and serves a range of top-class desserts, including many chocolate-inspired recipes. 

Getting to York from Sheffield

There are trains from Sheffield to York twice an hour during weekdays.

  • Journey length: 43 miles
  • Journey time: Just under an hour

6. Bradford

Not many people know Bradford is the world's first UNESCO City of Film. 

Discover more at the city’s National Science and Media Museum. With its own IMAX cinema, it’s a great place to find out about the history of film. Unfortunately the museum is temporarily closed for a transformation. Find out more from their website.

For cinematographic sightseeing, take a walk using the City of Film map. See the locations used in films like The King's Speech, The Damned United, and LA Without A Map.

Bradford's Little Germany also has 85 buildings. These have played starring roles in productions like Downton Abbey, Gentleman Jack, and Peaky Blinders. Beyond being recognisable from films, the area is stunning, thanks to the historical architecture.

Getting to Bradford from Sheffield

There are trains from Sheffield to Bradford twice an hour during weekdays.

  • Journey length: 31 miles
  • Journey time: Just over an hour

An exterior shot of the Victorian glass house and blooming flowers at the Sheffield Botanical Gardens.

Seaside day trips from Sheffield

Sheffield's got canals and rivers. If it's beaches you’re after, though, you don’t have to go too long distance to feel sand between your toes. Take the train to one of these seaside resorts.

7. Blackpool

Blackpool is, for many, the best coastal town in the UK. It's definitely a favourite for groups and families.

If you're coming here with your friends, head to the Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Enjoy the many thrill rides here, like the Big Dipper, the Ice Blast and the UK's tallest roller coaster The Big One.

Make your next stop at the Blackpool Tower. Go up 380 feet into the sky to the top of The Blackpool Tower and experience the thrilling Skywalk to get a bird's eye view of the town and the sea. Check out the circus at the foot of the tower too.

Get fish and chips or walk with your friends along the fantastic Central Pier. Take a ride on the Big Wheel or have a go on the Dodgem cars. 

Getting to Blackpool from Sheffield

There are trains from Sheffield to Blackpool twice an hour during weekdays.

  • Journey length: 72 miles
  • Journey time: Two hours and 20 minutes

8. Skegness

Skegness is classic British seaside fun on a big scale. Skegness Beach’s golden sands are beautiful and surprisingly tranquil. If you want hustle and bustle, though, make your way over to the Pleasure Beach Fairground for modern and vintage rides. 

Your kids will love the Skegness Aquarium and Natureland Seal Sanctuary. Spot marine life and find out how volunteers nurse rescued seals back to health.

Getting to Skegness from Sheffield

There are trains from Sheffield to Skegness twice an hour during weekdays.

  • Journey length: 76 miles
  • Journey time: Just over three hours

An aerial shot of Meadowhall shopping centre and the surrounding area of Sheffield.

Making day trips from Sheffield by train

Sheffield is a great place to visit for a day or longer. Better still, its central location opens the door to the rest of Yorkshire and England by train. 

To get the best deal on your train ticket from Sheffield book in advance and outside of peak times wherever possible. You can also save money on your ticket prices by using a Railcard

Don't forget to download the Avanti West Coast app. With it, you can keep up to date with the latest train timetables and book tickets easily, even on the go, so you can make the most of your trip to Sheffield and beyond.

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Buying through our website or app saves you money because we never charge booking fees.

To take a look at more ways to save including using a Railcard, booking in advance, and booking as a group, visit our ways to save page.

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