Walk for a few minutes in any direction in Sheffield and you’ll most likely wander through at least one of its 800-plus managed greenspaces, including woodlands, parks and public gardens. If you’re lucky, you might even get lost in one of them.
The UK’s Greenest City is a title that surprises many who have yet to visit Sheffield and have misguided perceptions about the so-called "industrial north".
Ironically, we have the city's industrial heritage to thank for its hundreds of beautiful leafy, grassy, flower-filled municipal areas. The process of making steel requires lots of heat, which in turn requires lots of fuel, so at the peak of Sheffield’s industrial dominance, the city made sure it had lots of trees. Meanwhile places like the glorious Botanical Gardens were developed to act as "lungs of the city", offering Sheffielders a place to breathe clean air away from the factory chimneys. Today, much of the steel industry has gone, but one of its legacies is this array of green gifts, strewn across the city in different shapes and sizes.
Sitting in southern Sheffield, Graves Park is one of the biggest, incorporating an animal farm, woodland, lakes, and expansive grassed areas where you can play games, have a picnic or soak up views that'll fool you into believing you’re deep into the countryside.
You'll find two Outdoor City run routes in Graves Park, taking advantage of the mix of open parkland and natural and semi-natural woodlands to provide varied running terrain with amazing views.
At the other end of the scale, there is the pocket park on the Upper Don Walk near the Wicker – a tidy, compact place to enjoy a lunch break and watch the ducks splashing about in the river.
One of Sheffield’s most popular parks, owing to its proximity to the city centre and the range of shops, cafes and restaurants along Ecclesall Road. Here, you’ll find a children’s play area, a parkour course, a charming cafe and some pleasant walking through the woods. Follow the river through the park and away from the city centre for long enough, and you’ll be in the Peak District. This route out of Endcliffe Park is also the starting point of the Sheffield Round Walk, a 15-mile loop from the urban to the rural at the southwestern edges of the city – taking in leafy parkland, woodland streams, and pretty suburbs. Every year, the Round Sheffield Walk becomes the Round Sheffield Run, a hugley popular event drawing in a wide range of runners from near and far.
Graves, Endclife and Millhouses parks are home to Parkruns, a regular Saturday morning community run event. You'll also find Parkrun events at Hillsborough Park, Manor Field Park, Concord Park, and Rother Valley.
A popular Park, offering a wide range of activites, with a skate park, tennis courts and a boating lake - sitting in front of the cafe. The park lays adjacent to Eccelsall Woods, offering the opportunity to extend your walk or run around the picteresque woodland or even out into the Peaks.
Norfolk Heritage Park
Sitting close to the City Centre, the park hosts a great adventure play area, bowls club, football pitches, a circular tree-lined promenade and rolling grass lands, all surrounded by a dense canopy of well established trees.
The Bolehill Recreation Ground, in Crookes, has a more remote, more exposed feel to it, but offers stunning views to the west, where city and country merge. It's also home to the Bolehills BMX track, a fun, challenging track,transformed and maintained by Sheffield's friendly biking community.