Here are some of Sheffield's best parks, boasting fantastic panoramic city views and lots more besides...
Norfolk Heritage Park / Cholera Monument Grounds
A five minute walk down the hill from Manor Fields towards the city centre is Norfolk Heritage Park. 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. There is also Centre in the Park, a multifunctional community building which includes a cafe with a sunny terrace overlooking the park towards the city centre. The park has two grand entrances from which you can cross Granville Road and enter Clay Wood, offering a woodland walk between Norfolk Park and the Cholera Monument, part of the Norfolk Heritage Trail.
Bolehill Recreation Ground
Bolehill is tucked away on the far edge of Crookes and depending on the direction from which you approach, it isn’t necessarily obvious that you’re entering a park. But upon exploration, Bolehill provides a range of features with their own distinctive feel and identity: hedgerows and terraces, remnants of old allotment sites, woods and parklands, a play park, a BMX track, football pitches, a bowling club, a floodlit ball games area, and rocky outcrops to perch upon and take in the main selling feature of Bolehills – the view. Looking out over the Loxley and Rivelin Valleys you’re given a panoramic vista straight out to the Peak District. Given the lack of obstructions to this westerly view, it remains the best spot in Sheffield for an enticing, lingering and spirit-lifting sunset throughout the year.
Meersbrook Park is set in the grounds of the Grade II listed Meersbrook Hall. Both the park and the hall were acquired by the council in 1886 and the park became a much loved local green space. Meersbrook makes the most of it’s hill – it’s a real whopper and the most popular destination in Sheffield for sledging when it snows. The steep climb up also provides one of the best perspectives of Sheffield, which takes in the majority of the city centre and surrounding areas. The view was once painted by JMW Turner, from nearby Derbyshire Lane adjacent to the park, and his admiration of the view is now celebrated through its addition to the Turner Trail. Meersbrook Park is also home to a walled garden, a bowls club, the now community run Meersbrook Hall and one of the oldest buildings in Sheffield Bishops’ House.
Manor Fields Park
Manor Fields Park is slightly hidden away and you’d be excused for missing it as you go past the main entrance off City Road, heading up towards Manor Top. The park has undergone a dramatic regeneration over the last 15 years and has become a much loved and valued facility with a unique identity and style. It contains wild flower meadows, ponds, streams, natural play areas, rock boulders, art installations, orchards, parkruns and a Green Flag. The site looks out over Attercliffe and towards the Don Valley, and the many paths meander down the valley between the Manor estate and City Road Cemetery towards Manor Lodge, allowing you to explore the site and its idiosyncrasies (a favourite being the stone slab boulder and carrot sculptures).
South Street Park (Sheaf Valley Park)
One of the best parks with a view is just a couple minutes walk away from Sheffield's main central train station. If you walk to the back of the railway station and cross over the tram tracks, you'll stand at the foot of South Street Amphitheatre, built into the hillside. A climb up some steps to the top of the amphitheatre will reward you with a fantastic cityscape view, making it a popular place to watch the sun go down. The wider park incorporates tree-lined paths (abundant with blossom in the spring) and urban planting contrasting with the sweeping concrete of Europe’s largest listed building, Park Hill, above. South Street Park is part of Sheaf Valley Park which also incorporates the Cholera Monument Grounds, Clay Wood and Skye Edge (linking to Norfolk Heritage Park mentioned above). Cross South Street and walk a little along to pick up the ascent towards the Cholera Monument. Another impressive panoramic view will await you, dominated by the neo-gothic pinnacle that looks out across the city centre, a memorial to the 402 victims of a cholera epidemic of 1832, who were buried in the grounds.