Sheffield, the historic Yorkshire city still referred to as the Steel City, is anything but an industrial hub today. Decades of renovation has made it a Northern powerhouse for culture, food and drink, and education. Nothing represents this more than the Heart of the City. Built in 1998, the project gave rise to stunning spaces like the Winter Gardens and a remodelled, modernised Sheaf Square. Yet ask anyone who knows anything about Sheffield, and they’ll tell you the place to visit is the Millennium Gallery.
But to only visit Sheffield’s most famous art gallery is merely scratching the surface of the culture that this great city can offer. Here are some of Sheffield’s other great galleries that you must see.
Starting life in 1995, S1 Artspace was initially an art studio run by volunteers in Sheffield’s west district. Since then, it’s grown into an organisation that pioneers new artwork and ideas from artists from all walks of life, from recent graduates to international superstars. Over 500 artists have been featured over the last 20 years, including seven Turner Prize nominees and six winners, so the calibre is always high. So, if a variety of work is what you’re searching for, you’ll find it in abundance in S1 Artspace.
Things to look out for: Keep an eye on current collaborations that you can support, with recent partnerships including the Sheffield universities and museums.
How to get there: It’s just a seven-minute walk from Sheffield train station.
Site Gallery Sheffield
If you prefer contemporary and emerging art to traditional work, Site Gallery is a must-visit. It specialises in moving image, new media, and performance, supporting its development by working with lesser-known local and international artists. As most collaborators are early work, the art might not be as polished as you’d find in other galleries. But who knows which future star you might see? Site Gallery also offers learning experiences where audiences can engage in the art-making process – something every art lover should try.
Things to look out for: A recent renovation has tripled the size of the gallery, so spend time exploring the larger gallery, projects space, café, and shop.
How to get there: It’s just a three-minute walk from Sheffield train station.
Designed by some of the most renowned architects in the UK, the Millennium Gallery is a piece of art in itself. But the reason people visit is for the eclectic collections it’s home to, including the Ruskin Collection: watercolours, drawings, prints, coins, manuscripts, and illustrated books used to inspire Sheffield’s Victorian workforce. The Craft and Design centre exhibits a modern take on Victorian themes. At the same time, special exhibitions are often held to accommodate national galleries like the V&A and Tate. Millennium Gallery will more than satisfy your craving for art and history combined.
Things to look out for: Keep an eye on the special exhibitions, where you can view artwork by some of the UK’s most established artists.
How to get there: It’s just a one-minute walk from Sheffield station.
Opened in July 1934, Graves Gallery – a Museums Sheffield-run organisation – is one of the city’s oldest art galleries. In the 80-plus years it’s been the home of Sheffield’s visual art collection. Graves Gallery has exhibited work from the likes of Alfred Sisley and J. M. W. Turner to name a few. But its history doesn’t mean it’s stuck in the past, as recent collaborators include Marc Quinn, Bridget Riley, and Sam Taylor-Wood. Sitting just above the Central Library, away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city, this is the perfect place to get your fix of Sheffield history and culture.
Things to look out for: Graves Gallery regularly exhibits work from local artists, including George Fullard and Stanley Royale.
How to get there: It’s just a five-minute walk from Sheffield station.
Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery
The Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery is a gallery for the people, made by the people. It showcases the very best work from the local community and visiting artists, giving a more intimate feel than any other exhibit on this list – which makes sense given that it’s connected to Sheffield Hallam University. But just because it mainly features new and upcoming artists doesn’t mean you won’t see great work; previous collaborators include David Mellow, Ken Garland, and George Grosz – all well-renowned in their field.
Things to look out for: The gallery is part of Sheffield’s Cultural Industries Quarter, so take a stroll around the 18th century development which includes several grade II listed buildings.
How to get there: It’s just a six-minute walk from Sheffield train station.
Bloc Projects may look unassuming compared to other art galleries in Sheffield, but inside, it features some of the finest contemporary art by new and upcoming artists in the city. It offers a blank canvas for early work contemporary artists to practice their trade by providing cross-disciplinary and participatory learning, meaningful arts engagement, and skills development. Learning is available to anyone, making Bloc Projects a great place to get creative.
Things to look out for: The gallery offers studios to hire with outstanding facilities, with optional extras that include a bar and refreshments if you want to make a day of it.
How to get there: It’s just a ten-minute walk from the train station.
Book a train to Sheffield
If you’re planning a trip to a discover Sheffield and its outstanding galleries, don’t forget to book an Advance ticket via our website or our Train Tickets app. You can also find information on how to get cheaper train tickets via our special offers page. If you need more information, you can contact us here.