We can all feel it - summer is just around the corner! Sunny warm days are the perfect time for exploring outdoors and taking advantage of the many beautiful parks in the UK. Sheffield is particularly renowned for being one of the UK’s greenest cities, with apparently over 2 million trees growing throughout and around it! There are hundreds of parks to visit across the city, many with magnificent historical statues and buildings, as well as its own amazing Botanical Gardens. To make finding your little patch of green easier, Jurys Inn have handpicked our favourite Sheffield picnic parks below.
A 12 minute drive towards the south of Sheffield, Graves Park is the city’s largest public park at 87 hectares and offers plenty of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. Besides having an abundance of green grassland perfect for picnicking, the huge space also allows for various sports with tennis courts, football and cricket pitches, and a bowling green. There are two playgrounds for kids to choose from, as well as plenty of nature walks and trails through ancient woodlands for all to enjoy. Public toilets are provided and there is a café for those seeking refreshments.
A fantastic addition to your day out can be found at the Animal Farm. Home to hundreds of animals, you can find pigs, cows, and chickens, as well as less commonly seen animals, such as chinchillas and deer.
Established in 1848, The Norfolk Heritage Park is another gorgeous park to explore and is one of the oldest in the UK. The park is highly regarded as a Sheffield attraction having been listed on the English Heritage’s National Register, as well as being awarded the Green Flag Award in 2005. It’s also a historically significant area with five Grade II listed buildings on the grounds.
Close to the city centre and covering 30 hectares, Norfolk Heritage Park is more traditional with much of the land dedicated to rolling green hills and thick woodlands, making it a great location for a sunny or shady picnic. The Centre in the Park offers stunning views over the area, and houses a café as well as public toilets.
About 3 miles to the north of Sheffield is Hillsborough Park, a popular spot with the local community who work hard to conserve its beauty. Similar to Norfolk Heritage Park, it has a number of Grade II listed buildings on the grounds such as Hillsborough Hall (now a public library) as well as being on the local register for historic parks and gardens. Anyone looking to kick or hit a ball around before lunch will be pleased to find both tarmac and turf football pitches and four floodlit tarmac tennis courts. If you are looking for a calmer experience, there is a fishing lake.
The walled garden within Hillsborough is particularly beautiful, offering a variety of arranged flowers, a greenhouse, 2 ponds, a wildlife area, a play den, stables, and an example of an 18th Century heated wall. The Garden is also a designated tribute to the victims of the Hillsborough Football Disaster and the entrance gates are a replica of the ones found at Anfield (Liverpool FC’s grounds).
Endcliffe Park – John Lord / CCBY (image size has been modified)
Endcliffe Park is comparatively smaller to the other listed parks at 15 hectares but is a beautiful location and has a wealth of things to see. There is plenty of open space to set up a picnic and it offers some amazing riverside walks (Porter Brook runs through it) with beautiful floral arrangements and picturesque waterfalls to admire. Children can enjoy the playground or feeding the ducks by one of the two large ponds.
Endcliffe Park also has a number of Grade II listed monuments throughout, including the toll gates and the pavilion. Two of the listed statues are dedicated to Queen Victoria; the statue of Queen Victoria near the entrance and the obelisk on the path towards Whiteley Woods commemorates her Jubilee.
Not far from the city centre, Endcliffe Park is only a 10 minute drive from Jurys Inn Sheffield.
The glass pavilion is an amazing centre-piece that has retained the spirit of the Victorian design through the restoration process. Inside, there is a variety of warm-climate plants from all over the world; the East Pavilion features flora from Asia, the Mediterranean, Australia and South America, whilst the West Pavilion houses Southern African varieties. There are also, unsurprisingly, several gardens throughout – the ‘Four Seasons Garden’, ‘Victorian Garden’, ‘Rock and Water Garden’, ‘Evolution Garden’ and several more! Interestingly, there is also a bear pit that housed two bears until their removal in the 1870s.
The gardens has numerous walking routes and plenty of lawn space for laying out a splendid picnic. The onsite facilities include a café and a gift shop to satisfy all of your souvenir needs. Additionally, the Sheffield Botanical Gardens is completely free to enter, making it a fantastic day out for all the family and the perfect place for a summer picnic.
Jurys Inn Sheffield is based in the centre of Sheffield, ideally situated for all that the city has to offer. Looking for other picnic hotspots in the UK? Why not take a look at Best Picnic Parks in Birmingham for some suggestions?