FRESHERS: 11 free or cheap things to do in Sheffield

Tom Mann and Heather Kelland trying out the Great Escape Game
Tom Mann and Heather Kelland trying out the Great Escape Game

Having no money and no sleep doesn't put anyone in the best mood for finding out what to do in a new city, so we've made it easy for you with the following list.

1. FREE - Graffiti Walks

Impressive street art brightens up buildings all around Sheffield. A particular favourite is the circular walk starting at the station, showing you some of the best graffiti in the city centre, from a portrait of David Attenborough to a declaration of love scrawled on Park Hill Flats.

Where is it? Start at the station (S1 2BP) and follow the guide through and around the south west of the city centre.

2. FREE - Graves Park Animal Farm

This farm is the perfect way to put those essay deadlines out of your mind. You can walk around and meet some of the rarest breeds of farm animals in the country. There’s pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, donkeys, waterfowl and lots more, as well as a cafe.

Where is it? Hemsworth Road, Sheffield, S8 8LL. To get to the farm it takes about 20 minutes on the number 20 bus from Charter Row.

3. Quasar

Grab a laser gun and run around in the dark shooting people to your heart’s content. It’s adrenaline pumping and is known to turn the most docile of people into competitive beasts. Not a bad price either - with your student card it’s just £5 for two games. For group bookings of 10 or more Quasar can provide food and even alcohol.

Where is it? Easy to get to in the centre of Sheffield. 4 Bank Street, S1 2DS.

4. FREE - The Botanical Gardens

See if fresh air and a hearty cream tea can kick your hangover into touch. These gardens have lots of flowers, greenhouses, a nice cafe and very friendly squirrels. A good way to see the gardens is through the Theatre, Art and Music in the Gardens events happening throughout the year.

Where is it? Clarkehouse Road, S10 2LN. It’s a short walk if you live in Endcliffe Village, off Ecclesall Road or in Crookes.

5. Last Laugh Comedy Club

It’s been going more than 20 years and there are still gigs from various comedians on the circuit every Friday and Saturday night. The £20 tickets make it more expensive than other things on this list but Kim H on TripAdvisor thinks it’s worth it: “What a night. Brilliant atmosphere and comedians were fab. Definitely worth a visit.”

Where is it? In the City Hall on Barkers Pool.

6. FREE - The Millennium Gallery

Weird and wonderful exhibitions come and go at these galleries which showcase Sheffield’s unique heritage through art, craft and design. Open every day of the week.

Where is it? Slap bang in the city centre on Arundel Gate, S1 2PP.

7. FREE - Parkrun in Endcliffe Park

A 5km run starting at 9am every Saturday. Run (literally) in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University but anyone can turn up. You can turn up without registering if you’re not bothered about having your result recorded, but if you’d like to see your time, position and age grading, download a barcode from the website before the event.

Where is it? Meet at the children’s playground in Endcliffe Park, about 200m into the park from the entrance on Hunters Bar roundabout, S11 7AB. You’ll be spoilt for choice for buses up Ecclesall Road.

8. The Climbing Works Bouldering Wall

Sheffield is famous for its gritstone climbing in the Peak District, but it can be a little daunting for beginners (and your hands will be very cold if you try outdoor climbing in Sheffield’s winter). The Climbing Works bouldering wall has grades for all abilities as well as free group lessons throughout the week for beginners. Student Wednesdays are £4.50 to climb for as long as you want - bring your student card and arrive before 4pm.

Where is it? B, Centenary Works, Little London Rd, S8 0UJ. Get a 75 or 76 bus from town or a number 6 from Brocco Bank.

9. FREE - Weston Park

Weston Park is an award-winning free museum where you can discover the real story of Sheffield, from its geological roots to the people, politics and music that shaped the modern city. It’s also an absolute goldmine for Pokémon Go players. There are lots of Pokestops, and the War Memorial is a Pokégym. But catch ‘em all fast because from 31 Oct 2016 until March 2017 the museum is only open at weekends.

Where is it? Easy to walk from the University and not too bad from Hallam either. Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TP.

10. The Great Escape Game

If you’ve ever seen the Crystal Maze you’ll have an idea of what you’re in for in the Great Escape Game. From £13 per person in a group of 6 to 7 people, you and your friends are locked in a room with only 45 minutes to escape. As a team you have to ferret around trying to solve a series of intricate puzzles. The game is also top of the ‘Fun Activities and Games’ page on TripAdvisor. Carrie-Anne Y said: “Good time had by all... With the added extra of a few locked rooms and mind-boggling excitement, anxiety and panic.”

Where is it? In the city centre, around the corner from the Leadmill. 3-7 Sidney St, S1 4RG.

11. FREE - Graves Gallery

Graves Gallery is the home of Sheffield’s visual art collection. Above the Central Library, away from the noise and traffic of the city centre, the Gallery is a peaceful haven for visitors to enjoy the city’s art and a programme of temporary exhibitions.

Where is it? In the same building as the Central Library- Leader House, S1 2LH.