For the history and culture vultures among you, the stunning sixteenth century Chatsworth House is certainly worth a visit. Located just outside of Bakewell and across the River Derwent, this stately home and surrounding scenery has been voted the UK’s favourite country house several times. As well as being home to neoclassical sculptures, priceless paintings and countless other artefacts, its extensive gardens attract over 300,000 visitors a year. Although higher on the price range, if you are looking to explore outside of Sheffield then Chatsworth should be at the top of your list!
Bus: Number 218 (1-hour 2 minutes)
Cost: £19 (student)
The Peak District
This may be an obvious one but not every student in Britain is lucky enough to have a National Park on their doorstep. With a number of regular buses and trains, taking a trip to the peaceful countryside cannot be easier. Whether it is an authentic pub lunch, a long walk into the hills or a bike ride and picnic, the Peak District offers it all. Try visiting the cute villages of Bakewell, home to the famous Bakewell tarts, and Castleton, with its underground caverns, for a perfect time out from university life.
Bus to Bakewell: Number 215, 218, 240, 275 (43 minutes)
Bus to Castleton: Number 272, 273, 274 (1 hour, 5 minutes)
Hathersage Outdoor Swimming Pool
Fancy a swim with a fabulous view? Then why not make the most of those fading summer days and visit this Peak District’s hidden gem? Whether it is to swim lengths, take part in the swimming boot camps or just chill in the heated pool and enjoy the surrounding hills, this is the perfect and surprisingly cheap escape from the busy student life of halls and essays.
Bus: Number 272 (45 minutes) followed by a short walk
Cost: £6 entry (Make sure to check public swimming times before you go.)
Mayfields Alpaca Farm
Who says farm visits are just for children? Located on the edge of the Peak District, Mayfields Alpaca farm is only a short bus ride away and provides a fun, cheap and accessible day out. Currently sheltering over 60 alpacas, llamas, goats, birds, sheep, horses and even wallabies and meerkats, this farm is far from ordinary. Once you have finished feeding the alpacas, why not go for a pub lunch or a relaxing walk in the Peaks? Don’t forget to take plenty of funny alpaca selfies.
Bus: Number 84 (half an hour) followed by a short walk
Cost: £3.50 entry and 50p for a bag of alpaca feed
Neighbouring Northern Cities
Once you have finished exploring the Steel City, why not investigate our nearby neighbouring cities? How about a shopping trip and a night out in Leeds, which is only 40 minutes away on the train? Or when it hits winter, take the 55-minute journey to visit Manchester’s Christmas Markets? York also makes a great day trip out with the York Minster (as in the image) and cobblestone streets. It also takes just under an hour to travel to Nottingham and if you book in advance and have a student RailCard, you can visit all three cities at a reasonable price. At three weeks in advance, a return to both Leeds and Manchester is less than £10 and a return to Nottingham or York is under £15. That is a bargain you simply can’t miss.