Introducing South Yorkshire

When you think of South Yorkshire, you generally think of Sheffield, a city famous for its steel, especially the kind you use to cut and hold your dinner. This steel was forged, shaped and cooled in the city’s mills, which were in turn fuelled by the coal mined in the outlying pits – a most productive arrangement.

That particular industrial idyll may have been consigned to history’s dustbin some time ago, but the hulking reminders of the irrepressible Victorian Age remain, and not just in the mills or pits, some of which have been turned into enthralling museums of the past or brilliantly converted into art galleries and exhibitions spaces, but in the grand civic buildings that crown Sheffield’s city centre – fitting testaments to the untrammelled ambitions of their 19th-century patrons.

And, just to prove that it’s not all about the grey charms of urbanity, Sheffield’s western outskirts brush up against the Peak District National Park, and the city serves as a handy gateway between the south and the north of England.