It may have an industrial past with the production of stainless steel cutlery as its claim to fame, but Sheffield is fast becoming a popular city break destination. Found in South Yorkshire, with the gorgeous Peak District scenery within a short drive and lots of central green spaces, it has a thriving arts scene. There are several unique attractions too, like the National Emergency Services Museum, the Millennium Gallery and the National Videogame Museum. Opt to stay in the centre close to the action, or a little further out, in a stunning manor house hotel.
Whitley Hall Hotel
The ivy-clad frontage of this 16th-century mansion is an impressive sight for the arriving guest. It’s surrounded by 20 acres of grounds and the resident peacocks, Canada geese and mallards. Inside, the 32 bedrooms have been decorated in a classic, luxury country manor style, many with Juliet balconies and four-poster beds or views of the lake. And there are homely touches like a decanter of port in each room. Mary Queen of Scots was said to have stayed here, although of course it’s undergone major renovations since, including the addition of a restaurant that’s been awarded two AA rosettes.
Fischer’s Baslow Hall
A short distance from the city itself, on the edge of the Peak District, is this village-based hotel. Like Whitley Hall, Fischer’s is a creeper covered country mansion, but is much newer, having been built in 1907. It has a Grade II listing and was formerly a private home. The centrepiece is very much its Michelin starred restaurant. Fischer’s gained this accolade back in the 1990s and has maintained it ever since, with creative, beautifully presented cuisine. Complementing the fine fare are activities arranged in-house, around culinary themes (such as foraging tours and wine tastings). There are just 11 bedrooms, with designer decor, Nespresso machines and Sedbergh Soap Company bath products.