Four reasons to move to Kelham Island

More than 800 years ago, Kelham Island was created in the city of Sheffield; a goit to carry water from the River Don to the Town Corn Mill, near Lady’s Bridge.

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 8:48 am
Updated Monday, 25th November 2019, 11:45 am
Kelham Island has seen a massive regeneration in recent years

Its history is fascinating; from the grinding workshop and waterwheel set up in 1637, to the host of manufacturers that made the site its home in the early 1800s.

Today Sheffield's Kelham Island bears no resemblance to its industrial past, undergoing a major redevelopment in recent years to be crowned best neighbourhood in the UK in 2018.

The area now boasts an array of fashionable cafes, bars and restaurants, alongside hundreds of modern flats and office buildings. If you're considering a move, here are four very good reasons why Kelham Island could be the place for you:

Delicious eats at Noosa in Kelham Island

The eats

There has never been a Sheffield district with more fantastic foodie choice. Many of the island’s oldest buildings are now home to an abundance of independent eateries. Whether it’s curry night down at The Fat Cat, a pizza at Craft & Dough, or a delicious brunch at The Grind Cafe, you’ll never be stuck for a great meal.

Joe Goss, manager of coffee bar and kitchen The Gatehouse, said: “Being in Kelham Island is exciting, as every week there is something new, and it’s changing constantly.

“It’s quite chaotic, but in a good way. Everyone has a niche, there are a dozen very different and very independent restaurants. All the businesses have a really good working relationship with one another.”

Customers enjoying the historic environment and sunshine in Kelham

Duncan Shaw, manager of Fat Cat, added: “The area has become such a destination in the region. You can get the best of both worlds, you've got places like us and The Wellington which are your traditional pubs, and then the new wine and craft beer bars.”

The history

Buildings which once housed iron works, and latterly a power station, now offer the collections, displays and workshops of Kelham Island Museum allowing visitors to learn the history of the area. The museum captures the Steel City’s manufacturing story, giving its visitors a real sense of what life was like for the city’s workers once upon a time. If you can manage it, time your visit to the museum to catch the mighty River Don steam engine in action – the most powerful working steam engine in Europe. It’s a sight to behold.

Helen Featherstone, director of Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, said: “ 'We're incredibly proud of on our ongoing work with the local community and our neighbours.

'Kelham Island is home to a unique mix of new developments, cafes, restaurants and emerging businesses who sit alongside toolmakers and traders who've always been here.

'Since opening in 1982, it has been fantastic for Kelham Island Museum to be part of the growth of this area of Sheffield.”

The shopping

Whether you’re stepping back in time to losing yourself in the retro paradise that is the Nichols Building – stacked full of vintage treats – or stocking up on handmade clothing and accessories at Clobber Calm, a weekend browse around the shops has never been so much fun.

The weekends

If Kelham Island is your neighbourhood, the weekends pretty much fill themselves up. Call in to Gloss to get your nails done, Purdy’s Salon for a vintage up-do, or SiS Beauty for a pamper. Take a tour of Kelham Island Brewery to learn the history of one of the island’s best commodities, or take a Saturday morning food and drink with friends. The fun never stops.