Sheffield is home to a lot of very good real ale pubs, with a concentration of them along the tram route in the City Centre and Upper Don Valley (Blue route towards Malin Bridge and Yellow route towards Middlewood. Between Fitzalan Square and Hillsborough the two routes combine to give a tram every 5-10 minutes).
The trams are now running a full service on these routes again following engineering work over the summer to replace some of the rails and for a two week period (29th September to 12th October) there will be some promotional fares to celebrate (maximum single fare £1.70, all day tram pass for £3, weekly tram pass for £10 or monthly tram pass for £31.50). The normal ticket prices are £2.20 maximum single, £4 for a Stagecoach bus & tram Dayrider or £13.50 for a Stagecoach Weekly Bus & Tram Megarider.
So to celebrate both facts, here is a guide to some of the pubs along the tram route. It is not intended to be comprehensive as there are a lot of pubs and limited space – see www.whatpub.com to find out about other pubs you could visit and www.supertram.com for more information about the tram service.
SHEFFIELD STATION (Blue and Purple routes)
The tram stop is linked to the railway station by the station footbridge, on platform 1B you will find the Sheffield Tap, a ‘World Beer Free House’ located in the restored Edwardian refreshment rooms. It also has its own on site brewery that can be viewed, producing a range of ales under the ‘Tapped Brew Company’ banner. On the bar you will find 11 handpumps – 10 dispensing a range of real ales including Tapped Brew Co, Thornbridge Brewery and guests, the remaining handpump is for cider. There is also a massive range of craft beers on keg and bottle.
Also Nearby: Rutland Arms (Brown Street), Old Queens Head (Pond Hill), Showroom Café Bar (Paternoster Row), Howard (Howard Street) and Globe (Howard Street)
CASTLE SQUARE (Blue, Yellow and Purple routes)
At the heart of the tram system, Castle Square tram stop is also home to the Bankers Draft Wetherspoons pub. A range of reasonably priced real ales are available across two bars (one upstairs and one downstairs) and food served all day.
At the rear of the Bankers Draft (Accessible via passageways by Argos or Pizza Hut) on Hartshead Square is the Dove & Rainbow, a rock pub also featuring real ale and real cider along with a pool table and pinball tables. Show your CAMRA membership card to get a discount on the beer.
Also Nearby: Mulberry Tavern (Arundel Gate), Cavells (High Street)
CATHEDRAL (Blue, Yellow and Purple routes)
From the tram stop, walk across the Cathedral forecourt and down the footpath at the side onto Campo Lane, cross over to Paradise Square and walk down the road that passes diagonally along the top of the square and you will come to the Three Tuns, an unusual long thin triangular shaped pub that is smartly decorated but with a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. 6 real ales feature including at least one from Blue Bee Brewery (which is owned by the same people) along with Westons Cider and home cooked food.
Also Nearby: Wig & Pen (Campo Lane), Church House (St James Place)
CITY HALL (Blue and Yellow routes)
From the City Hall tram stop, keep walking in the uphill direction to the traffic lights then drop down the passageway at the side of the Maida Vale music Bar (which also offers real ale) onto Trippett Lane where you will find a cluster of three venues.
The Dog & Partridge is a proper old fashioned multi-room pub that has benefitted from a recent refurbishment, a choice of local beers are on the bar and during food hours you can get ‘Irish Tapas’. Always a warm welcome from the landlord and staff here and show your CAMRA membership card to get a discount on beer.
Also offering a traditional pub environment is the Grapes, just a few doors up, then across the road is Dada bar, run by Thornbridge Brewery. This is a fairly quirky place with a bar serving two rooms – a relaxed front room with windows and art and a darker back room that feels like a miniature night club. Most nights there are either DJs or live music there to entertain. On the bar, although craft keg dominates, there are 4 handpumps serving quality real ale – at least 2 Thornbridge casks with guest ales often available plus cider.
Also Nearby: The Museum (Orchard Street), The Bessemmer (Leopold Street), The Waterworks (Division Street), Benjaman Huntsman (Cambridge Street), Henry’s (Cambridge Street), Sportsman (Cambridge Street).
WEST STREET (Blue and Yellow routes)
This is a very lively part of Sheffield with countless places to eat and drink. However if you aren’t up for the party atmosphere on the main West Street drag, there are more laid back civilised places on parallel roads!
Closest to the tram stop is the Wick at Both Ends. During the day quality food is served with table service and a laid back vibe and in the evening there is usually a DJ on and a livelier atmosphere. Three real ales normally available on the bar and look out for ‘after work social’ discounts.
Walk further up to the junction and turn left and on the edge of the West One complex you will find The Hop, a two level bar run by Osset Brewery featuring a large range of their beers plus guests. During the daytime Pie & Peas are available, in the evening there is entertainment with a programme of live music, pub quiz, games nights and more. CAMRA members discounts are available Sunday to Thursday.
On the other side of West Street, just up from the tram stop is the Cavendish, a craft beer bar aimed at students with an outside drinking area too, however round the back of here on Pitt Street is the Red Deer where you can escape the riotous crowds of West Street and stumble into what feels like a nice country pub in the middle of the City. There is a good beer range here, food, friendly service and beer garden. Discounts on beer are offered to CAMRA members.
ALSO NEARBY: West Street Live (West Street), Varsity (West Street), Beehive (West Street), Green Room (Devonshire Street), Forum (Devonshire Street), Common Room (Devonshire Street), Old House (Division Street), Great Gatsby (Division Street), Bungalows & Bears (Division Street), Frog & Parrot (Division Street), Bowery (Fitzwilliam Street), Devonshire Cat (Wellington Street).
UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD (Blue & Yellow tram routes)
Just across the road from the tram stop, next to the Sainsburys Local, is the Harley Hotel. The hotel bar is home to the Twisted Burger Company until 10pm then the bar continues until the early hours with live music or DJs. A couple of local real ales are available.
Walk up Glossop Road a little further and you come to the University of Sheffield Student Union. There are two bars with real ale – Bar One which is the livelier bar and Interval which is a more relaxed café bar. Interval is accessible to the general public during the daytime and normally offers the more interesting beer range.
If you leave the tram stop in the other direction after crossing the road, up past the University’s Information Commons and turn left at Brook Hill Roundabout you will come to the University Arms. This is a public house open to all that is operated by the University and has recently reopened after being refurbished over the summer holidays. This pub offers a relaxed, traditional atmosphere, a nice selection of beers and a proper beer garden.
ALSO NEARBY: Bath Hotel (Victoria Street), Swim Inn (Glossop Road), Doctors Orders (Clarkson Street)
SHALESMOOR (Blue & Yellow routes)
Right on the tram stop – well around the corner anyway – you will find the Wellington, a two room pub that hasn’t changed in years. This is the tap for the Little Ale Cart Brewery. Look out for evidence of humour from the staff and regulars. There is a beer garden at the back.
On the other side of the roundabout from the tram stop is the Ship Inn, another pub that hasn’t changed in years. A selection of local ales and friendly service features here.
Keep walking along the dual carriageway past the Ship and when you come to a small block of shops and cafes, turn left onto Bowling Green Street and this will bring you out alongside two real ale pubs. On your right is the Kelham Island Tavern, CAMRA’s current Yorkshire Pub of the Year and on your left is the Fat Cat, which was one of Sheffield’s first multi real ale free houses. The Fat Cat is also the tap for Kelham Island Brewery. Both pubs offer a great range of beers, a traditional multi room pub atmosphere and a well tended beer garden.
If you walk past the Kelham Island Tavern back to the main road, cross over onto Gibralter Street, you will come to Shakespeare’s. This has a large ever changing beer range, multiple rooms including upstairs live music venue and beer garden at rear.
ALSO NEARBY: Harlequin (Nursery Street), Riverside Live (Mowbray Street), Milestone Bar & Restaurant (Ball Street)
INFIRMARY ROAD (Blue & Yellow routes)
A short walk from here are a couple of pubs that are brewery taps. You need to be on the other side of the road from Tescos at the City end of the platform and walk down Bedford Street, past the bus depot onto the main Penistone Road. Cross at the traffic lights and walk straight across onto Rutland Road and when you come to the next crossroads you have a choice of turning left to the Gardeners Rest, the tap for Sheffield Brewery which is one of the few pubs with a bar billiards table, the pub has three rooms including a snug, lounge and conservatory plus a riverside beer ‘garden’. The Gardeners also has an ever changing range of guest beers and in known for getting in new and rare ales.
Alternatively carry on up Rutland Road, under the railway arches and on the right you will see the Forest, which acts as the tap for Toolmakers Brewery.
BAMFORTH STREET (Blue and Yellow routes)
Walk away from the tram stop in the Hillsborough direction and downhill via Bamforth Street, at the bottom on the left you will find the New Barrack Tavern, a multi-room roadhouse owned by Castle Rock Brewery of Nottingham featuring their beers plus guests and reasonably priced food. Live music and comedy clubs often feature at the weekend and the more discerning Sheffield Wednesday football supporters and Sheffield Eagles rugby supporters have made this pub their home on match days!
HILLSBOROUGH (Blue and yellow routes)
Here conveniently located on the outbound platform you will find the Rawson Spring Wetherspoons pub with the usual good value range of beers and food housed in a converted swimming baths.
MALIN BRIDGE (Blue route)
A short walk along the one way system from the tram terminus is Champs, a sports bar with real ale and snacks available.
LEPPINGS LANE (Yellow route)
This is the tram stop near the Sheffield Wednesday ground, however on a nearby back street (Catchbar Lane) is the Riverside Café & Bar on two floors. Downstairs is an excellent little bistro, however upstairs is a bar with three locally sourced real ales and a terrace overlooking the river and football ground! Note the bar only opens at the weekend.
From Middlewood tram terminus there is a bus link to Deepcar and Stocksbridge and from Malin Bridge tram terminus there is a bus link to Stannington, there are more pubs in these places however that is another article in itself…