South Yorkshire is the smallest ceremonial county in Yorkshire. It stretches from the Pennines in the West down to the Humberhead Levels around the Humber estuary and towards the North Sea. Although it is small in area, South Yorkshire is diverse and full of interesting places.
The county was created around the vast metropolis of Sheffield, which also encompasses Rotherham and many smaller industrial towns. It is one of the largest urban areas in England. South Yorkshire also includes the smaller towns of Barnsley and Doncaster. The area was deeply marked by the industrial revolution as it is located on one of the country’s largest coalfields. Sheffield is known everywhere in the UK for its knives and its steel, and some of the UK’s most iconic locomotives such as the Flying Scotsman were made in Doncaster. The old industrial village of Elsecar was turned into a Heritage Centre dedicated to the industrial era, and several museums in Sheffield are also dedicated to that period.
Outside of towns and cities, South Yorkshire still offers beautiful natural sites. A part of the county lies within the borders of the Peak District National Park. South Yorkshire is also the perfect place for heritage lovers. They will find many stately homes and many of them are open to the public. Some of them are among the grandest of Yorkshire – think of huge Wentworth Woodhouse and of Wentworth Castle. There are also Cannon Hall near Barnsley, and Brodsworth Hall and Cusworth Hall near Doncaster. Much older but equally impressive, Conisbrough Castle boasts one of the biggest keeps in England. A smaller castle can be found in Tickhill; it is only open once a year. Yorkshire is famous for its ruined abbeys, and two of them are to be found in South Yorkshire – Roche Abbey and the smaller Monk Bretton Priory.