Festival of the Outdoors returns this spring with a cracking programme of events

Sheffield is a place where nature and culture intertwines, where people and peaks unite to revel in the joys of ‘The Outdoor City’. Taking place throughout March, The Festival of the Outdoors brings together a whole host of events and activities celebrating nature and adventure on our doorstep.

Mark Mobbs, marketing manager at Sheffield City Council, explained the inspiration behind the event: “Sheffield has the highest percentage green space of any city in the world, but as England’s fourth largest city with over 600,000 people and a rich cultural heritage, we are also a thriving and dynamic place with loads going on.

Festival of the Outdoors

“The Outdoor City tries to embody the fact we have nature and culture hand in hand, and the Festival of the Outdoors is our way of showcasing that uniqueness as spring opens the outdoors up to a wider audience. It’s amazing that we have all these incredible events, from the international to the local community level, and all we are doing is trying to promote them to a wider audience to help those independent businesses and showcase why Sheffield is such a great place to live, work or visit.”

On top of the eight headliners, the festival will feature various family, specialist and cultural events to get involved in across the whole of the month: skateboard jams down at Castlegate, forest bathing in Graves Park, introductory mountain bike sessions across the Western Moors of Sheffield and guided city centre tours exploring Sheffield’s political past – that’s just a small taste of what you can get stuck into.

Here’s a rundown of some of the headline events:


3-5 MarchFestival of the Outdoors: Shaff

A wide selection best new adventure, travel and extreme sports films from around the world shown on the big screen. Now in its 18th year, the family-friendly event is as jaw-dropping as it is inspirational, with films covering everything from adrenaline-fuelled challenges to innovative sustainable practices, adventures in far-flung corners of the globe to films showcasing Sheffield athletes.


Festival of the Outdoors: Indie Beer Feast

3-4 March

The flagship event of Sheffield Beer Week – a two-day festival bringing together the best in craft beer, cider and natural wines. Taking place amongst the industrial settings of Trafalgar Warehouse in the city centre, it’s the perfect excuse to let your hair down and sample wares from a mouth-watering list of independent producers.


6-12 March

A celebration of all things hoppy, Sheffield Beer Week is organised by the wonderful team behind Hop Hideout and sees local bars, pubs and restaurants joining forces with local, national and international breweries to a range of host beery events. From brewery open days to guided pub walks, there’s plenty to explore!


18-19 March

Festival of the Outdoors: CWIF

Every year one of the world’s most prestigious route setters (Percy Bishton, who co-owns The Climbing Works) gives the elite boulderers of the world something to get their teeth into right here in The Outdoor City. With climbers coming from Japan, the USA and right across Europe those lucky enough to grab a ticket will get to see top-level athletes in a brilliantly intimate setting.


19 March

Pollen Market

Pollen Market. Photo credit: Joe Horner

Popping up on the third Sunday of every month, Pollen is an inner-city flower market that delivers an abundance of greenery, live music, art, local produce and more. Brought to you by the team behind Peddler Market, Pollen has gone some way into turning the Castlegate grey-to-green scheme into a bustling destination area. With its close proximity to the canal basin, you can expect some special events to accompany it, such as paddle boarding and kayaking.


25 March

Festival of the Outdoors: Sheff Urban CX

A true spectacle to behold – Sheffield cyclists, commuters, club riders, junior Shredders, cargo bike captains and Bromptoneers, all come and take part in this urban hill climb set to the iconic backdrop of Park Hill. The course and challenging climbs offer a dynamic way to highlight some urban commuter heroes, club riders, have-a-go heroes, and all riders in between, as well as some of the less conventional bikes seen on the streets.



26 March

Festival of the Outdoors: Sheffield Half Marathon

A major event in the UK’s running calendar, the Sheffield Half Marathon attracts runners of all ages and abilities to the city’s streets, taking in gorgeous views of the Peak District. Starting and finishing in the city centre, it’s a wonderful atmosphere to enjoy even if you’re not running.


Every Saturday and Sunday in March

Festival of the Outdoors: SUP in The Outdoor City with DC Outdoors

Join DC Outdoors for a SUP experience (stand-up paddle boarding) in the heart of Sheffield at the historic Victoria Quays. Once you’ve had a quick introduction to the equipment and after a short safety briefing we will get to grips with how to control the board whilst kneeling. When we’ve got that sorted we’ll look at getting stood up, before putting your new found skills to use on small journey along the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal.


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