South Yorkshire is the smallest of Yorkshire’s regions at 660sq miles(1,550sq kms) and was only created in 1974 in government boundary changes in 1974 – until then it was part of the huge area known as the West Riding.
Many people picture South Yorkshire as a highly industrialised area home to steel making and coal mining. Although true, the area has beautiful countryside running from the National Park of the Peak District right out to the unique deep peat marshes at the head of the Humber estuary.
The principal city is Sheffield – a modern city that is full of life and home to two universities. The Lower Don Valley – running from the M1 motorway to the city centre – was once crowded with steel plants – now there is the vast Meadowhall shopping centre, sports complexes and concerts and events are held at the Sheffield Arena.
Rotherham is just eight miles from the centre of Sheffield. The Magna science adventure museum has been created inside an old steel mill.
Doncaster has a long history – once a Roman town, its later prosperity grew on coal mining and rail engineering. Its racecourse hosts the oldest horse race in the country – the St Leger (1776) held every September.
Barnsley district covers a wide area running up to the Pennines and includes the market town of Penistone, as well as many pretty villages and country homes.
So be surprised by the countryside and the historic abbeys, castles and staely homes that can be found in this fascinating part of Yorkshire.