For a time, South Yorkshire was known for its collieries and steel industry. Today, more so with the decimation of its coal mining industries, South Yorkshire is a favoured location for distributive trades. Though without the same manpower as previous, steel still forms part of South Yorkshire's economy, and in forging the identity of its main city.
The birthplace of the Bessemer process and Stainless Steel is Sheffield. This is commemorated in the Kelham Island Museum, and the city's Millennium Galleries' Metalwork Collection. The Millennium Galleries and Winter Garden is a recent addition to city of Sheffield, with a connection to the main shopping centre and its theatres (The Lyceum and The Crucible). As well as live theatrical productions, The Crucible is noted for the World Snooker Championships.
Besides their reputation for snooker, repertory and professional theatre, they are also good conference venues. The same is true of the City Hall which is also offers first class entertainment. Shoppers have The Moor and Waingate areas of the city and the out of town Meadowhall Shopping Centre. Sheffield is well connected by road, rail and tram and has an ample number of hotels. It has two world class universities and a wealth of artistic and historical attractions.
Next to Sheffield on the other side of the M1 motorway is Rotherham. It is a busy shopping centre, and home to the Magna Science Adventure Centre in nearby Templeborough. Rotherham Minster and the Chapel of Our Lady are both worth a visit with the latter being one of four surviving bridge chapels in the United Kingdom.
North of Rotherham is Barnsley and Doncaster. Both towns were synonymous with the coal mining industries, whereas the latter was also a product of the railway age. Known colloquially as 'The Plant', it had one of the UK's biggest railway works, with the Mallard and the Flying Scotsman locomotives being built there. Barnsley is a popular shopping centre with indoor, semi-open and outdoor markets. Just outside the town centre is the Metrodome Leisure Centre, which is also close to Barnsley F.C.'s home, Oakwell.
By night, there is a number of theatres and cinemas. The Doncaster Civic Theatre and The Dome play host to major live acts, theatrical and musical. In Barnsley, The Lamproom, Academy and Civic theatres play host a variety of performance arts. Musically, South Yorkshire is indelibly linked with brass bands (with Grimethorpe Colliery Band the subject of the 1995 film 'Brassed Off'), industrial synth music (The Human League, Cabaret Voltaire) and folk music.
Away from its primarily industrial setting, South Yorkshire is dominated by moorland on the fringes of the Peak District National Park. The Peak District is literally minutes away from Barnsley and Sheffield. It also has stately homes such as Wentworth Castle near Barnsley, golf courses and woodland.
Sports fanatics will be happy the presence of five Football League sides; Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United, Barnsley, Doncaster Rovers and Rotherham United. All five, including Doncaster's Keepmoat Stadium and Rotherham's New York Stadium are conference venues in their own right. South Yorkshire is also home to the World's Oldest and Second Oldest Association Football Clubs: Sheffield F.C. and Hallam F.C. The latter has the oldest football ground in continuous use, with Sandygate home to Hallam since its formation in 1860.
Doncaster Racecourse, famed for The St. Leger Stakes, can host conferences for delegates numbering from two to 3,000 people. Both Rugby League and Rugby Union is well represented in South Yorkshire. For lovers of canine sports, greyhound racing is well represented too, with one venue being Owlerton Stadium on the outskirts of Sheffield. As well as greyhound racing, it is also a popular oval track racing venue.
From the East Midlands, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Derbyshire, South Yorkshire is most accessible by road and rail. With a number of hotels along the M1, M18 and M180 motorways, it is no wonder why South Yorkshire's a popular conference venue destination.