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Crookes, together with Broomhill, is Sheffield student central. It has some great views across the city, but of course that means it is hilly. The steep streets are lined with large Victorian and Edwardian terrace properties, ideal for student rentals. Most houses in the area do not have off-street parking, so many roads are lined with parked cars making it difficult for traffic to get through. Crookes also has a scattering of 1930s terraces, some flats and some lovely, though small, traditional stone terraces. Crookes is very close to the University and the town centre so walking is easy, but the number 52 bus runs frequently through the area for rainy days. Did you know there is a Human League track called ‘The Bus to Crookes’?!
With its large lake, Crookes Valley Park is an ideal place to spend a sunny afternoon. Weston Park is next door and is home to Weston Park Museum and café. The Dam House bar and restaurant is close by with an ethically sourced menu, though it lacks much choice for vegetarians. A little further up the hill from the parks you’ll find Beanies, a wonderful wholefood shop. You’ll also find the Second Hand Centre selling furniture, ideal for kitting out a student abode and there is a Post Office too.
The main shopping street in Crookes is home to all the necessaries – pharmacy, off-licence, DIY store, Post Office, Co-op, fast food and takeaway outlets, hairdressers, Jack Fulton, banks, charity shops etc. There are a few more unusual gems amongst them, such as Mr Ben’s Fancy Dress and Just Natural selling organic and fair-trade food.
Casanova Italian Restaurant and Winebar makes for a pleasant evening out in Crookes, or try SpinRocs for tasty tapas. The Old Grindstone pub is an old friend to many Crookes residents. Elsewhere there is the Hadfield, Noah’s Ark and the Punch Bowl Hotel to name but a few.
On the outskirts of Crookes, Bole Hill offers spectacular views for miles around and is a sanctuary from the bustle of the busy shops and streets.
Crookes and Walkley offer a generous supply of traditional terraced properties, many of which are currently used as student houses or starter homes. These Crookes and Walkley terraces are generally of a modest size, with two or three bedrooms the norm. Many have attic conversions, providing a spacious room at the top. Houses in Crookes include a good selection of stone or stone-fronted Victorian properties, which are often quite attractive but can be a bit on the small side. In other parts, Crookes includes some 1930s semis and modern houses and flats.
Walkley’s sloping streets are generally lined by small to medium-sized terraces. Homes in the upper parts of Walkley, such as those near Ruskin Park, are generally more appealing and sought after. Some semi-detached properties, modern houses and flats and the odd new development are also thrown into the mix of Walkley properties.
Crookes and Walkley are adjoining suburbs in the west of Sheffield. The Rivelin Valley forms a natural boundary to the northwest. Crookes is separated by the busy Manchester Road (A57) from the suburbs to the south. These hillsides were originally places to escape the city, before they were built up in the 19th century as residential districts for Sheffield’s industrial workforce.
Much of Walkley has a S6 postcode, while Crookes falls within the S10 zone. Decent local shopping in Crookes includes Just Natural, which specializes in organic, fair-trade and natural food and household goods. For whisky-lovers one of the highlights of shopping in Walkley is The Dram Shop on Commonside. Otherwise, there are the expected local stores, but little more than the basics.
There is a variety of restaurants in Crookes, including tapas, Italian and Indian. Cafes in Walkley range from greasy spoons to the appealingly laid-back (though expect to feel out of place if you’re older than 22).
When it comes to supermarkets, there is a Co-op in central Crookes. Off Penistone Road, there is a Safeway in Upperthorpe and a Morrison’s in Hillsborough. There is also a Somerfield on Fulwood Road, Broomhill, not far from Crookes. Some parts of Walkley, especially Lower Walkley, are not all that salubrious and the area has a reputation for burglaries. Crookes is slightly better off in this respect.
Schools for Crookes and Walkley vary, but there are some very good ones. Lydgate Junior in Crookes scores comfortably above the national average in Key Stage 2 tests, but Netherthorpe Primary in Crookesmoor is well below. Tapton School and King Edward School, the state secondary schools for Crookes, have good reputations and results.
In Walkley, Westways Primary, Walkley Primary and Rivelin Primary all attain above average Key Stage 2 results. Some secondary pupils go to the academically sound King Edward School, others to Myers Grove – an improving school, but one where pupils arrive and leave with below average attainment.
The Old Grindstone stands proud on a street corner at 3 Crookes (as the main road leading from Crookes to Walkley is known). This Victorian pub has the welcoming appearance of a child’s drawing of a house: a door, four windows, two chimneys. It is popular with students and locals alike, who regard it as one of the best boozers in the Crookes/Walkley area.
Crookes and Walkley are real student haunts. Crookes, in particular, is one of the most student-friendly areas of Sheffield (after Broomhill). Walkley also attracts students because of its good-value properties, though the journey into town is longer and the amenities are less attractive or wide-ranging. First-time buyers and young families often buy properties in Crookes and Walkley, if landlords don’t beat them to it.
Crookes and Walkley are within fairly easy reach of university campuses and the city centre. Crookes is more convenient in this respect and is within walking distance of Broomhill. Driving down into the city centre takes around ten minutes. Buses run into town and to university areas and hospitals.
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