Wakefield (England)

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Wakefield Cathedral

Wakefield is a city in West Yorkshire, England.

Wakefield's location, at the heart of England and at the centre of the UK's communications network, offers unsurpassed transport links, providing fast connections by road, rail, and air. At the intersection between the M1 and M62 and with the A1 at its eastern boundary, the district is well placed to access other regional centres such as Leeds, Sheffield and York.

Understand[edit]

Wakefield has emerged from over a century of reliance on coal mining to become a thriving manufacturing, shopping and distribution centre, taking full advantage of its place at the heart of the region's transport network.

The city[edit]

Wakefield city is a historic seat of regional government in Yorkshire and for two centuries provided the county headquarters of the West Riding of Yorkshire. Today the city retains its strong tradition of public service employment with the headquarters of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council, the Yorkshire and Humber regional assembly, the West Yorkshire Police, and the headquarters of the West Yorkshire Ambulance Service located at its heart within the civic quarter.

The district[edit]

Wakefield district covers some 350 square kilometres and is home to 315,000 people in a diverse range of city, urban and rural communities, and an amalgam of what were previously 14 different local authorities.

The north west includes Horbury, Ossett, Wrenthorpe, Stanley and Altofts, while Normanton, Castleford, Pontefract, Knottingley, Featherstone and a host of smaller settlements make up the five towns. In the south east, there are the towns of Hemsworth, South Kirkby and South Elmsall as well as other communities.

Some 70 per cent of the rural communities of the district is designated as green belt. Dotted about the rolling countryside are villages like Middlestown, Crigglestone, Crofton, Woolley and Ackworth.

Wakefield Council and its partner organisations in the Wakefield District Partnership are making great strides in bringing new life to the old mining communities of the south east. Major achievements have already been made in reclaiming former colliery sites for both leisure and industrial use.

Wakefield has a lot to offer. It has a rich industrial heritage which visitors can experience at the National Coal Mining museum. It is known for its lively nightlife. The District itself is made up of the City and its Five Town:, Castleford, Horbury, Normanton, Ossett and Pontefract.

All areas of Wakefield boast some sort of attraction: from Pontefract's castle and sweet factories (including the Haribo factory) to Castleford's Xscape entertainment complex and the Freeport shopping village.

Get in[edit]

By air[edit]

There are three airports that are generally seen as accessible from Wakefield, Robin Hood Airport (Doncaster) ; Leeds Bradford International Airportand Manchester Airport, which is the best airport for non-European flights. Manchester Airport, East Midlands Airport, and Leeds Bradford Airport provide direct flights to London and Brussels. However, access to London by train means that Wakefield is accessible from all of the major London airports.

By rail[edit]

Ease of commuting extends beyond the region with Wakefield Westgate, the city's mainline station situated on the high speed East Coast Mainline, offering excellent connections to key UK destinations. Direct half-hourly services operate to London throughout the day with the quickest journey taking under 2 hours. Sheffield, York, Manchester, Liverpool, and Newcastle are also within easy reach.

Wakefield is served by the East Coast Mainline through Wakefield Westgate and a second station, Wakefield Kirkgate; the city is also accessible from Leeds, Sheffield, and Barnsley.

East Coast

East Midland Trains

Arriva Cross Country Trains

Northern Rail

By coach[edit]

Wakefield is served extensively by National Express.

By ferry[edit]

Pride Of Rotterdam

Wakefield is accessible from Rotterdam and Zeebrugge and is approximately 1hr travel time by car from the UK point of arrival at Kingston Upon Hull, the service is operated by P&O Ferries. If travelling by coach change in Leeds. If travelling by train change in Doncaster or Leeds.

By water[edit]

Wakefield lies at the junction of the Calder and Hebble Navigation, and the Aire and Calder Navigation. There are visitor moorings on the former above Fall Ings Lock (72hrs) and also below Wakefield Flood lock (72hrs). Unfortunately, there are no water points or sanitary facilities along the cut here, except for rubbish disposal at the residential mooring site.

Get around[edit]

Local bus services are provided by Arriva and Stagecoach.

Wakefield Free City Bus

A free city bus service provided by Metro and the Council is available in the city centre.

The bus operates throughout the day on a circular route linking the two train stations, the bus station and the main shopping areas:-

Bus Station > The Springs > Kirkgate Station > Ings Road Retail Park > Westgate Retail Park > Westgate Station > Westgate > Bus Station

More information (including a downloadable route map) is available at the Metro website [1].

See[edit]

Wakefield Cathedral
  • The Cathedral. One of the best buildings to see in the city.
  • Sandal Castle. The castle grounds are open from dawn until dusk. The Visitor Centre's opening hours are: Summer - M-Su 11AM - 4.30PM, Winter - 11AM-4PM, Sa,Su only.
  • The Orangery. The Exhibition & Resource Areas are open to the public, Monday-Friday, 10AM–4PM.

Theatre & Comedy[edit]

Do[edit]

Westgate Run Famous in the north of England for its weekend nightlife with numerous late night bars, fast food jounts and a number of nightclubs all within 400 metres to the city centre. The 'Westgate Run' is a pub crawl commencing at 'The Redoubt' pub, and finishing in the town centre having taken in perhaps a dozen pubs along the way.

"Pontefract Liquorice Festival". The town of Pontefract provides a fantastic backdrop to the annual Liquorice festival. In this unique historic market town with a Norman Castle, you can catch the aroma of warm liquorice emanating from the town's sweet factories. [2]

Parks & Countryside[edit]

Sport[edit]

Wakefield prides itself on the game of rugby, especially Rugby League, with three teams in the five towns area.

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

The Harewood Arms quietly prides itself on being one of the best, in both quality, quantity and value, home cooked traditional "pub grub" venues in Wakefield. The regular menu covers all the usuals and check the special boards for fabulous "home cooked" tasty meals. Sundays can get especially busy but believe me it's worth it!!!

  • Lotus9-11 Cross Street (Wonderful, welcoming Chinese restaurant, having been a part of the Wakefield culinary scene for almost 30 years.),  +44 1924 374771.
  • Mex CantinaMarket Street (Another famous local restaurant, serving excellent Tex Mex cuisine. Popular with large groups and for pre-dinner drinks.),  +44 1924 211999.
  • Quo Vadis1 Smyth Street (Yet another good quality restaurant serving some of the best foreign cuisine in Yorkshire.),  +44 1924 360018.

Drink[edit]

  • The Harewood Arms101 Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 1JG +44 1924 201321, e-mail: .
  • The Inns of Court22 King Street Wakefield WF1 2SR +44 1924 375 560. A great local pub which has always attracted a slight alternative crowd to the kind of people who frequent Westgate Pubs
  • Henry Boons130 Westgate Wakefield, WF2 9SR. A great pub on Westgate, a short walk from the station
  • The HopThe Hop 19 Bank Street Wakefield WF1 1EH. A traditional real ale house with a great atmosphere for live music
  • Bar MexAlbion Court, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF1 1BB. Late bar just off Westgate
  • Red Bar3 George and Crown Yard. A lovely little bar just off Westgate

Sleep[edit]

  • Billy Budd York House HotelNext to Wakefield's Theatre Royal Opera House, the brand new 'Arthouse' and 30 seconds uphill from Wakefield Westgate train station..
  • Cedar Court HotelPopular venue for conferences and business 'Away Days'. (Located on the M1, for easy access.).

Go next[edit]

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