Wake up to Wakefield
West Yorkshire is the heartland of northern England. And at the heart of West Yorkshire lies the unassuming city of Wakefield. It’s conveniently located near metropolitan Leeds, as well as smaller Yorkshire towns like Pontefract and Castleford. And it has plenty of urban amenities and local charm of its own. So why not discover Wakefield on your next British staycation?
Traditionally, it’s a cathedral that makes a city. Wakefield Cathedral may not be one of the most famous in England, but it’s certainly impressive. In fact, it boasts the tallest spire in Yorkshire at 247ft, outdoing even the more celebrated York Minster. Inside, you’ll find a wealth of historic artifacts. That includes the world’s most complete collection of stained glass by the Victorian designer Charles Kempe.
Explore the local heritage
After the cathedral, visit Wakefield Museum to learn the city’s fascinating story. You’ll discover the history of everything from industry and war to rugby and rhubarb growing. And if history is your bag, there’s plenty more. The National Coal Mining Museum lies on the outskirts of the city on the site of two former coal mines. You can take an underground tour 140 metres below the surface to learn the stories of the men who once mined there. And above ground there are galleries, a nature trail and café. You can even meet the ponies in the museum’s Discovery Centre.
Sandal Castle overlooks the River Calder to the south of the city centre. Built in the 13th century, it was at the heart of the Battle of Wakefield in 1460. That was one of the major battles of the Wars of the Roses, and a decisive away win for the Lancastrians! The remains of the fine motte and bailey are well preserved. And from top of the motte, you get panoramic views of the surrounding Calder Valley.
Explore further afield
Why not combine your visit with a walk to the nearby Pugneys Country Park? And if you’re feeling adventurous, many more attractions can be found in the neighbouring towns of Pontefract and Castleford.
Wakefield itself has two railway stations, Wakefield Kirkgate and Wakefield Westgate. And drivers will find the A61 arterial road nearby for destinations north and south. That means Wakefield is a great base for exploring as far afield as the North Yorkshire Moors, the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District. Perfect for long walks in the fresh air and with stunning scenery.
Back in the city, there are theatres and galleries, as well as a wide variety of restaurants and welcoming Yorkshire pubs. And with a multimillion-pound city centre masterplan in the works, Wakefield is on the up. The historic waterfront is being redeveloped. What was once an industrial canal way will soon be a hub of creative industries, leisure, housing and tourism. The Cathedral Square is being lovingly renewed. There’s even a new city museum and library on the way.
Fortunately, we already have the perfect place to stay. Residential Estates manage Thornhill House. This former legal headquarters has been transformed into 23 single-bedroom apartments. It is conveniently located in the centre of Wakefield. Just across the road is the Ridings Shopping Centre. This retail district encompasses independent shops, department stores, cafes, gyms and more. That means you can get in some retail therapy as part of your staycation.
Set over four storeys, Thornhill House itself has a brick construction that respects the architectural traditions of the area. The interiors are truly luxurious, though. They are both stylishly designed and feature all the modern conveniences you would expect. That makes this your ideal home from home as you explore all that Wakefield has to offer.