West Yorkshire awaits

West Yorkshire awaits

Wakefield is a bit of an enigma. Its historic cathedral means it’s technically a city. In other respects, it’s more like a large town. Then again, the wider Wakefield metropolitan borough is very big indeed. And for many purposes, the city is best understood as part of the sprawling built-up area of West Yorkshire. There’s not much to separate it from the neighbouring big cities of Leeds and Bradford. But it’s also handy for smaller Yorkshire towns like Pontefract and Castleford to the east and Huddersfield to the west. In other words, Wakefield is the beating heart of West Yorkshire. That means it is a great base for anyone exploring the wider region. But it also has some fine attractions of its own.

Art and culture

For art lovers, the Hepworth Wakefield is not to be missed. It’s named after Barbara Hepworth, the leading British artist who was born here. But the multi-award winning gallery also showcases work by other modern and contemporary artists. And it’s surrounded by one of the UK’s largest public gardens. From there you can enjoy fantastic views of Wakefield Cathedral and the Chantry Chapel (see below).

Some of Hepworth’s local heirs can be found hard at work at the Art House. Home to over 50 artists’ studios, the centre also hosts a programme of exhibitions, events, residencies and workshops. And other art forms also thrive in Wakefield. The Theatre Royal is a beautiful Victorian theatre with an exciting and diverse programme of productions. Its café bar is a great place to relax over coffee and cake during the day, or to enjoy a drink in the evening. And if music is your thing. Venue 23 is an independently run live music venue. Some great bands play here, and there’s often comedy too.

Historic sites

Wakefield’s cathedral goes back over 800 years. And it’s the tallest church in Yorkshire, so do take in a tower tour if you’re not scared of heights! Meanwhile, the Chantry Chapel of St Mary the Virgin is one of just three ‘bridge chapels’ remaining in England. (These medieval chapels were built into actual bridges.) What look from a distance like historic gargoyles are not what they seem, though. The stone heads depict modern figures associated with the church!

A little outside Wakefield lies Nostell Priory and Parkland. This Georgian treasure house is well worth a visit just for the items designed by furniture maker Thomas Chippendale. But the vast grounds are also great fun to explore, especially with kids. The same is true of Pontefract Castle, just a little further from Wakefield itself. Such was its military importance it was once known as the ‘Key to the North’. Today, its adventure play area and visitor centre make it ideal for a family day out.

All you need is somewhere to call home while you explore all the area has to offer. Guestz will be delighted to welcome you to one of our serviced apartments in Thornhill House. The converted legal headquarters is located in Wakefield’s city centre, and especially handy for the Ridings Shopping Centre. Just give us a call to discuss your particular needs.