Wakefield is an ancient pre-historic city in England that has undergone a lot of transformation over the centuries. A visit to Wakefield England can be overwhelming as there is so much to see and do. Here, we have compiled a list of top 10 places for backpackers to visit and things to do. This will certainly help make planning your itinerary to Wakefield England a walk in the park.
If you are into history and architecture of places then Wakefield Cathedral is a place you can visit. Here you will see the interior and exterior of a magnificent building constructed centuries ago. On arrival, you can purchase a guide book at the shop that will help you have a better experience of touring the cathedral.
The tours are available from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm from Monday to Friday. If you are backpacking in a group you have to call in advance so that the facility can organize for a tour guide.
This castle stands majestically overlooking the landscape. It is open for tours all year round with free parking. It was built and completed around 1130 and then rebuilding started again and continued throughout the 13th century. This castle has a rich history behind it. Since its construction, it has survived battles and witnessed battles close by. The famous battle of Wakefield happened close to this castle in 1460. Other notable historical happenings include Shakespeare’s play that is set in this citadel.
Visit Wakefield Museum
The Wakefield Museum is an interesting place to come and learn about the history of the people of Wakefield. During the tour, you will experience some cool and interesting facts that you did not know about Wakefield. The museum has a main gallery where you will learn of the history of power and affluence, war passion through the lens of people who are integral in shaping the city.
The museum has a front room too which also has a Victorian Kitchen and an old 1940 style living room. There is a wardrobe of clothes where you can view the closet as you go along to view the 1950s displays.
There is another area called the Charles Waterton creations where you can find a collection of preserved animals such as a crocodile which he caught while on a trip to South America. Entry to this museum is free and is open to the public from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 7 pm. On some days the place closed at 5 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays.
Nostell Priory And Parkland
While here you can explore the Nostell which was built by the Winn Family between 1725 and 1785. Inside you will find interiors developed by Robert Adam and the famous Chippendale collection. Inside the Nostell you will witness how each generation added to the vast collection to make the place an interesting historical landmark.
The park surrounding the Nostell is great for activities such as walking trails, running and cycling. The roads have been built to accommodate various types of weather. The park can accommodate both short and long-distance runs as the area occupies 300 acres
Chantry Chapel Of St Mary The Virgin
This chapel was built by the people of Wakefield in the 14th century. The chantry was built so that priests could perform mass for the departed souls hence reducing their time in purgatory. During the protestant reformation in the 16th century, it was closed down. Over the centuries, it has undergone many uses. It was once a cheesecake shop, an office that belonged to a corn merchant, a newsroom and finally a residence of a tailor.
The Royal Wakefield Theatre
The theatre opened its doors to the public in 1894. It is one of the tiniest remaining auditoriums in Yorkshire. Before its construction another theatre had been built in the same location and parts of it can be found to date under the theatre stage. The theatre still maintains its original design of segregation where different seatings were separated from other seating areas. This design was built according to the social status of the people at the time.
The theatre is opened every day from 10 am to 5 pm. From Monday to Saturday, it remains open until half an hour after recitals start and on Sundays and public holidays they remain open until 1 hour after the first performance begins. Tickets for performances are purchased in advance. For all shows, there is a pre-show ticket collection desk at the venue. Note that all ticket transactions incur a £1.75 booking fee.
The Hepworth Wakefield
This art gallery was initially started in 1934 and was a base that supported local artists during this period including the famous artists Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore at the onset of their careers. The gallery has developed a collection of works that you can view when you happen to grace the gallery. The gallery is located in a gallery walk in West Yorkshire and is opened daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Entry to this gallery is free.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an open-air art gallery that features sculpture works from famous artists such as Barbara Hepworth. The park is located just 11 kilometers outside Wakefield. The collection of art pieces found here include gifts and loans from artists. The Park always has around 80 works of art at any one time.
The park is open daily except on public holidays such as Christmas. Other sections of the Yorkshire Park which include the underground gallery, the information center, the Weston Gallery, the Longside Gallery, and the Chapel are opened between 10 am and 5 pm. The Longside Gallery, however, closes at 4 pm. All gates close at 6 pm. Entry to the park is free, however, if you are coming with a private vehicle parking is available at a fee.
The gallery also has opportunities for visitors to book free tours. The tours are done by Yorkshire Sculpture Park volunteers who give you a guided walk as you explore the art, statues and the scenery at the park while you ask questions. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park also known as YSP has a restaurant that has a spectacular view of the best landscapes of Yorkshire.
Pontefract Castle Ruins
The Pontefract Castle was constructed in the 13th century. The castle has a rich history with so much to discover from the origins of its construction to how the original owners acquired it. The first owner was Ilbert de Lacy who was rewarded for fighting for William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings. He built the castle in the year 1070.
After the construction, the castle went on to have different owners. From then there are a lot of stories associated with the happenings in the castle. These range from a king being starved to death, to various re-modifications. You will surely enjoy all these stories during your tour. The castle is open from 8.30 am to 5 pm every Monday to Friday and from 9.30 am to 5 pm every weekend.
There is a visitor center available that has a gift shop, restrooms, a museum and an activity zone for kids. The visitor center is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm. The castle is a walking distance from the town. Parking is free for all visitors.
The castle also offers dungeon tours and these happen every Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 1.15 pm. Admission to the castle is £3.00. If you happen to be traveling with children then children between age 5 and 16 years pay £1.50, admission is free for children under 5 years.
Thornes Park Wakefield England
The Thornes Park in Wakefield contains architectural remains at various places within the Wakefield District. There is a pinnacle at the park that was believed to have been salvaged during the renovation of the Wakefield Cathedral.
Your tour through the park is enjoyable in whatever season you wish to visit. You can ride the small railway during the summer season, view the beautiful colors of the gardens bloom in the springtime and during winter and autumn you can take walks through the trails. Your tour will help you discover various unusual plant species and you will also get to view birds at the aviary. You can also feed the mallards and the moorhens at the lake.
The park also has a tennis court where you can engage in some physical activity. Tennis rackets are available for hire. You can also play ball and engage in some fun and fitness activities at the Athletics Stadium. The park has lots of green space, so why not utilize it for a picnic if you are traveling with friends?
Wakefield England is a beautiful city with attractions interconnected together and there is so much to do. With a packed itinerary, you should be able to enjoy these attractions for at least two days.
Have you been to Wakefield England before? Is there any attraction that should be added? Let us know in the comments below.