YorkshireNet Guide to Wakefield, Castleford and Pontefract

About Attractions Map

The Wakefield area has a number of very popular attractions. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a wonderful collection of contemporary sculpture set within 500 acres of beautiful 18th century parkland around Bretton Hall. Enjoy renowned collections from artists such as Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Antony Gormley as well as major touring exhibitions.

Enjoy the picturesque outdoor displays, follow the walking trails and pop into the indoor galleries and cafés. The redevelopment of the traditional coal fields has brought new attractions. The National Coal Mining Museum for England allows you to travel 140 metres underground and experience the conditions endured by coal miners over the years.

Xscape, near Castleford, offers an exciting combination of extreme sports and entertainment for all ages. There’s an indoor real snow skislope, ice climbing wall, skatepark, cinema complex and a bowling alley, as well as restaurants and shops. Younger family members will enjoy nearby Diggerland. A chance to ride on massive dumper trucks and diggers seems to bring out the big kid in every mum and dad too. Nearby, the Freeport designer outlet village offers a wealth of shops offering large discounts on fashion brands.

Pontefract’s annual Liquorice Festival celebrates the town’s long-standing association with growing and manufacturing liquorice confectionary. Produced here since the 17th century, liquorice would have been used for medicinal purposes and, although no longer grown in Pontefract, the famous Pomfret Cakes are still produced in the town and can be bought from the two factory shops. The ruins at Pontefract Castle tell the tale of this medieval royal stronghold and how Richard II was imprisoned and probably killed there. The town is also known for having the longest flat, circular racecourse in Europe.

Antony Gormley sculpture at Yorkshire Sculpture Park Castleford Xscape