10 out of town places to visit around Wakefield

PUBLISHED: 11:24 05 January 2011 | UPDATED: 14:57 08 September 2017

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Places to visit in Wakefield


1. Pontefract Hermitage:

Below the Southgate entrance to Pontefract General Infirmary is a little known monument. The hermitage has two chambers - a well reached by a spiral staircase of 63 steps and an oratory, both excavated by hand from the solid rock. The oratory, with an altar including a cross, a fireplace and a seat, has a domed ceiling and is almost 8ft at its highest point. Inside the hermitage are the remains of a human skeleton. Contact Pontefract & Archaeological Society on 01977 702995 to arrange a visit.

2.  Haw Park Wood:

This replanted ancient wood is three miles from Wakefield city centre. The Trans Pennine Trail and the disused Barnsley Canal pass through providing good walking and cycling links to the wider countryside. 

In the 1600s Haw Park Wood was originally part of the much larger ancient Don Forest and was predominantly native broadleaved species of oak and birch. The wood also has historic links with the adjoining Walton Hall Estate, once home to Charles Waterton, the famous 17th century naturalist and conservationist. Contact Wakefield Tourist Information Centre 0845 601 8353 for more information.

3.  Blackerhall Farm Shop:

The Garthwaite family, with more than 300 years of farming behind them, broke the mould of their forebears and ventured wholeheartedly into retailing. The shop has a good range of fresh meat direct from the farm, freshly baked bread and baking as well as a coffee shop and restaurant. Blacker Hall Farm Shop, Branch Road, Calder Grove, Wakefield, WF4 3DN.

4.  Fairburn Ings:

An RSPB flagship nature reserve in Castleford and only a few miles from the centre of Wakefield and Leeds. There are short family walks or longer excursions, observation hide and boardwalks, all designed to get visitors closer to the wildlife and their habitats. The three main trails allow views of birds such as willow tits and tree sparrows in the woodland and lapwings, snipe and redshanks in the wet grassland. Contact RSPB Fairburn Ings Newton Lane, Ledston, Castleford, WF10 2BH.

5.  Pugneys Country Park:

A 250-acre site which was once an open cast mine as well as a sand and gravel quarry transformed into a country park in 1985.  The park has two lakes, the largest of which is a 100-acre watersports lake. It's ideal for canoeing, sailing and windsurfing. Equipment is available to hire or, alternatively, visitors can bring their own non-powered craft to use on the lake.  The smaller of the two lakes is only 24 acres and is a nature reserve which is overlooked by two bird hides, enabling visitors to watch wildlife in their own habitat. Contact Pugneys Country Park Asdale Road, off Denby Dale Road, Wakefield, WF2 7EQ.


6.  Nostell Priory:

The 18th-century architectural masterpiece with Adam interiors, Chippendale furniture, fine collections and landscaped park and gardens is cared for by the National Trust. Thomas Chippendale was born in West Yorkshire and Nostell Priory is home to some of the finest examples of his craftsmanship in the world. Contact Nostell Priory, Doncaster Road, Nostell, Wakefield, WF4 1QE.

7.  Heath:

A charming conservation village, two miles from the centre of Wakefield with privately owned cottages, homes and grand houses dating from the 18th century.grouped around a large common. The fine houses are mainly the 18th century work of architects James Paine and John Carr built for the wealthy merchants of Wakefield. The King's Arms Inn, a traditional pub lit my gas lamps, provides food and real ale from local brewery HB Clarke. Contact Wakefield Tourist Information Centre 0845 601 8353.

8.  Wakefield Jazz Club:

The club, on the outskirts of the city, is small but highly regarded club by jazz fans who are treated to star performers from around the UK and abroad. See wakefieldjazzclub.org.uk.

9.  Horbury:

An historic village that pre-dates the Domesday Book and noted for its connection to the architect John Carr, (1723-1807), the renowned Georgian architect and a former Lord Mayor of York who was born in the village and funded the church of St Peter & St Leonard, which also serves as his mausoleum. The village hosts The Horbury Show each June, which is organised by the local Rotary Club. www.horburyillage.com

10. Yorkshire Sculpture Park:

The YSP and Bretton County Park is located five miles from Wakefield. The park offers 500 acres of beautiful countryside and landscaped gardens. World class art can be found in one of the many indoor galleries as well as in the grounds. Contact Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield WF4 4LG.


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