Essential Castleford

Romans, Burberry and the rugby Super League – Castleford is a market town full of intrigue.

By Abilene Strong, Experience Wakefield

Fancy a trip to where the locals affectionately call Cas Vegas? This guide has all the highlights and things you won’t want to miss.

If you want to delve into the rich history of Castleford, head to Castleford Museum situated above Castleford Library. Here you can explore the town’s Roman past, a locally unearthed Iron Age chariot and find out more about the town’s most famous son, sculptor Henry Moore.

More history can be explored on the banks of the river Aire at Queen’s Mill, thought to have been the largest stone grinding mill in the world with twenty pairs of grinding stones going at one time. You’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for the open days for this place if you want to peek inside as it’s only open certain days of the year.

Castleford Museum

Snozone at Xscape

Want something a little more adrenaline-filled? Xscape is the place for you. The ultimate family day out, there’s an activity for everyone, including bowling, crazy golf, laser quest and rock climbing. If you’re a winter sports lover you won’t want to be anywhere else as Xscape is also home to the only indoor ski and snowboard centre with REAL snow: Snozone. Round off your day with something to eat at one of the many restaurants also calling Xscape home.

While we’re talking sports we can’t fail to mention Castleford Tigers – one of the founding members of rugby league’s Super League. Their home “The Jungle” welcomes thousands of visitors and die-hard fans every match day.

More adventurous activity can be found at Diggerland – where children and adults alike can ride, drive and operate real diggers and dumpers, or take a ride on specially created construction themed rides.

Diggerland

Junction 32

For those that find shopping more their kind of entertainment you don’t have to look far to get your fix. Junction 32, just over the road from Xscape, has over 80 high street favourites with up to 60% off! Further in town you’ll find Carlton Lanes Shopping Centre and, attached, a fabulous indoor market selling everything from vinyl records to artisan cheese. The outdoor market, open Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, has a strong mix of permanent traders and casual stall holders selling a variety of goods.

All that shopping and adrenaline might have got you needing something a little more tranquil, in which case head just out of town to RSPB Fairburn Ings. A haven for wildlife, keep watch for the colourful kingfishers and butterflies. Fryston Country Trails has enticing meadow and woodland to walk, run and cycle, whilst an attractive riverside wharf provides a perfect spot to sit and watch the world go by.

See what we mean? There’s more than meets the eye in Castleford – come and find out for yourself!

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