2 Day Winter Staycation In WakefieldSpend a wonderful weekend in the Wakefield district!
It’s been a busy year, and you deserve a break. Where better than the Wakefield district? We’ve put together this fantastic 2 day itinerary for you, to help you get the most out of your winter staycation.
THE HEPWORTH WAKEFIELD
First stop on day one is The Hepworth Wakefield. The Hepworth is the quintessential Wakefield city attraction. It’s fair to say that no trip is complete without a visit, and there’s never been a better time: until February 2022, visitors can experience the largest exhibition of Barbara Hepworth’s work since the Wakefield-born artist’s death in 1975. Barbara Hepworth: Art & Life displays some of Hepworth’s most celebrated sculptures, along with rarely seen drawings, paintings, fabric designs and more.
After your morning discovering some of Wakefield’s sculptural treasures, you’ll have worked up an appetite, so we’re heading to No Manches on Wood Street. No Manches is a fantastic example of Wakefield’s vibrant food and drink scene, where bold flavours meet quirky venues, and the ingredients are as fresh as the design choices. Indulge in a warming tortilla soup, with churros for dessert, and if you’re having coffee, remember to bring your reusable cup to get a 50p discount on your order.
THE ART HOUSE
Following your delicious lunch, head over to The Art House. This “house that art built” is a hub for artists, makers and creatives of all types. They host a programme of exciting temporary exhibitions, and run regular workshops and courses for skills like screen printing, book binding, photography and more. Look out for HEAR: Hearing Extinction & Audiological Relapse, an upcoming exhibition from award-winning creative director and producer, Hassun El-Zafar.
Whatever you do, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Art House Shop. This space is home to a stunning collection of unique, locally sourced gifts, prints, cards and homewares. It’s ideal for finding a gift for that special someone, but to be honest, you’re just as likely to pick up an inimitable treasure of your own.
It’s time for drinks! They don’t call us the Merrie City for nothing: Wakefield is packed full of cool bars, with something for everyone’s taste. On this trip, we’re visiting Westgate’s Lobby 1867. This stylish city centre bar serves up a super selection of spirits, lagers and delectable cocktails. It also plays host to regular live music and open mic comedy nights.
And if you’re getting pre-show drinks before heading to the nearby theatre, you can show your tickets to get 10% your drinks. Which is lucky, because that’s where we’re going next…
THEATRE ROYAL WAKEFIELD
An evening at the theatre is a fantastic end to the day. Theatre Royal Wakefield‘s tagline is “A Great Night Out”, and the epithet is well-deserved. The theatre (designed by legendary Victorian architect Frank Matcham) presents a varied programme which includes music, comedy, plays, and much more.
If you’re visiting before Christmas, then you won’t find a more Yorkshire yuletide experience than Christmas Brass. The Wakefield Metropolitan Band will be performing classical, contemporary and (of course!) seasonal favourites. If your staycation is in the new year, then come and see Spontaneous Potter: The Unofficial Improvised Parody for a hilarious and witty take on everyone’s favourite boy wizard.
Robatary is true fusion food, combining Yorkshires best bits with influences from the Pacific plate. Influences include Indonesia and Peru down the West Coast of America to San Francisco and Hawaii – to name a few. All this teamed up with Japanese-style cooking makes for a culinary experience like no other.
How about a Western Pacific Poke Bowl? Or maybe Lobster Mac & Cheese (don’t forget a side of Di Man Falang Potatoes) – but make sure you leave room for dessert (we heartily recommend the Apple Gyoza…). Oh, and pair it with one of their signature cocktails – go for the full Wakefield experience and get the Roba Rhubarb… trust us, you won’t regret it.
YORKSHIRE SCULPTURE PARK
Are you ready for even more sculpture? Of course you are, this is Wakefield! We’re starting day 2 at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 500 acres of fields, hills, woodland, lakes and formal gardens combined with stunning contemporary sculpture.
As you stroll around, look out for permanent exhibitions like Henry Moore’s Large Spindle Piece, or temporary exhibitions like Mark Hearld, Raucous Invention: The Joy of Making or upcoming David Nash: Full Circle.
Don’t forget to call into the YSP Shop – it’s dedicated to showcasing artists’ work, and is full of homewares, gifts, books, and exhibition-related merchandise, ideal for picking up that unusual gift.
There’s nothing like a delicious lunch in beautiful surroundings (in fact, our food with a view is one of the reasons Wakefield is tipped to be the next big foodie destination) and The Weston‘s got both in spades. Set within YSP’s Bretton estate, this stylish building offers a delicious, seasonal menu of locally and sustainably sourced produce. In addition to the stunning views over the Sculpture Park, you can also enjoy the indoor views, with an open kitchen and Scandinavian-inspired interior, including a wood-burning stove.
NATIONAL COAL MINING MUSEUM
Once you’ve refueled, it’s time to head to the National Coal Mining Museum. This fascinating (and huge!) museum occupies the site of two former coal mines, and delves deep into the district’s mining history, with Underground Tours (conducted by charismatic former miners), interactive hands-on exhibits, the Pony Discovery Centre, and a series of engaging temporary exhibitions.
If you’re visiting before the new year, come and see Shine A Light, a moving, poignant look at the lives of mining communities through the memories of Wakefield artist Seanna Doonan, who grew up hearing folk songs about miners and the miners’ strike. Shine a Light runs until 2 January, but fear not – there’s also Gala Day!, an exploration of these important dates in the miners’ calendar – expect brass bands, union banners, all the fun of the fair… and beer, of course!
Speaking of beer, our next stop is Ossett Brewery, a progressive and passionate independent cask and keg brewing company located in the lively market town of Ossett. Visit the Taproom to enjoy a wide range of brewery beers with the unique backdrop of the brewhouse (plus regular pop-up street-food vendors), and for a really different experience, take a Brewery Tour! Look behind the scenes, understand how the company developed from a tiny micro-brewery behind a pub, and (of course) sample the freshest possible Ossett beer.
Look out for special events taking place at the brewery, plus live music on Fridays, too.
You’ll probably be getting peckish after your brewery tour, so it’s time for dinner. We’re eating at The Quarry in Horbury. This 2-storey restaurant, bar and private event space serves up delicious contemporary British cuisine, using the best seasonal produce with a strong Yorkshire twist, all sourced from local farmers and butchers.
Try the Wild Mushroom & Yorkshire Blue Tart, with Berry Mess for pudding (featuring meringue, berry compote and Chantilly cream – need we say more?).
Plus, look out for wine-tasting events, Gin Nights and live music throughout the year.
WHERE TO STAY?
Wakefield has some great accommodation across the district, from luxury hotels to quirky self-catering properties, cosy caravan sites and traditional bed and breakfasts. We have fantastic transport links, too, being as the district is nestled in the heart of West Yorkshire at the junction of the M1 and M62, with train links to further afield. So wherever you stay, you’re always within striking distance of a whole range of amazing things to see and do.
Check out our accommodation page here.