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There’s so much to do in Wakefield that it’s not easy to see it all in a day! So to help you make the most of our wonderful city, here’s a handy itinerary that showcases some highlights, but will definitely leave you wanting more…
Whether you arrive by car or by train at either Westgate or Kirkgate stations, it’s always a good idea to get your bearings in a new city, so why not make your way to Wakefield Cathedral. Entrance is free and its spire rises to 247 feet, making it the tallest in Yorkshire! You’re now in the heart of the city, and there’s plenty of options around for a well-earned morning coffee. Seconds away you’ll find Marmalade on the Square and Mocca Moocho, two tasty options where you can watch the world go by, with an optional slice of cake. For those who prefer their coffee with a trendy and ethically sourced twist, Kraft and Throwback Coffee House are new additions to the Wakefield scene that are sure to fix all your caffeine cravings.
From there, make your way towards the Civic Quarter, taking in the gorgeous architecture of buildings like Wakefield Town Hall, County Hall, and the Old Court House. If you want to find out more about the city, it’s only a few steps from here to Wakefield Museum to discover local cultural treasures and learn surprising facts about the city. The museum also curates a programme of special exhibitions, so make sure to check out what’s on!
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If you’re getting a little hungry by now, the city centre offers loads of options for a quick lunch: Create Café (opposite Wakefield Museum) is a perfect location to not only enjoy delicious food but also help the wider community as the café gives those with learning difficulties or other mental health issues a chance to experience the world of work. Also close by, No Manches is a Mexican inspired cafe producing quality food using fresh and healthy ingredients, while Boogie Woogie Bagel Bar serves up some incredible – you’ve guessed it – bagels!
This is when it gets complicated: there’s so much to see and do that decisions need to be made…
Culture lovers and art buffs rejoice, there’s a full afternoon’s worth of exploring ahead! Firstly, described as “the house that art built,” The Art House by Westgate Station provides space and support for artists, makers and creative businesses to develop their practice. A series of exhibition spaces, courses and workshops make it an ideal creative afternoon for visitors and locals alike. As you head back towards the city centre, make sure to take in Theatre Royal Wakefield and check out their upcoming programme of plays, musicals and workshops – it’s always A Great Night Out!
The Hepworth Wakefield is the next natural stop for anyone visiting the area. An award-winning art gallery set within Wakefield’s historic waterfront overlooking the River Calder, it is home to Wakefield’s art collection – an impressive compendium of modern British art, including works by Ben Nicholson, Patrick Heron, L.S. Lowry, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. While you’re there, don’t miss out on The Hepworth Wakefield Garden, one of the UK’s largest free public gardens and enjoy an afternoon snack at the Garden Cafe.
For those who prefer to dedicate their afternoon to a bit of retail therapy, Wakefield is home to a huge array of independents including quirky favourites Wah Wah Records, Division 24 and Created In Yorkshire. Both The Art House and the Hepworth Wakefield are also home to fantastic shops, ideal for visitors looking for gifts and souvenirs with a creative flair. Finally, others may prefer to head to Trinity Walk, the home to around 70 stores with everything from fashion, fragrances and jewellery to sports, toys and food.
By now the sun is setting, your feet are a little tired… it sounds like it’s time for a drink and a chance to reflect on everything you’ve seen today.
If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, why not head over to RBT Video, a self-described VHS shop with a dirty little secret… Imagine a blend of speakeasy and neon workshop, serving up some innovative drinks in a cosy retro setting. Other tantalising cocktail options include The Golden Pineapple, a slice of Polynesia dropped in a Victorian Wakefield bar with great outdoor space, and Now Serving, a real hidden gem combining cocktail drinking with retro gaming.
If a pub is what you’re after, then Harry’s Bar just about counts as an important cultural experience in The Merrie City! The Black Horse is another solid options that also serves up scrumptious Sunday lunches and bottomless brunches, should you decide to stay an extra day!