A Weekend In Wakefield For GroupsWakefield has a broad range of attractions and experiences for groups; here are a few ideas to help you get started with your planning!
Morning At Yorkshire Sculpture Park
The perfect place to begin your weekend is the idyllic setting of Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP). This 500-acre park is a patchwork of spectacular countryside and even more spectacular artworks. Amidst rolling fields, gently sloping hills, winding woodland paths, majestic lakes and formal gardens, groups will find a fantastic range of sculptures and artworks by some of the world’s most renowned creatives.
Here, your group will embark on a special Art and Landscape Tour. Led by YSP’s experienced guides, you will explore, interpret and learn about the range of outdoor sculptures on display, including works by 20th century titans Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, as well as contemporary favourites like Ai Weiwei, Andy Goldsworthy and Jaume Plensa.
After the tour, pay a visit to The Weston. This airy gallery houses a range of intriguing temporary exhibitions. It’s also home to a light-filled, Scandi-chic restaurant. Relax and enjoy a delicious menu of local, sustainable British cuisine as you take in beautiful panoramic views across the park – either from inside the restaurant, or on the beautiful terrace.
Afternoon At The National Coal Mining Museum
The National Coal Mining Museum is a massive 40-acre museum set on the site of a former working mine, Caphouse Colliery.
The museum is dedicated to telling the stories of the men and women of Wakefield (and the rest of England) who toiled underground to fuel the nation. Above ground, your group can explore this fascinating heritage through interactive hands-on displays, temporary exhibitions focusing on different aspects of mining, and living history interpretation. These sit alongside more whimsical experiences such as blacksmiths demonstrations and heading over to the museum’s Pony Discovery Centre to say hello to the pit ponies (truly a highlight of any visit!).
But to really dig into the history, you’ll need to go underground. So take your group 140 metres below the surface on a pre-booked Underground Tour! Here, a charismatic former miner will share stories of their professional lives and take the group back in time to shine a light – literally – on 180 years of the history of the mining industry.
Before you leave, don’t forget to pop into the gift shop to take home a souvenir of your visit.
Following your afternoon, relax in your hotel of choice (suggestions below) or head into the city centre for the evening and take in a show at Theatre Royal Wakefield.
Morning At National Trust Nostell
Begin day two with a visit to the magnificent National Trust Nostell. This 18th-century Palladian mansion is one of the treasure houses of northern England. Designed by famous Georgian architect Robert Adam, this extensive property is an ideal place for groups to spend some time. Discover the house’s priceless objects, marvel at its elaborate interior design, uncover paintings by world-renowned artists and – most impressive of all – an unrivalled collection of Thomas Chippendale furniture. Nostell’s 18th century owners commissioned over 100 pieces of furniture from Chippendale and, uniquely, these can still be seen today in the spaces for which they were designed.
But it’s not just the interior which is special. After touring the house itself, head outside where your group will be treated to sweeping vistas across beautifully manicured gardens and wide, glassy lakes as you explore more than 300 acres of surrounding parkland and woodland, and the riot of colour provided by the many carefully selected seasonal plants and flowers.
Don’t miss the quaint kitchen garden, a working garden and orchard where Nostell’s garden team plant and harvest produce destined for the property’s Courtyard Café. Locally sourced, indeed!
Afternoon At Farmer Copleys
And speaking of locally-sourced, this afternoon offers the opportunity to sample some real farm-to-fork goodness as your group takes a trip to Pontefract to visit charming Farmer Copleys.
This award-winning farm shop and café is the ideal place to wile away the afternoon. Family owned and run, Farmer Copleys’ spacious shop is packed full to bursting with delicious local produce, fresh from the fields or the local area.
Once your group has bought all the treats and delicacies they can hold, it’s time to end your visit at the farm’s Moo Café.
An absolute feast awaits you at this cute cafe. The nature-inspired decor perfectly compliments the fayre on offer. Using the finest quality ingredients in their seasonal menu (the majority of them come from the farm shop itself!), the café is certain to have something delicious to suit everyone in your group.