Walking the Wakefield Way

Undulating countryside, charming historical villages and industrial heritage… What better way to explore the Wakefield district than on foot!

By Sam Scarpa, Experience Wakefield

As quirky as the district can be, walking the Wakefield Way isn’t a funny way of putting one foot in front of the other but rather an invitation to explore a 70 mile walk around the rural boundary of Wakefield, taking you through attractive undulating countryside of fields and woodland, stretches of water, country estates, charming villages and unexpected views.

Originally conceived by Douglas Cossar in the early 2000s, the Wakefield Way was officially recognised in February 2018 after dedicated members of Wakefield Ramblers worked hard for the walk to become an official route on OS Maps. Visitors can now enjoy this scenic circular walk divided into 11 separate walks that range from three and a half to more than 11 miles. Along the way, the walk takes you through places of historical and cultural interest as well as sites of Wakefield’s industrial past.

Anglers Country Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Taking pride of place as both the starting and finishing point of the Wakefield Way, Anglers Country Park is a destination in itself. Visitors can enjoy what used to be the deepest open cast coal mine in the country now reborn as a beautiful haven for wildlife, including many migratory birds. Highlights include a 2-mile lake side stretch, perfect for picnics, as well as the famous Woodland Café and the Room on the Broom Trail for little ones.

The second stretch of the walk takes visitors to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park where walking and nature combine with culture for a unique outdoor experience. Don’t forget to check out the website for ongoing exhibitions and take a well-deserved break at the café. On day 6, walkers make their way to the medieval market town of Castleford after a delightful stretch along the river Calder, giving a unique insight into the District industrial past.

Queen's Mill

Queen's Mill Castleford

Pontefract Castle

A short walk on day 7 takes you from Castleford to the town of Pontefract where visitors can soak up some history at All Saints Church and Pontefract Castle, a unique site that witnessed a series of famous sieges during the 17th-century English Civil War and the location where King Richard II is thought to have died.

The Wakefield District is truly unique destination and taking the time to explore it on foot allows visitors to not only uncover some lesser known Yorkshire countryside, but also discover the cultural heart of the county with its famous art centres, industrial heritage and fascinating history. Find out more about the Wakefield Way at https://ramblersyorkshire.org/walking-routes/wakefield-way.html