Free entry Family friendly

Opening hours

Monday : 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Tuesday : 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Wednesday : 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Thursday : 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Friday : 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Saturday : 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Sunday : 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Venue Facilities

Cafe on Site

Dog Friendly

Free Parking

Gift Shop

Good To Go

Picnic Area



Located in the historic market town of Pontefract, from its construction in 1070 to its demise following the Civil Wars, this once-fearsome fortress dominated Yorkshire and beyond, bearing witness to some of England’s most momentous historical events earning itself the name of the Key to the North!

Today, the castle is a place of family-friendly adventure, with wide open spaces to explore and play, and fascinating ruins to investigate. Ignite your imagination as you explore the pathways and take in some of the imposing stonework. Climb to the top of the keep and see the surrounding Yorkshire countryside, and visit the castle gift shop for a colourful range of souvenirs, gifts, books and ice creams.

There’s masses of stuff to occupy families, younger visitors can get creative and test out their soldier skills while having a go at some civil war training activities on information boards around the grounds. You’ll find awesome displays along with some of the fascinating objects found at the castle from centuries gone by.

The new children’s playground is the perfect place for young visitors to burn off some energy and create their own castle adventures.

Winter Opening Hours (1 October – 31 March):


Monday – Friday: 8:30am – 4:30pm

Saturday & Sunday: 9:30am – 4:30pm

Visitor Centre and Gift Shop:

Wednesday – Sunday: 10am – 4pm

Monday and Tuesday: Closed

Christmas Opening Hours:

24 December (Christmas Eve): 8:30am – 1pm

Pontefract Castle will be closed from 25 December until Monday 3 January, reopening at 8:30am on Tuesday 4 January.