food markets cultural gems

Wakefield, nestled in West Yorkshire, offers a vibrant summer with cultural delights like the flying dragon puppet show, The Hatchling, and art at The Hepworth Wakefield. Indulge in diverse cuisines, hidden bars, and unique shopping experiences, while exploring history at Wakefield Museum and enjoying outdoor adventures at Xscape Castleford.

What are the top things to do in Wakefield this summer?

  1. Experience The Hatchling, a flying dragon puppet show.
  2. Visit The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park for art.
  3. Enjoy performances at Theatre Royal Wakefield.
  4. Dine on diverse cuisines at Qubana and Têt.
  5. Explore hidden bars like RBT Video.
  6. Shop at The Ridings and Trinity Walk.
  7. Attend Peddler Market at Tileyard North.
  8. Marvel at Wakefield Cathedral’s towering spire.
  9. Discover history at Wakefield Museum and National Coal Mining Museum.
  10. Have fun at Xscape Castleford with skiing and other activities.

Discover Wakefield’s Charms

Wakefield, a cultural hotbed nestled in the heart of West Yorkshire, brims with activities that promise a summer of excitement and learning. The city, easily accessible from Leeds via a brief train ride, is buzzing with a roster of events that form a part of “Our Year – Wakefield District 2024.” A remarkable event to mark on your calendar is The Hatchling, an extraordinary outdoor theatrical experience set for the August bank holiday weekend. The spectacle involves the world’s largest human-operated puppet to fly, a dragon with a wingspan of over 20 meters that will soar through the skies in a stunning display of artistry and imagination.

The city of Wakefield is steeped in a rich artistic heritage as the birthplace of renowned sculptors Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. Art enthusiasts can indulge their senses at The Hepworth Wakefield, which boasts a vast collection of modern and contemporary art. For those looking to explore beyond the gallery walls, Yorkshire Sculpture Park offers the unique experience of viewing magnificent sculptures set against the backdrop of Yorkshire’s picturesque countryside. The Art House, another gem in the city, presents a dynamic array of exhibitions that rotate throughout the year.

For theatre aficionados, the historic Theatre Royal Wakefield stands as a beacon of Victorian architecture and performing arts. Established in 1894 and designed by the esteemed architect Frank Matcham, the theatre hosts a wide array of productions on its two stages, ranging from enthralling musicals to thought-provoking plays. The theatre also offers heritage tours, providing a glimpse into its storied past and the evolution of performing arts in the region.

A Culinary and Shopping Haven

Wakefield’s gastronomic scene is as diverse as it is delectable. For a taste of the Caribbean, step into Qubana, where the ambiance transports you to a tropical oasis. The menu offers a mouthwatering selection of tapas, including croquetas, empanadas, and the flavorful chimichurri steak. Paired with handcrafted cocktails, a meal here is an escape to the islands. Similarly, Têt brings the essence of Thai and Vietnamese cuisine to the heart of Wakefield, with a menu featuring classics like chicken satay, soft-shell crab, and a zesty panang curry.

Hidden bars add an element of intrigue to Wakefield’s nightlife. RBT Video, a secret bar masquerading as a video store, invites guests to step back in time to the 1980s with its nostalgic ambiance, complete with neon lights and a selection of boozy cocktails. For those seeking traditional British fare, The Yorkshire Brasserie at Tileyard showcases the region’s culinary prowess with locally-sourced ingredients transformed into sumptuous dishes. And for a unique experience, visit the Forged Spirits distillery and bar located within Tileyard North, where you can sample homemade gin in an art deco setting.

Retail therapy is a must in Wakefield, with two major shopping centers offering a diverse shopping experience. The Ridings boasts a collection of independent stores and a cinema, while Trinity Walk caters to those looking for familiar high street brands. Additionally, Peddler Market, a bi-monthly event at Tileyard North, brings together a cornucopia of street food vendors, artisans, and entertainers, making it one of the north’s premier food markets.

Wakefield’s Historical and Outdoor Adventures

Wakefield Cathedral, a beacon of architectural splendor, stands proudly as the tallest cathedral in Yorkshire. With its towering spire reaching 247 feet, it even surpasses the height of York Minster. Visitors are not only drawn to its religious significance but also to the engineering marvel it represents. The cathedral is also a sanctuary for a family of peregrine falcons, adding a touch of natural wonder to this historical site.

For those intrigued by Wakefield’s rich history, the Wakefield Museum offers an immersive journey into the city’s past. Exhibits bring to life the experience of 19th-century prisoners, celebrate the local rugby league heritage, and delve into the unique cultivation of forced rhubarb. To combine education and outdoor activity, the National Coal Mining Museum provides an opportunity to explore a former coal mine, complete with underground tours and interactive displays illustrating the life of miners.

Adventure seekers and families alike will find joy at Xscape Castleford, where a real snow slope offers skiing, snowboarding, and sledding experiences year-round. This leisure complex also features a cinema, adventure golf, bowling, and an array of dining options to complete a day of fun and excitement. Whether you’re looking to engage with history, art, or the thrill of winter sports in summer, Wakefield caters to all interests with its rich tapestry of attractions.

  • Experience The Hatchling, a flying dragon puppet show.
  • Visit The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park for art.
  • Enjoy performances at Theatre Royal Wakefield.
  • Dine on diverse cuisines at Qubana and Têt.
  • Explore hidden bars like RBT Video.

By george