Ey-up! Six top things to do across Wakefield to celebrate Yorkshire Day
Yorkshire Day is fast approaching, and there’s plenty of ways to celebrate God’s Own County that will give you a real taste of everything Yorkshire has to offer.
And so, to mark the day, Wakefield Council’s tourism team, Experience Wakefield, has rounded up the top six things to do that will help you celebrate your home region.
Immerse yourself in world-leading sculpture
Yorkshire is well-known for its artistic heritage, having played home to both Damien Hirst and David Hockney. The Wakefield district in particular is best known for its sculptural prowess, as both the birthplace of world-renowned sculptors, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, and the home of the award-winning Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
The largest of its kind in Europe, Yorkshire Sculpture Park was the first sculpture park in the UK and is the only place in the world where you can see Barbara Hepworth’s The Family of Man in its entirety, alongside significant collections from the likes of Henry Moore, Andy Goldsworthy and David Nash.
Enjoy local produce
As the home of Wensleydale, Henderson’s Relish and the humble Yorkshire Pudding, Yorkshire is one of the greatest food producers in the UK. Visit Farmer Copleys near Pontefract, an award-winning farm shop offering the best of fresh, local produce as well as goods from local and regional suppliers, from Yorkshire rhubarb gin to steak pie and peas.
Check out the on-site café offering “field to fork” daily specials and an afternoon tea with a Yorkshire twist, or explore the Copleys Corn Maze, complete with pedal carts and a tyre mountain to explore.
Explore outdoor beauty
Known for its rolling hills and beautiful countryside, Yorkshire provides some of the UK’s most picturesque beauty spots. Whether you enjoy long walks, or prefer to sit back and relax with breath-taking views, there’s something for everyone in the Yorkshire outdoors.
From Notton Wood, a nature reserve with woodland walks and lots of wildlife, to Anglers Country Park – awarded Green Flag status and recognised as one of the best parks in the country, to National Trust Nostell, one of the greatest treasure houses in the north of England, surrounded by 300 acres of parkland and landscaped gardens, get out and breathe in that fine Yorkshire air!
Discover Yorkshire’s coal mining heritage
As well as enjoying the delights of the region in the present day, delve into the past this Yorkshire Day and celebrate the region’s strong industrial heritage at Caphouse Colliery.
The National Coal Mining Museum gives you the chance to visit Caphouse, once a working mine which saw more than two hundred years of coal production. With a former miner as your guide, you’ll be able to take an underground tour to truly experience what it could have been like to be a coal miner 180 years ago. What’s more, if you head there this summer, you’ll even get a taste of how miners spent their summer holidays at the beach!
Visit Yorkshire’s most fearsome fortress
Not only is Yorkshire famed for its industrial heritage, but it’s also well known for its medieval castles and involvement in historic battles.
One castle deemed one of the most important in Yorkshire is Pontefract Castle. From its construction in 1070 to its demise after the Civil War, it was known as a once-fearsome fortress that dominated Yorkshire and beyond, earning the nickname of ‘Key to the North’. Place yourself in the centre of the fascinating ruins that witnessed some of England’s most momentous historical events.
You can continue your Yorkshire themed day out by taking a quick ten-minute walk into the historic market town of Pontefract, home to the famous Pontefract cake and host to a speciality market in celebration of Yorkshire Day.
Sample world famous rhubarb
Finally, Yorkshire is home to the famous Rhubarb Triangle, a 9-square-mile area in West Yorkshire between Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell. In 2010, Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb – rhubarb grown within the Triangle – was even given Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).
To truly celebrate Yorkshire, sample some of the very best rhubarb related products at the Rhubarb Triangle Farm Shop. If you fancy coming back for more and to learn about the history of the mysterious Rhubarb Triangle, book onto a tour at the Yorkshire Rhubarb Forcing Sheds, run by the Oldroyd family in Lofthouse. The tours usually take place from January to March and look out for the next Rhubarb Festival in February...
And if you’re after more activities and places to visit this Yorkshire Day in Wakefield and the wider district, visit Experience Wakefield.