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Local Area Guide

An Insider's Mini Guide to Living in Wakefield

An Insider's Mini Guide to Living in Wakefield
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Wakefield’s Best Bits

If you ever needed any affirmation that Wakefield is a great place to live, then look no further than the amount of new home builders investing in the area. It tells you all you need to know about this charming city. Falling within the Wakefield District, here at Strata we currently have two collections of new build homes available: Rhythm in Pontefract and Verve in Castleford. And closer to Wakefield’s city centre, our previous collections of new homes, Agenda and Epitome, were both highly desirable. But if that wasn’t proof enough that this city is the place to live, let’s take a quick tour of this city’s highlights and some of the best places to have on your radar.

Arts and Culture in Wakefield

One of Wakefield’s highlights is undoubtedly the Hepworth Gallery, opened in 2011 and named after the acclaimed artist and sculptor Barbara Hepworth. The gallery features impressive sculptures created by its namesake, as well as works by Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson, Jacob Epstein and many others. Whilst impressive, the Hepworth isn’t just about the art which hangs on its walls or the sculptures it exhibits, there’s also an excellent cafe and gift shop, as well as beautiful gardens, designed by the internationally acclaimed landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith and which are free to enjoy. 

The Hepworth also hosts several fairs which run throughout the year, and champions independent artists, makers and creatives. There is a ceramic fair, print fair and of course, the Christmas fair (one of the best in the area), all of which deserve a visit. Situated in the picturesque village of West Bretton is another incredibly impressive arts venue celebrating modern and contemporary sculpture. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is set within the 500 acre, 18th century estate of Bretton Hall and features both indoor and open-air exhibition spaces. 

Wakefield’s History and heritage

Offering a space of peace and reflection in the centre of a bustling city, no guide to Wakefield could be considered complete without reference to its cathedral. A historic gem in the heart of the city, the cathedrals’ spire dominates the city skyline at 247 feet tall, making it the tallest spire in all of Yorkshire. And whilst the exterior is something to behold, the interior is just as impressive with the world’s most complete collection of stained glass by the renowned designer Charles Kempe. 

Opposite and across the road from the Hepworth gallery, Chantry Chapel is the oldest and most ornate of all the surviving bridge chapels in England and alongside the bridge, the chapel is a Grade I listed building. Cared for by Friends of Wakefield Chantry Chapel, this is a city which recognises and cares about preserving its history and heritage. And last but certainly not least (nor the end of Wakefield’s rich and diverse history), is Sandal Castle. Found south of Wakefield’s city centre and overlooking the River Calder, the castle is another fascinating remnant of the past which can be found in this city. The castle played a part in the War of the Roses in 1460, and was the site of the Battle of Wakefield. Visitors can explore the ruins, enjoy the panoramic views of the Calder Valley beyond and visit the castle cafe for one of the best breakfasts in town. It’s also just a stone's throw from Pugneys Country Park, making it a great starting point to enjoy a walk around this family friendly nature reserve. 

Food and drink in Wakefield

Dotted around the city centre of Wakefield are a number of independent cafes, as well as some of the high street’s most popular names. Two of our favourite independent offerings are Marmalade on the Square and Mocha Moocha, both which offer a friendly and relaxed feel alongside homemade treats and delightful afternoon teas. Further afield in Whitwood near Castleford, Twisted Tree is a firm favourite with locals and a destination for out of towners. With breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, there’s something suitable for everyone’s palate.

Bars which can be enjoyed in Wakefield include Supper Club, Elliott's Bar, which hosts an open mic night every Wednesday, The Hop and there’s also Wakefield’s lively Latin Quarter. And if it’s restaurants you’re after, there’s plenty to choose from. Fino, Qubana and Robatary are established favourites, whilst new offerings such as the Yorkshire Brasserie are appearing all of the time. 

Once a historic market town, Wakefield is now a vibrant city undergoing redevelopment and increasing its profile. With its strong heritage in arts and culture, plenty of history and a wide variety of places to eat and drink, it’s a brilliant place to call home. And if previous experience is anything to go by, if you’re thinking of moving to Wakefield and making this city your next home, then don’t waste any time because homes here don’t hang around for long! Avoid missing out, and book a viewing to see our collection of contemporary new homes at Rhythm and Verve today.

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