Located midway between England’s coasts and the Pennine Hills to the west, Wakefield has endless charm from the outset. The area is drenched in history, having welcomed travellers since the Roman Age – and if that wasn’t enough, Pontefract Castle still holds 11th century cellars open to the public for exploration. Upon entering the city, the majestic building that is Wakefield Cathedral entices you to discover its secrets, and local legend even has it that the famous outlaw Robin Hood resided in Featherstone during the Middle Ages.
At present, crime rates in Wakefield and its sub-districts are certified as ‘Low’ by the Office for National Statistics, which is great for young families and retired couples who often consider safety a key criterion. In addition, ‘Low’ pollution levels highlight local commitment to the environment. Green spaces and parks are common in this area, with Anglers Country Park and Haw Park Wood both Green Flag Award winners. Furthermore, the Grade II-listed Friarwood Valley Gardens celebrates an awe-inspiring lantern festival every October, and looks picturesque all year round. Alternatively, older couples or single people with time on their hands can be inspired in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park which contains the iconic Lady-Hare.
Wakefield is well-equipped with supermarkets, ranging from Tesco and Asda to budget alternatives like Lidl and Aldi. Moreover, specialised delis such as Featherstone Fillers cater for fresh-food requirements and even take packed lunch orders to assist those who are too busy to make food arrangements themselves. Alternatively, for your dinner-party cheese board, Castleford has an indoor market and specialist cheesemongers, Cryer and Stott, a family-run business with 70 years of experience in producing the finest cheese variety. Grocers are fewer in each town due to the presence of chain stores, with only a handful of suppliers such as Sandra’s Cabbage Patch in Ossett and the Boghar Bros in Pontefract remaining.
For families with young children, opportunities to learn and have fun in Wakefield are in abundance. The district has 32 primary schools, 24 secondary schools and 8 special-needs schools. St Wilfrid’s Catholic High School offers six language courses to students should they wish to broaden their horizons, and there are currently two colleges. Keeping busy is simple with attractions such as SNO!zone and Pugneys Watersports Centre, which are ideal for children and teens. Additionally, Crafty Owls Café and Art Studio organises birthday parties and runs pottery classes too, which is perfect for all-important personal development and well-spent leisure time. And for a spooky family adventure, why not spend a night in the house apparently haunted by the Pontefract Poltergeist?
For adults living in Wakefield, entertainment is second to none. Big Fellas nightclub and Wetherspoons are popular venues for socialising, whilst pubs like The Tap and Barrel host open-mic nights. Of course, Wakefield Museum and the Hepworth Art Gallery are not to be missed for their innovative displays, and you can shop ‘til you drop’ at the Junction 32 Outlet Shopping Village or Trinity Walk shopping centre. Springmill Golf Course is ideal for a relaxing day on the green, and thrills come easy with a trip to Crigglestone Viaduct. The best part is, visitors needn’t worry about heading home early thanks to the abundance of hotels in Wakefield. Known as ‘the perfect place to use as a base for sight-seeing or to hold the perfect wedding reception’, Waterton Park Hotel and Walton Hall offer an unforgettable experience for all.
The current average house value in Wakefield in May 2017 is £181,000. This has increased 0.03% from February 2017. Terraced properties sold for a current average value of £122,000 and semi-detached properties valued £154,000.