Wakefield is a lively and historic city. Located in the heart of Yorkshire, we showcase some of the best that God’s own county has to offer.
Our unique and independent spirit makes us a great place to live, work and visit and our city centre offers a fantastic mix of retail, leisure, business and cultural opportunities.
Wakefield is a small city – but we pack a mighty punch. Our city status, and our position as the 7th best city to do business in the UK, means we attract some heavyweight muscle when it comes to our retail and commercial offer. But at the same time, we’ve managed to retain a sense of our history and develop a thriving independent scene. We’re not a carbon copy of other places – we’re fresh, unique and well worth exploring.
In the city centre itself, from our two award-winning shopping centres to the historic streets and yards that wind their way around Wakefield Cathedral (boasting Yorkshire’s tallest spire) – there’s plenty visitors can enjoy. Amongst a vibrant and eclectic mix of shops and eateries the city boasts the internationally renowned art gallery The Hepworth Wakefield and the beautifully intimate Theatre Royal Wakefield.
Beyond the bustle of the city centre up hill and down dale our landscapes offer some of the most breath-taking views of the county. There’s also plenty more on offer for visitors with the National Coal Mining Museum recently voted Yorkshire’s favourite indoor attraction 2019, the majestic Nostell National Trust and the breath-taking Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
In fact, our cultural and retail offer attracts over 8million tourists a year into the district, on top of that a local population of more than 345,000 regularly use the city centre for their retail & leisure needs (65% market share).
Wakefield is right in the beating heart of the UK. The city is located equal distance between London and Edinburgh, and equal distance between the East and West coasts. Its location means it boasts excellent transport links across key arterial routes for both road and rail.
All this and more goes to show - if you’re thinking about making Wakefield the location of your next business venture, you’ve found exactly the right place.
The best way to get a sense of our city, is to think about it in different zones...
The Cathedral Quarter
The centrepiece of the city is, without doubt, Wakefield Cathedral. Towering above the high street, the Cathedral Church of All Saints is the tallest church in Yorkshire (at 247ft it’s spire is even taller than York Minster). In this historic part of the city you can find a great deal of the city’s ‘high street’ retail offer. The Ridings Shopping Centre is home to major high street names as well as a state of the art cinema and a growing collection of independent shops focussing on the handcrafted and handmade. There’s also a ‘café culture’ vibe with a collection of coffee shops and eateries with views of the cathedral. Traditional market stalls surround the Cathedral Thursday to Saturday, and the area is often the centre point of the city’s events and festival programmes.
Wakefield Old Town
The areas surrounding two of Wakefield’s oldest streets – Westgate and Wood Street – form the ‘Old Town’. Here beautiful architecture and historic yards combine with an eclectic mix of independent venues to be enjoyed by day and night. Here you will find a great mix of independent retailers offering everything from haircuts and beauty services to picture framing and fashion. Wakefield city centre boasts an incredible mix of independent restaurants and the old town is undoubtably our culinary centre with cuisines as diverse as Abyssinian and Brazilian through to Mediterranean and Cuban. The city’s civic and cultural life also eminates from this area – with The Art House, Theatre Royal Wakefield, Wakefield Museum and a host of independent artists’ studios all within a few yards of one another. As night falls, it’s this part of town that comes alive with a whole host of bars and clubs serving everything from real ale to cocktail chic. Wakefield Westgate Railway station is a handy transport link.
In recent years Wakefield has seen a huge amount of investment in its city centre and a flagship of this has been Trinity Walk. This new open air shopping centre breathes new life into the city and sits next door to and perfectly complements the Cathedral Quarter. With even more recognisable high street names and restaurants there’s over 70 stores to explore at Trinity Walk alone. Within the immediate area there’s a whole range of small to large shops, cafes and bars – including the world famous Red Shed. Wakefield Bus Station is also a handy transport link.
The Hepworth Wakefield and Waterfront
Just a short walk out of the city stands The Hepworth Wakefield, an internationally renowned art gallery that holds the city’s art collection as well as hosting major exhibitions from artists across the world. Wakefield has long been known for its remarkable artists and sculptors - Barbara Hepworth, one of Britain’s most significant artists, was born here whilst Henry Moore, the most popular and internationally celebrated sculptor of his time, was from Castleford (a part of the Wakefield district). Two of the greatest artists of the 20th century inspired by the landscapes of our district, as countless others have been and continue to be. Visitors to the area can enjoy the gallery and also take the historic Chantry Chapel - one of only three remaining bridge chapels in England. The area is also undergoing a major regeneration programme with redevelopment of the historic Rutland Mills and Waterfront into a new cultural and business hub for the city. Wakefield Kirkgate station is a handy transport link.
You can make your way around the city on the Free City Bus which runs daily between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Saturday. The service runs every 10-12 minutes and takes in a clockwise loop of the city. There’s no charge to travel, the bus stops at all key transport links and both shopping centres, as well as stopping by The Hepworth Wakefield on selected journeys. Click here for more info. https://www.wymetro.com/wakefieldfcb