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A beautiful landscape of sculptures, lakes, and Medieval castles awaits tourists heading to Wakefield. This northern English city offers an appealing mixture of history, scenery, and fabulous modern art.
Located on the River Calder, to the east of the Pennines, the area is historically famous for the Wars of the Roses, coal mining, and textile production. Today the city is more often celebrated as the birthplace of the modern sculptors, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. As a cathedral city, the list of historical landmarks worth seeing begins with Wakefield Cathedral. The building’s architecture originates from many different eras and its impressive spire is the tallest in Yorkshire. Other ancient buildings of interest include Pontefract Castle and Sandal Castle. Wakefield is host to a number of outstanding parks and old working collieries that once blighted the countryside have been transformed into scenic nature reserves. Attractions like RSPB Fairburn Ings and Pugneys Country Park, with their man-made lakes, are now a haven for plants, birds, and insects. Other destinations worth putting your rambling boots on for are: Nostell Priory and Parkland, Newmillerdam Country Park, and Waterton Countryside Discovery Centre. One of the most interesting estates is the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Set in the grounds of Bretton Hall this outdoor gallery features a large collection of bronze works by Henry Moore. Other artists exhibited here include Ai Weiwei, Jaume Plensa, Joan Miró, Eduardo Paolozzi, and of course, Barbara Hepworth. Of special interest is the The Hepworth Wakefield that opened on the River Calder in 2011. The venue, a past winner of UK Museum of the Year, is architecturally fascinating and a perfect display case for Wakefield’s world-class art collection. After so much culture, history and glorious views you should head to the city centre where you will find innovative food options from a myriad of national cuisines. And beer lovers will have a field day with the vast choice of real ales available in the bars and restaurants, many of which are produced at local breweries.
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