My partner and I made the enormous decision, in September 2019, to uproot our entire lives and move across the country from Liverpool to West Yorkshire. We both found new roles, we found a house to live in and we hired a moving van and moved ourselves and our little Kitty to pastures new. In this time, we’ve not really explored the local area until lately – with working within Leeds itself and living ~not in Leeds~ a lot of our time has been spent commuting and getting to know this fantastic city. With the situation that’s going on, our commute hasn’t been an issue and we’ve actually not even been to Leeds itself since March. We’ve decided that exploring the local area should be an absolute priority – and one of the places we have actually already explored is Pontefract Castle, unsurprisingly in Pontefract.
Pontefract is famous for a fair few things – Pontefract cakes, liquorice, that enormous Haribo factory, Pontefract races and of course, Pontefract Castle. We visited Pontefract Castle for the morning at the start of the year and since then, there’ve been a number of changes made to the place to make it much more accessible, including all new pathways that are much more accessible than previously. A lot of work has been carried out over the last few months and years, as previously the castle was on the Heritage at Risk list – this is no longer the case, thankfully, and the Key to the North project is recently completed. You can learn more about the Key to the North Project at Pontefract Castle by clicking the hyperlink.
The castle itself is an open green space, with ancient ruins and dripping with history. As you wander around the ruins, you’re able to read all about the different parts of the castle and find out what it would have been when the castle was still standing. There’s an option to explore the dungeons if you so wish (not currently available to do with the COVID-19 crisis) and grab food and drink in the Liquorice Cafe. They also have a playground for kids, picnic tables to have a bite to eat at and plenty of grounds to sit and picnic on – just remember to take your rubbish away with you! Entrance to the castle is free – it’s an absolutely wonderful way to spend a morning or an afternoon with friends or family.
I’m excited to spend some more time exploring West Yorkshire over the next few months – and sharing with you guys exactly what I’ve found!