Wakefield blogger and vlogger Sophie Mei Lan of MamaMei.co.uk, mum-of-two and co-owner of Evoke Media Group, shares her favourite places to visit and people to see in the city.
I moved to the city six years ago when I became pregnant. So I still feel very much an enthusiastic tourist.
I have also spent time working at the Express and on Topic UK business magazine which means that I have a good insight into the heartbeat of the place.
I absolutely love this district as a place to work, bring up a family and to spend time socialising.
I am forever walking, running or catching the bus as I choose not to drive.
I love being able to take the girls to our local National Trust Nostell Priory (above - Sophie picture at Nostell with one of her daughters) who have lots of family-friendly events on as well as an outdoor play area for when the weather warms up.
I have always been struck by the beauty of The Chantry Chapel, it is small and unique and sits right on the River Calder (pictured, below right).
So much so, that I had both my daughters baptised there.
HEPWORTH WAKEFIELD AND THE HEPWORTH CAFE
Just over from The Chantry is the stunning museum of the year - The Hepworth Gallery.
My daughter was born the year after The Hepworth opened.
We have always loved going to their free arts and crafts sessions as well as the playground, which I think is the best in Wakefield.
My husband Chris Hale and House of Koko coffee shop have recently taken over The Hepworth Café (pictured above)– so I am there regularly, hot-desking, whilst enjoying a vegan brunch and speciality cappuccino.
ST HELEN’S CHURCH AND THE SPRING CAFE
Another place I enjoy having food and drink is at The Spring on Barnsley Road which is run by St Helen’s Church.
It has an ace charity shop cum café and kids’ play area.
I also regularly attend groups at St Helen’s Church where Christians Against Poverty in Wakefield is based as well as a number of other fantastic community groups.
Talking of groups, my favourite playgroup is run by the Wakefield-branch of charity Homestart – it always picks me up if I’m having a challenging week.
THORNES PARK STADIUM
When I am not hot-desking or attending groups, you’ll find me running through Wakefield with the buggy or I’ll be at the gym in Thornes Park as they have a crèche and fab Zumba sessions.
I also teach bellydance so I am regularly in dance studios across the district, my favourite being Pilates4Wakefield and Cossins Music School.
FAB SHOP AND SOCIALICIOUS
I love heading into the city centre as there are always lots of places to go and shops to support.
I am also a huge fan of charity shops and there’s a huge range to choose from in Wakefield.
The F.A.B shop on Brook Street is brilliant for families to drop-in and shop or attend a group.
Socialicious on Westmoreland Street, run by charity Turning Point, runs a lovely café and has a community space.
Just across the road is the stunning Wakefield Cathedral which I recently abseiled down for the Mayor’s charities (below left).
I also got married at the Cathedral last year with Wakefield Gospel Choir performing - it was magical!
We then had a parade through town with Imba Basi drummers and down to (the now closed) Unity Works for our wedding breakfast and carnival.
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