The cultural hotspots in Yorkshire you might never have thought to visit

New research from Wakefield Council’s tourism team, Experience Wakefield, has revealed that many cultural attractions in cities across the north are under-visited by those living in the region and is encouraging them to take advantage of these spots this summer.

The survey of 2,000 UK adults found that when asked to think about culture in the north of England music comes first (27%) – which isn’t surprising as it’s the birthplace of the likes of The Beatles, Arctic Monkeys and Oasis - followed by film (14.24%) and sculpture (13.75%).

However, the survey also found that there was a high quantity of relatively undiscovered cultural attractions right on people’s doorsteps in some of the north of England’s smaller cities.

For instance, in the Wakefield district, the survey found that only a third of Yorkshire adults have visited Yorkshire Sculpture Park (36%), whilst approximately only one in ten have been to Pontefract Castle (12%) and The Hepworth Wakefield (11%).

Pontefract Castle.

And the same can be said across the North. Only one in five people from the North East had visited the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle and 13% of people from the North West had visited the Beatrix Potter Experience in the Lake District.

The most visited attractions on the list by people from across the North of England were the National Railway Museum in York, The Angel of the North, Royal Albert Docks and Whitby Abbey, all showing that around a third had visited them at some point.

It was also revealed that out of all northern cities, UK adults most associate Liverpool with culture (37%), closely followed by Manchester (33%), with York (26%) sitting in third.

Coun Michael Graham, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “It’s clear that the north of England as a whole is recognised as a cultural hotspot, but cities such as Wakefield actually have so many exciting cultural attractions that we’d urge more people to explore, especially at the moment whilst there is still some scepticism about travelling too far afield this summer.

“The Wakefield district is not only home to large cultural attractions such as Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Hepworth Wakefield, but quirkier and perhaps lesser-known spots like the Neon Workshops.

"Our district is also 70% rural, so there’s also lots of stunning scenery to explore and if you’re interested in history and heritage, we have the likes of the National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield Cathedral or Pontefract Castle. Many of these attractions are also low cost, or even free.

“We want to remind local people that there are some truly inspiring cultural attractions at their fingertips, so make sure you’re enjoying them this summer.”

Having made a significant mark on the UK’s cultural and creative landscape in recent years, the Wakefield district recently launched its bid to become City of Culture 2025.

To find out more about Experience Wakefield, including what’s on across the district, please visit: