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Wakefield sits right in the centre of England in the West Yorkshire region. It has a colourful history as a market town, home to a War of the Rose battlefield and several impressive historic landmarks like the Wakefield Cathedral. Visitors who want to explore the beautiful Yorkshire area will be hard-pressed to find a better home base than Wakefield for their travels. Excellent road access allows drivers to venture out in every direction, either by fast motorway or tranquil country roads.
Who to Book With
A car is definitely the way to go in Wakefield because there is so much to see in the surrounding countryside. There are well-known car hire agencies here like Sixt and Enterprise, as well as local outfits at various locations around the city. A few companies have offices at the train station, while Leeds Airport is just 19kms away with many more rental options. During the warm months, Wakefield is a popular travel spot, so it’s wise to book your rental as early as possible online to get lower rates and a better vehicle selection.
Best Time to Go
Wakefield’s climate is typical of England as a whole. It rains consistently throughout the year, with cool damp conditions between October and April. The best months to visit this region of England are between May and September, with June and July offering the most reliably dry and warm weather.
Need to Know Essentials
Bring these documents when you collect your car rental at the office:
- A valid EU or UK driving license or International Driving Permit
- A secondary form of picture ID
- The credit card used to make the online booking
- A printed confirmation if possible
The driving conditions in Wakefield aren’t too bad except during the weekday rush hour periods. There are 600 on-street parking spaces and 1,500 off-street parking lot spaces around the city that use a pay and display system. This parking scheme is in effect from 08:00 to 18:00 Monday to Saturday, with Sunday parking free.
Driving around Wakefield is a breeze thanks to its central location just southeast of the junction of the M1 and M62 motorways. Several trunk roads run around the city, ensuring quick access to the main motorways, and there are countless minor rural roads for more scenic driving.
There is a great public transport system in Wakefield, run by Metro, the main operator in the West Yorkshire area. It runs a network of city buses and trains that travel to neighbouring towns. Taxis are also available in the city, while many visitors opt for car rental for maximum flexibility to move around both Wakefield and the surrounding area.
Metro’s Wakefield line connects the city to the rest of West Yorkshire via 13 train lines. The train is more useful for travel between Wakefield and neighbouring towns rather than for inner-city transport. Tickets are sold as either single-fare or return-fares directly at the train stations from automated machines or ticketing kiosks.
There are a handful of taxi companies in Wakefield, such as Wakefield Cars, which operate around the clock. They are very hard to hail to the streets, so it’s best to simply phone in for a pick-up. Sometimes taxis wait in front of the train station when trains are scheduled to arrive.
The bus system operated by Metro offers a convenient way to move around the centre of Wakefield or to outlying suburbs. Metro has a freecity bus route that runs around the centre of Wakefield with stops at the train stations, the bus station and major shopping points. These free buses operate from Monday to Saturday between 07:30 and 19:00, with arrivals every 10 minutes at each station. To travel outside of Wakefield, use the inter-city Metro buses.
West Yorkshire is one of England’s prettiest and most historic areas. Wakefield is situated right in the heart of it all, just off the M1 and M62 junction, which offers incredibly easy driving to just about anywhere. From castle ruins to grand manors, buzzing cities or quiet medieval hamlets, there are dozens of great daytrip destinations nearby for those with a car.
Harewood House - One of the many historic estates located in West Yorkshire. Although relatively young, this 18th-century manor is in perfect condition and filled with period furnishings, helping it look just as it did when Baron Harewood moved in. Besides the mansion, the 100-acre grounds are also spectacular.
Leeds - This is the big city of West Yorkshire, located just a quick drive up the M1 from Wakefield. Its city centre is divided into quarters, each with its own historic merits and modern amenities. You can easily spend a whole day touring the museums, shopping districts and Industrial-era landmarks of Leeds.
A Castle Tour - This is a great theme for a daytrip from Wakefield. Within easy striking distance are two magical castles with different atmospheres. Pontefract Castle dates from 1399 and is still in reasonably good shape, while medieval Sandal Castle is a picturesque ruin and the site of the historic Battle of Wakefield.