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Wakey's Best Bits: Part One

Part one of our latest regular series exploring Wakefield and the surrounding areas.

The best bits of our places and spaces - brought to you by our students.

How’s everyone feeling about being able to get out and ‘do things’ again? Whether you’re feeling a bit apprehensive or have a million places on your go-to list, we thought now was a great time to start getting acquainted with some of Wakey’s best bits, picked by our experts in the field [sometimes literally in a field] - our students.

Let’s begin with an intro for anyone who has never frequented Wakefield and the surrounding Yorkshire region. ‘Wakey’, otherwise known fondly by the colloquial name of ‘Shakey Wakey’, is a city [that’s right, we’ve got a beautiful cathedral where our last Backstage graduation ceremony was held] and is located right in the heart of Yorkshire.

Just a half an hour from Leeds and Sheffield, and a couple more and you could be waltzing around the streets of London, Manchester or Newcastle - studying and living in Wakefield will leave you with nothing short of many exciting things to do!

Wakefield itself is home to an incredibly diverse array of places to visit from entertainment, and nightlife to cultural hot spots and countryside. As covid restrictions have begun to ease, we’re starting with the latter and focusing todays’ Wakey’s best bits on our favourite outdoor places.


Wakefield Cathedral © Be Wakefield, 2021
Wakefield Cathedral © Be Wakefield, 2021

If you’re a lover of the outdoors then you’ve come to the right place. Wakefield and the surrounding areas boast a plethora of parks and countryside, some just on your doorstep and others a little further afield [apologies for another field-related pun]. After all, we are in Yorkshire!

“I love going for a walk around Thornes Park! There's a really lovely secret garden near the skate park, as well as an aviary by the duck pond and a rose bed garden with a bunch of cactuses in the conservatory!”

Leo, 2nd year BA (Hons) Live Events Production

“As a photography geek … I’ll take a walk up to Pugneys Country Park with friends and fly drones around, taking amazing cinematic images and time-lapses of the stunning woodlands and lakes it has to offer.”

Michael, 1st year, BA (Hons) Live Events Production

“One of my favourite things to do is to walk down the canal as it’s a very scenic path and really relaxing especially if you want to clear your head.”

Jaime, 2nd year, BA (Hons) Stage & Production Management


Sandal Castle © Wakefield Hips
Sandal Castle © Wakefield Hips
Sandal Castle, 2020
Sandal Castle, 2020
View of Pugneys Country Park from Sandal Castle, 2020
View of Pugneys Country Park from Sandal Castle, 2020
Pugneys Country Park © Welcome to Yorkshire
Pugneys Country Park © Welcome to Yorkshire

“Going up to Sandal Castle, especially in Summer (or when it snows!) is the most wonderful place - beautiful views and fresh air really does wonders to university stress!”

Amy, 2nd year BA (Hons) Live Events Production

“I love visiting Sandal Castle, it’s only a short walk from the Doncaster Road flats and has the most amazing views. It’s a great place to watch the sunrise and sunset too.”

Alicia, 1st year BA (Hons) Stage & Production Management


Who knew our students were such a wholesome bunch?

Just a stone’s throw away from your immediate Wakefield vicinity, there is Anglers Country Park and Newmillerdam Country Park. Whether it’s a quick stroll in the woodland or a little longer circular walk around the dam, both parks are a perfect place to visit to get out into the fresh air.

And finally, for that perfect mix of creativity and countryside, you cannot get any better than the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Yorkshire Sculpture Park is the UK’s leading open-air art gallery and an international centre for modern and contemporary art, all set in 500 acres of the 18th-century Bretton Hall estate. It is by far the most wonderful place to lace up your walking boots, pack a picnic and settle in for a day of sculpture and sightseeing.


© Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2021
© Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2021
© Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2021
© Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2021
© Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2021
© Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2021
© Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2021
© Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2021

As our old favourites start to re-open and we welcome new, exciting hang-outs to our city, we’ll be sharing part two of the best bits from our much loved Wakey. In part two, we’ll share our favourite places to eat, drink & ‘be merry’, as they say, with a very special feature on a student project! For now, we’ll leave it to Ed to sign things off.

“My favourite thing to do in Wakefield is to explore one of the many great parks in and around our local area. It just allows me to have a break from the busy city life and take a real breathe of fresh air... literally!”

Ed, 3rd year BA (Hons) Stage & Production Management

For more information on what it's like to study in Yorkshire, please visit our dedicated page here:

www.backstage-academy.co.uk/study/yorkshire-life

Stay tuned for part two of Wakey's best bits!

Ready to start your Backstage journey?