“ Wakefield is a city by the River Calder, located within the City of Wakefield metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, England. Its population was 76,886 in 2001, of which 1,657 were prisoners. The boundaries of the actual city are subject to a wide range of definitions, and it is not clear what definition the census was using in its calculations. Wakefield was dubbed the "Merrie City" in the Middle Ages. „
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I have been traveling the 200 miles from Hampshire to Wakefield for my Birthday for the last 5 or so years. Having originally discovered the Snooty Fox (imo the best rock and roll venue/bar in UK) by attending a concert there me and friends have returned ever since. To be honest Wakefield is probably the dirtiest most threatening place i have been. It is a mass of hovel pubs, drunks, druggies and roaming Albanians. The weatherspoons is always heaving and the queue to get in the place at 9am on a Sunday morning is beyond belief! A walk around the town centre leaves you feeling completely threatened and often terrified. Loads of chavs will block your way with no regard for human life or decency. If you are unlucky enough to walk past the Wakey tavern with a rock tshirt on you can be sure of having abuse shouted at you and threatened by the lowlifes smoking outside. Drugs are available everywhere and the streets are lined with pavement pizzas (vomit) and litter from all the takeaways. If you want to eat out your only options are curry houses, kebab/chicken/pizza/curry shops or pubs. The only safe place to eat is Weatherspoons. The Travelodge is OK with a fairly secure car park. Walls in the Travelodge rooms all have blood, spit and brown stains all over them but the doors are secure meaning you can lock yourself away for the night. Unless you want to go to the snooty fox (and are prepared to walk back to your hotel through a war zone) I have no idea why you would choose to come/live here.
I thought I'd best write a review of Wakefield to help defend this poor towns reputation. I moved to Wakefield 2 years ago, but have been visiting it for about 5 years. Wakefield, although classed as a city, is like a small market town with usual variety of high street shops and privately owned stores selling everything from fashion to electrical products. There is also the Ridings shoppping Centre which has something for everyone in terms of shops and will shelter from the wet on a rainy day! Wakefields shopping experience won't 'wow' the hardened shoppers, but it is certainly enough for most! As for nightlife, Wakefield has the infamous Westgate Run, which if you're aged 18-23 is great. But if you'd prefer a better quality drinking experience than the likes of Flares or Reflex, don't dispair!! Wakefield has a number of bars off the beaten track which all offer a more premium experience, namely The Lobby Bar, Elliotts, Red Bar, Harry's Bar and The Priory. Venturing into any of these bars on a weekend will ensure you are far enough away from the younger alco-pop genertion, but still in the centre of Wakefield with a good crowd of like minded drinkers. Wakefield also offers some great dining venues - The Cow Shed and Prego Pizzeria (see seperate reviews coming soon hopefully...) - which are fantastic quality and very reasonably priced. Wakefield has a multiscreen cinema (Cineworld), plenty of shops, a train station on the main line From London to Leeds, a huge number of pubs and clubs (5 pubs were recently included in the Morning Advertisers best Pubs in the UK - The Star and The Fox and Hounds being 2 of them) and even has a castle at Stanley and boating lake at Pugney's park...we also have one of only 2 remaining bridge chapels in the UK at Chantry bridge! Yes, Wakefield has a drunk and disorderley side, but you can easily avoid this and still have a great time in this small northern city - so don't dismiss it on other people's say so, give it a try for yourself!
Not much that you can say about Wakefield once you have mentioned the Westgate Run - a great night out starting from one end and going to the top and if you can still stand going to a club. Which would usually be Mustang Sally's or Quest, there used to be one called Bourbon St which we used to go to. A real dive, but good pick up joint. It has a catherdral, which makes it a city. A very beautiful catherdral right in the centre of the city, which is reflected in the mirrored windows of BHS. It also has the Civic Quarter which I like for the architechture, some amazing buildings around there. Wakefield has the Ridings, not a big shopping centre in comparision with others such as the White Rose Centre, but one which is in the centre of Wakefield. This has kept the other shops open rather than taking business away. There is a wide range of small shops, nothing big, in fact they tend to be cheap shops such as Marlene Joyce's and Poundland. There are few large council estates in the area, all of them a bit rough with serious drug problems, but there are some villages just out of Wakefield which are beautiful such as Walton & Crigglestone. These are not far out of Wakefield, and in country areas which are easily accessible from the centre. As for tourist attractions there aren't many - Pugney's water park, Sandal Castle, National Coal Mining Museum to name a few.
By far, the foulest place I have seen, ever. I lived in Wakefield for almost 10 years, no i am not some kind of masochist. I lost my job through ill health, and became stuck with a mortgage on a terraced toilet at the edge of Wakefield city centre. I will start by letting you know exactly what Wakefield is like, and if I think of any redeeming features (unlikely), I will pop them in at the end. Quite recently, Wakefield was rated as the sixth most violent place in Britain. I can't remember whose statistics, or how they were compiled, but that feels about right. For a city with a population of around 250,000 to come just behind Liverpool in a survey of this kind is incredible. Violence and intimidation seem to hang in the air around the city centre. This is hardly surprising when you see the amount of pubs and clubs. Fights and random attacks are commonplace. Apart from the only shopping centre (the Ridings) and the boozers, Wakefield consists of cab firms and take aways. The litter from which earned Wakefield the crown of 'dirtiest city in England'. The five largest housing estates in Wakefield have an enormous problem with heroin addiction, and its by-products - burglary, robbery, death. All of which is helped along on it's merry way by the local police, who let their informants sell drugs, steal or whatever, as long as the informant gives them a bit of info now and again, it's well worth it. Isn't it? Unlike nearby cities, Bradford and Leeds, Wakefield has no cultural aspect, no architectural brilliance, no fine museums or restaurants. It is just drab and dangerous. Unemployment is high, house prices are low. If you travel into Wakefield by train, go to Westgate station, Kirkgate station is unmanned, poorly lit and secluded with a very long subway. There have been attacks there recently, better to avoid it altogether. If you travel by car. it is preferable to park on Northgate c ar park, not any of the multi-storeys if you can avoid it. CCTV is all over the place in Wakefield, but that doesn't mean a thing to a desperate heroin addict, and if you go to the loo in the Ridings, they have cameras in there too. Supposedly to catch shoplifters and junkies jacking up. If you do want to go to Wakefield, at least you know to be careful. I know that all Britains cities are a bit on the dodgy side these days, but i've lived in London, Leeds and other smaller cities and nothing comes close to Wakefield for menace. Oh yes! redeeming features, Kays barbers on kirkgate, the funniest nicest barber in Yorkshire and Segundo's pizza on Westgate. This guy does the finest pizzas, I drove from Lincoln to Wakefield and back for a meat feast, calzone and garlic bread!! But you know folks, the best thing about the place is it's proximity to the major motorways, so you can get out of Wakefield and keep on going until you can smell it no longer.