New research from Wakefield Council’s tourism team, Experience Wakefield, has revealed that many cultural attractions across Yorkshire, and 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 out of all northern cities they most associate Liverpool with culture (37%), closely followed by Manchester (33%), with York (26%) sitting in third. But despite York coming in the top three, and Leeds closely following in fifth (13%), many of Yorkshire’s attractions remain relatively unvisited.
For example, the survey found that only a third of Yorkshire adults have visited Yorkshire Sculpture Park (36%), whilst approximately one in ten have been to Pontefract Castle (12%) and only 3% have visited the Bronte Parsonage Museum.
When it comes to the cultural art form that most people in the UK associate with the North, 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%).
In light of the findings, Cllr Michael Graham, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, is encouraging local people to take advantage of what’s at their fingertips this summer: “It’s clear that the north of England as a whole is recognised as a cultural hotspot, and although a lot of attractions in the North have been visited, many are left relatively undiscovered despite being practically on our doorsteps.
“Take the Wakefield district, which is not only home to large cultural attractions such as Yorkshire Sculpture Park and The Hepworth Wakefield, but quirkier and perhaps lesser-known spots as well. Our district is 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.
“There are so many exciting cultural attractions within a 90-minute – two-hour drive time, that are perfect places for days out or overnight stays, which we’d urge more people to explore, especially at the moment whilst there is still some scepticism about travelling too far afield 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.