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Pontefract has a ruined castle which has seen many tragedies, Richard II was murdered there in 1400, and later it was the scene of bitter, bloody battles between Roundheads and Royalists. It was also whilst on a visit to Pontefract, that Henry VIII discovered his wife, Queen Catherine Howard had betrayed him by taking one of his courtiers as her lover. Later both the Queen and her lover were executed. Today, all signs of murder and treachery are gone and the castle ruins, lying peacefully on a rise above the town, surrounded by lawns and flowerbeds, make a splendid atmospheric visit for tourists.
Standing serenely below the castle ruins is All Saint's Church, rebuilt during the first half of the 18th century, the church occupies part of the ground on which an earlier church once stood. Both All Saints and Pontefract's other church dedicated to St.Giles, dating from early in the 12th century, are well worth seeing, the latter being found in the wide market place were there is a butter cross of 1743 and good examples of 18th century architecture.
Pontefract is a lively interesting place, it was once known for the production of Pontefract cakes, small liquorice sweets, and although these are still produced locally, some of the old larger factories are now gone, along with the local liquorice fields. Today, liquorice mostly comes from Turkey.
Shopping here is a good experience, with modern shopping centres set around wide boulevards. Visitors will find individual art and craft galleries, smart clothes shops and the usual retailers for food and other general necessities.
Today, Pontefract is quite possibly best known for its fine racecourse lying on the north side of the town. This is one of the best courses of its kind, with every modern facility for visitors and a racing calendar featuring the finest horseflesh, ensuring entertaining competitive racing. There is also an exciting Greyhound stadium at nearby Kingsley.
Pontefract gives easy access to the cities of Wakefield and Leeds, it lies surrounded by spacious Yorkshire countryside within easy reach of the River Went, the Aire and Calder Navigation. A little further distant lie the waters of the Selby Canal. Thus there are opportunities for boating, fishing, and both riverside, and canal walks. There are also town trails pointing out the most interesting and historic parts of Pontefract.
Visitors will find excellent hotels, restaurants, cafes and inns. Both in and out of the town you can find self-catering accommodation and bed and breakfast.
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Hotels & Accommodation in Pontefract
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All Accommodation in Pontefract..
Tower House Executive Guest House
Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England (0.6 miles, 1.0 km)
Around 10 minutes’ walk from the town centre, Tower House Executive Guest House in Pontefract provides award-winning bed and breakfast in West Yorkshire. There is free on-site parking and free Wi-F...
More info and book online.. Price from £55.00
Kings Croft Hotel
Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England (1.0 miles, 1.6 km)
With a popular restaurant and cosy bar, Kings Croft Hotel offers free parking and free Wi-Fi. Situated just outside Pontefract, the hotel is a 5-minute drive from Pontefract Racecourse....
More info and book online.. Price from £42.00
Premier Inn Pontefract North
Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England (1.6 miles, 2.6 km, direction NE)
Providing comfortable, good value accommodation, Premier Inn Pontefract North is close to Knottingley rail station, and just over 2 miles from Pontefract town centre....
More info and book online.. Price from £45.00
Premier Inn Castleford (Xscape, M62, Jct 32)
Castleford, West Yorkshire, England (1.7 miles, 2.8 km, direction NW)
Opposite a shopping village, next to Glass Houghton Rail Station and the Xscape real-snow indoor ski slope, this Premier Inn offers free parking and rooms with luxury power showers....
More info and book online.. Price from £43.00
RolandsCroft Guest House
Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England (2.1 miles, 3.3 km, direction W)
Set in the quiet village of Featherstone, a 20-minute drive from Wakefield city centre, RolandsCroft Guest House offers secure private parking, free Wi-Fi and rooms with en suite facilities....
More info and book online.. Price from £49.00
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Nearby travel help
|Pontefract Baghill Station||(0.3 miles, 0.4 km)|
|Pontefract Monkhill Station||(0.4 miles, 0.6 km)|
|M62 Junction 32||(1.6 miles, 2.5 km, direction NW)|
|M62 Junction 33||(1.7 miles, 2.7 km, direction E)|
|Leeds Bradford International Airport||(18.9 miles, 30.5 km, direction NW)|
|Sheffield City Airport||(20.8 miles, 33.4 km, direction S)|
|Pontefract to London||(158.9 miles, 255.7 km, direction S)||