Discover Pontefract

Welcome to Pontefract.

Located in the heart of West Yorkshire, this historic market town is home to the picturesque ruins of one of England’s most important castles (once known as “The Key To The North”) as well as a brace of beautiful parks, some outstanding examples of Georgian architecture, and a whole host of independent boutiques and coffee shops.

Pontefract’s got history galore – the site of the first secret ballot, this is a place where the country’s fate was decided more than once; uncover its story at Pontefract Museum.

Sports fans take note – the town is also home to Pontefract Racecourse, the longest continuous flat racing circuit in Europe.


Barley Mow Hotel

22 Cornmarket, Pontefract, WF8 1BJ, United Kingdom

Rogerthorpe Manor Hotel BW Signature Collection

Thorpe Lane, Badsworth,, Pontefract, WF9 1AB, United Kingdom

Cosy stable conversion between Sheffield & Leeds

Pontefract, WF8 3HF, United Kingdom

Tower House Executive Guest House

21 Bondgate, Pontefract, WF8 2JP, United Kingdom

Wentbridge House Hotel

The Great North Road, Pontefract, WF8 3JJ, United Kingdom

The Breath Taking Cube

1-10 & 18 liquorice way, Pontefract, WF8 1BX, United Kingdom


Pontefract Racecourse

Pontefract Racecourse, Pontefract Park, Park Road, Pontefract, WF8 4QD, United Kingdom

Pontefract events

Getting to Pontefract – Map

Pontefract is found in between Knottingley, Castleford and Featherstone, handily positioned at the crossing of the M62 and M1 motorways, making it extremely accessible by a motor vehicle.

It’s south east of Leeds, which is only 15 minutes away, and directly East of Wakefield, which is even closer, making it within easy reach of much of West Yorkshire.

Pontefract FAQ’s

What’s Pontefract famous for?

Ponte Cakes – a type of liquorice confectionery. There is also a castle in the town, coal mining heritage and a horse-racing track.

Who was killed at Pontefract Castle?

Catherine Howard and Thomas Culpeper were both executed in 1541 for treason against King Henry VIII, who had been visiting the castle.

Where Next?

Take a trip to see “Cas Tigers” Rugby League, at Castleford, or head for a day’s shopping in Leeds. If its adventure, or family activities you are after, just outside Pontefract, next to the motorway, you can spend some time in Xscape Yorkshire where you’ll find real snow, climbing experiences, great food and drink, across the road from the outlet shopping at junction 32.