Pontefract is a medieval market town and has been trading since the Middle Ages. The produce available today might vary from that of the 9th century, but Pontefract still has the ability to surprise and is perfect for bagging that bargain! So whether it’s a Pontefract souvenir you are after, handmade crafts, local fresh meat and veg or the famous Pontefract Cakes then you’ll find everything you need plus so much more!
If you are a fan of designer fashion and high brand labels then just outside Pontefract you will find the Junction 32 Shopping Outlet. An American style mall with all your favourite shops including Next, Clarks, Monsoon, Gap Outlet, Nike Factory Store and also places to relax and compare bargains over a cup of coffee at Starbucks or other food outlets. With huge discounts of up to 60% every day it’s well worth a day out!
However if you fancy something more traditional and prefer browsing through independent and unique boutiques as well as the usual high street shops then give Pontefract town centre a go. The Pontefract Market Hall is open six days a week and offers a wide range of goods for sale, but for traditional entertainment and a community atmosphere then visit the district’s largest street market which has an amazing 116 stalls! This famous Pontefract outdoor market is on every Wednesday and Saturday.
If you prefer rummaging through pre-loved goods in the hope of finding that priceless antique treasure then there is a second hand market near the museum every Wednesday and a small but perfectly formed crafts market in the same place on the first Friday of every month.
Leisure in Pontefract
Before the advent of night clubs and trendy wine bars; pubs, theatre and the cinema were the favoured leisure activities for the residents of Pontefract. The nearest cinema now is Cineworld at Xscape in Castleford and is easily accessible by bus or car. Or you could head to Westgate Retail Park in Wakefield. Cineworld shows all the latest films and has over 12 screens, including 3D screenings.
Pontefract is also home to the Tickety-Boo theatre company which stages a mixture of plays and performances suitable for both children and adults and are performed at either the Wakefield Theatre Royal or the Lamproom Theatre in Barnsley. Both theatres also host performances that range from ballet, comedy, dance, family, film, musical theatre, musical concerts and pantomime.
Pontefract also has two swimming pools, the Pontefract Swimming Pool on Stuart Road and the Featherstone Swimming Pool which are open 7 days a week and offers lessons and birthday parties. For a more mixed leisure centre try the Pontefract Squash and Leisure Club which also has a fitness suite, dance studio and sports hall.
Pontefract’s professional rugby league club, the Featherstone Rangers, affectionately known as The Colliers, are currently in the Championship and beat the Sheffield Eagles in 2011 to secure the Co-Operative Championship. They narrowly missed the Challenge Cup in 2012 against Wigan RLFC. In football Pontefract’s achievements are less famous with the non-league football club Pontefract Collieries FC.