The Castle in Pontefract

Important Information

Opening Hours

Summer Opening
​Monday to Friday​8.30am to 5pm
​Saturday and Sunday​9.30am to 6.15pm
Winter Opening
​Monday to Friday​8.30am to 4.30pm
​Saturday and Sunday​9.30am to 4.30pm
Visitor Centre Opening
​Wednesday to Sunday​11am to 3pm
​Monday and Tuesday​By request

Access information

Castle events


Pontefract Castle
Castle Chain
01977 723440



The castle car park is located on Beech Hill. There are two disabled persons' spaces outside the main gates, these cannot be reserved.

Underground Magazine tours

The stone cut cellars of the castle were used as a magazine (military store) and prison for English Civil War soldiers. You can visit the underground magazine on one of our staff led tours.

Tours are available Wednesday – Sunday at 3pm. Tours cost £2.20 for adults and £1.10 for children.

Group tours can be arranged in advance for £20 (maximum 20 people).

Please note that the tour involves steep steps, low light levels and damp. Sensible footwear is advisable. During busy periods tours can become full so please check before travelling.

Activity fun

Have fun learning at Pontefract Castle! Download a family activity booklet before you visit to learn even more about the Castle's history.

Toilets are available.

Pontefract Castle secures Heritage Lottery Fund investment

Known at the Key to the North, this Royal Castle was one of the most important fortresses in the country.

Pontefract Castle is now a ruin, but visitors can walk around the site and climb the stairs to the top of the motte where they are treated to superb views of Pontefract and beyond. Admission is free.  Picnickers and dog walkers are welcome.

The Visitor Centre includes a shop and a display on the history of the castle and a new guide book is available.

Events and activities take place each year - further details available on our Facebook page and Experience Wakefield.

See the Pontefract Castle Page on Facebook

Getting there

Bus routes: To Pontefract Bus Station from Wakefield /Knottingley 148,149 and 150 from Castleford 125, 134, 135, 136. From Ackworth 28, X28, 49, 249. (The castle is a 6 minute walk from Pontefract bus station)

The castle is 0.4 miles from Pontefract bus station, Baghill railway station and Monkhill railway station and one mile from Tanshelf railway station. 


Contact Us

Pontefract Castle

Castle Chain
Car park postcode: WF8 2JF
School visits tel: 01924 302700

01977 723440