We made it on the train!!
No doubt if you know us, you’ll know how much we love to go on trips! But since I had Felix, life has changed a lot. Now I have limited mobility, and I rely on a scooter and crutches to get around… I feel restricted and things just aren’t so easy anymore. Getting out and about sure does take a lot longer.
But… something I really wanted to do before I went into hospital for my first surgery was a trip on the train somewhere. I spent soooo long doing research, planning, thinking. Something that used to be so easy and simple to us…a trip on the train, suddenly seemed daunting, to be honest. But, Wakefield looked like a good option. We’ve been many times before so are familiar with it, it’s easy to get to on the train, quick and has lots of things to do there. I found and booked a cheap apartment on booking.com and trains with booking assistance to help board and on/off the train with luggage and the scooter.
The booking assistance didn’t go to plan with Northern Rail really letting us down by not providing the assistance they confirmed and promised to us over the phone, no staff turned up, no ramp and no help, and to go with it very rude staff member telling us no help would be on the other end, either. This really wasn’t a great start, to be honest. 🙁 I have sent in a complaint but email but haven’t heard anything since.
I’d booked an apartment close to Wakefield town centre, it was cheap and I found it on booking.com. We prefer to self cater where possible because it saves money on eating out. Eric loved the apartment… it had a big bath, big sink for washing up and sofa beds.
The Hepworth Wakefield
I’ve shared lots before about our days out at the Hepworth, I really like it there. It’s a lovely modern art gallery, free entry, has a lovely cafe, free family activities and a playground outside. They’ve just done some refurb outside with a gallery garden, too, and that looks fab.
I usually go outside of school holidays, on a Sunday for the free family workshops (we’ve done ink printing, clay sculptures, den building), it was different this time. The free family activity was musical sculptures. Fabulously led by a member of staff who guided all the group, all ages to help create a song to compose in the gallery upstairs.
Everyone had input into what the song would sound like using instruments of all different types. It was great, as their activities usually are, but just wasn’t Eric’s cup of tea and couldn’t keep his attention. He didn’t want to sit down and much prefers art based activities with crafts. I like how the activities change at the Hepworth so you can try something new.
We enjoyed a look around the gallery, peering out of the big windows down tot the gushing water below, and Eric played with some of the Explore & Draw stations. Lunch we had in the cafe, lovely as always.
Pugneys Country Park
The next day we went to Pugneys Country Park. I’d actually planned room on the broom trail at Anglers Country Park having not been there for years, but with a scooter we decided against it. Expecting it to be sooo muddy we thought it was better to go somewhere else instead, and I do like to try new things, anyway. We’ll definitely do room on the broom again sometime, but Pugneys Country Park was really fun and I’d definitely recommend it.
The park is free and has lots to do! We hired bikes including a trailer for Eric, I swapped my mobility scooter for a larger, more off road suitable type for only £1.50 and off we went around the lake. It was great and really fun to do something like this which was still suitable for me with a scooter. It made me feel like I was doing something ‘normal’ and getting out in the country park really cheered me up. We were lucky enough to see some sunshine, too.
At pugney’s, there’s a good (but not too long) walk around the lake which you could easily do on foot. Along the way there’s a few little play equipment, things to see such as sculptures and nature, clear lakes for water sports and a nature trail.
A little miniature train, pugney’s light railway, was open and I managed to get on it with the help of staff and using my crutches. So much fun! It didn’t go far, about a 1/3 of the path around the lake but we all loved it, who doesn’t like a train ride.
All of the facilities for visitors and the cafe is in one spot, so you can hire, eat and get info including maps there. I was really impressed by how much there was to do there for all ages… and at a really affordable price, too. It was very cheap to hire bikes! We hadn’t even planned to hire them, haha it was a nice surprise. I think it was about £6 including the trailer for 1 hour. I’d definitely go back.
I loved our little trip and coming back on the train with CrossCountry was much more smooth, the customer service was great and staff helped us on and off the train. Yay 🙂
This adventure definitely gave me a taste for it and reminded me what I love to do most. Even though it is close to home, adventures don’t need to be far away for them to be fun. We love exploring near and far. Wakefield is an easy option and has lots of good outdoor things to do, a reason why we like it a lot. Next on my list is Newmillerdam. If you have any other recommendations for parks in and around Wakefield let me know. This is my bucket list for places locally I want to visit this year, and covers some in West Yorkshire 🙂