Pontefract Castle Visitor Centre

Coronavirus Measures at Pontefract Castle

Pontefract Castle is Covid-19 secure and is welcoming back visitors on reduced opening hours.

There are new steps in place to ensure everyone's safety, so your visit will be a little different.

Please take some time to read this page in advance of your visit so you know what to expect.

Good To Go

Grounds

Pontefract Castle grounds are now open at 8:30am during the week and at 9:30am at the weekend. The site will be closing at 4pm, an hour earlier than previously advertised, to allow for additional cleaning by staff.

A member of staff will greet visitors near the main gate during the busiest periods, will explain what is open, the one way systems around the site and be available to answer any questions.

The castle will only be available for a limited number of people at any one time to allow for social distancing. Should this capacity be reached, visitors will be given the option to queue along the garth just outside of the castle gates until there is room to enter, or advised to come back at a later time.

A one way system will be in place around the grounds and will be clearly signposted. This will be a mainly clockwise route. A one-way route will also be in place along the keep path up to the Bakehouse / Brewhouse. The Sally Port will be closed and there will be no access to the dungeons. A copy of the site map can be found HERE.

There will also be a designated up and down route for the keep, with the stone steps nearest the Sally Port for going up and the other staircase for coming down. The paths around the bailey should also be walked in a clockwise direction, although visitors can move onto the bailey to allow visitors walking the other way to pass.

The play area will be open. Please wash hands or use hand sanitiser after using the play area.

All benches, seats, railings, audio interpretation boards and the play area will be cleaned daily by site staff.

Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre, Gift Shop, toilets and cafe are open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am until 3pm. The visitor centre will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but the toilets are open.

• Activity Zone: CLOSED

The main entrance to the visitor centre will be via the first set of doors and will be clearly signposted. This will be a way in only and visitors must use this door to access all other areas of the visitor centre including the gift shop, exhibition area and Liquorice Café. The main exit for the visitor centre will be the sliding doors in the exhibition area. Visitors will not be able to use the door into or out of the shop, except in emergencies.

Occupancy levels will be monitored by staff, but it may be necessary to queue outside of the visitor centre until there is space inside to continue to safely follow social distancing guidelines.

The urinals in the men’s toilets will be designated out of action. External toilet doors will be propped open to allow access without touching doors and hand sanitiser will be available in the toilet entrance foyer.

At busy times a queuing system will be in place for the toilets along the wall of the activity zone outside the building. This will be monitored by a member of staff.

Visitors using the toilets will not be allowed to exit the building by the main entrance but must continue down into the shop area and through to the exhibition area or café.

The Liquorice Cafe

The café is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10am until 3pm. A copy of the menu can be found HERE. Customers will need to take any food and drink outside. Only one member of staff will be allowed behind the counter at any one time, so please be aware service may be slightly slower.

Entry to the café will be via the main entrance to the visitor centre and through the gift shop and exhibition space. Visitors using the café will leave through the exhibition doors. The far café doors will be used as an emergency exit only due to the risk of slipping on the ground outside.

There will be limited outdoor seating available and any seating not suitable for use will be marked clearly.

Occupancy levels will be monitored by staff, but it may be necessary to queue outside of the visitor centre until there is space inside to continue to safely follow social distancing guidelines.