If you’re passing through Yorkshire or simply looking for somewhere inspirational to visit as part of a weekend away, check out Yorkshire Sculpture Park – you won’t be disappointed.
Set amid 500 acres of the historic 18th-century Bretton Hall estate, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is arguably the UK’s leading open-air gallery. Exhibits include work by home-grown and international talent, such as Henry Moore and Antony Gormely.
Established in 1977 with a £1,000 budget to fund just 31 sculptures, it has grown to comprise more than 100 outdoor sculptures and five indoor galleries.
Wander the paths weaving through the lush parkland, marvelling at the artworks along the way. The park has featured the first UK museum exhibition by KAWS, the renowned American artist. Although the exhibition has officially closed, six pieces from his open air artwork remain on display throughout 2016. Most impressive is 32ft-tall Small Lie, based on Pinocchio.
Other notable sculptures include those by Dame Barbara Hepworth. The Wakefield-born artist is best known for creating flowing and rhythmic designs, often influenced by the contours of nature. There’s a frequently changing programme of major exhibitions and special events, so keep an eye on the park’s website.
I visited with my wife and two children, aged 15 & 9, and we loved the wide open spaces and refreshing “do touch” ethos promoted at the park, which is a mile from the M1’s junction 38.
After browsing in the shop, have a bite to eat at the restaurant while gazing across the collection of Henry Moore bronzes to the rolling countryside beyond.
Remarkably, admission is free but charges apply in the car park (£8 all day). Yorkshire Sculpture Park is open every day, except 24 and 25 December, between 10am-5pm.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
www.ysp.co.uk, 01924 832631
Reviewed: July 2016