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Fancy visiting some fine art in stunning surroundings? Love seeing rolling hills and large sculptures? Then I know just the place. Just off the M1 near Barnsley lies the perfect antidote to your hankering for culture and nature. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park – Days Out In South Yorkshire
The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a 500-acre art gallery set in the Yorkshire countryside around Bretton Hall in South Yorkshire. 7 miles from Wakefield and 20 miles south of Leeds, it is amazingly convenient when visiting West Yorkshire as well as South Yorkshire. Family and dog friendly, there is something for everyone.
But – even if you don’t like art, why should you go?
You Will See Some Famous Pieces
Actually, do check ahead which pieces are currently on display. But to give you an idea, we have seen pieces by Ai Weiwei, Anthony Gormley, Tom Frost and KAWS on our visits. There are several resident Henry Moore sculptures. And Damien Hirst has exhibits there at the moment. Not to mention it being on the tour of the Remembrance Poppies Monument.
You will more than likely see your fair share of amazing famous pieces of art, by artists you will know. But even if you really don’t like art…
The Scenery Is Stunning
Set in beautiful rolling hills, the huge park does not fail to deliver gorgeous views and stunning scenery. With Bretton Hall as a beautiful backdrop (even if it is currently being restored) there are wonderful lakeside and woodland walks.
You don’t need to be a fan of art to come here.
There’s No Admission Charge
However, there is a charge for parking. And to stay all day the charge is a pretty hefty £12 for parking. (Or £6.50 for 2 hours, £3.50 for an hour). Still, compared to some of the other places of natural beauty we have visited (such as The Heights Of Abraham in Derbyshire) this is still quite a reasonable charge for a day out.
There Are Lots Of Extra Events
Look on their official website for details, but throughout the year the park runs lots of events to include the whole family.
Expect A Long Walk
If you want to visit every sculpture on the map, I would actually say that it is very difficult if not an impossible feat for one day of visiting. Do expect to do a lot of walking. And although there are paths, on a rainy day they can get very boggy and muddy. The day we visited it was really heavy going in places, the ground really wasn’t good enough for a wheelchair or pushchair. We were glad we took our wellingtons. Maybe hiking boots would be an even better idea.
However, on a sunny summer day, there is nothing better than trekking around the grounds and meeting the sheep that are allowed to wander around the Henry Moore sculptures. Don’t feed them though.
My Top Tips
- take a picnic on a sunny day
- get a map, and plan a bit of a route, plus your toilet stops!
- stay observant, some of the sculptures are in totally unexpected places!
We loved our day at the YSP and look forward to going back when the days get warmer!
Fancy seeing more art in the area? Try the Leeds Art Gallery – one of the free things to do in Leeds.
Or here for the wildlife? Near to the Yorkshire Sculpture park is Cannon Hall farm – see what we thought of our day there.
Just across Barnsley lies Yorkshire Wildlife Park – a proper safari of a day out!
Or Lotherton Wildlife World is just up the M1 near Leeds.
Have you visited the YSP? Think it could be a place you’d love? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below, or find me over on my social media pages.
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