Chez l'abeille

Culture. Travel. Writing. My world in words and pictures

Thomas Houseago Large Owl (for B) 2011

YSP: A sculptural wonderland.


I have wanted to visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) for quite some time, so a recent visit to Leeds provided the perfect opportunity to go there and see what it is all about. It certainly does not disappoint. With 500 acres of park and woodland and at least 60 works to explore just in the outdoors, there is certainly a lot of ground to cover.

There are intriguing and inspiring artworks everywhere you look, tucked away in small nooks and crannies and standing boldly on the far hilltops. We completed a roughly 4 kilometre circular walk and still only saw a fraction of the works sited within the park. We didn’t even get to the indoor galleries, although after all that walking a well earned cup of Yorkshire tea was certainly in order!

So what did we see? Close to the YSP centre is the country park which contains the Henry Moore collection. The YSP houses one of the largest collections of his work in Europe, many of which were created for the open air. They seem very at home here!

As we worked our way further out to the edges of the park other treasures were revealed. First of all we climbed the Seventy-one Steps by David Nash, then we tripped over the almost invisible Speed Breakers by Hemali Bhuta. These bronze cast tree roots were so subtly embedded into the woodland floor we almost missed them completely! Further on our trail we found several installations by Andy Goldsworthy and the hugely entertaining Basket No 7 by Winter/Hörbelt, which invited us to climb inside and squeeze through the narrow spaces to get to the view at the top.

Heading back to the YSP Centre (for tea!) we came to the Lower Park and the more formal gardens. Here we found several artists we knew, in particular Anthony Gormley, the artist better known for his Bellenden Road bollards.

After several hours of exploring this fabulous place, we only just scratched the surface of what there is  here. It’s not hard to see how they won the 2014 Art Fund Museum of the Year award. It was a day well spent, surrounded by art that challenged, inspired and entertained in equal measures.


©Chez l’abeille 2014


6 thoughts on “YSP: A sculptural wonderland.

  1. I’m just unearthing the Moore at Kew files for a post; we were up in East Yorks recently but the detour is too far to see YSP. We lived near Kew for years when the entry cost was a mere 50p,….


  2. This is a great post, we were considering going to YSP in the near future. I’ve got a large set of Henry Moore at Kew onfile somewhere, which was worth seeing.


    • Thanks. It’s really worth a visit but there is so much to see there it could take several visits just to see the fixed pieces. I haven’t been to Kew for years despite living in SE London!!