Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Location: Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, WF4 4LG .

Tel: +44 (0)1924 832631.

Opening Times: Monday to Sunday: 10am to 5pm | March to October: 10am to 6pm

Directions:If you are driving to Yorkshire Sculpture Park use postcode WF4 4JX for your Sat Nav directions. The museum is located just one mile from Junction 38 of the M1. Bus number 96 services run from Barnsley and Wakefield.

About the Museum

Winner of Museum of the Year Award 2014

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is unique in that it is the only museum of its kind in the UK. It isn't a museum in the traditional sense but more of an experience. This fabulous museum attracts thousands of visitors every week and won the coveted Museum of the Year Award 2014 from the Art Fund beating competitors who are highly regarded in their fields. The £100,000 prize is of course very welcome and will swell the parks coffers somewhat, while the award follows the parks busiest year ever in 2013 hosting many famous exhibitions from equally famous names.

Exquisite Surroundings and Spectacular Exhibits

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is sited in five hundred acres of amazing eighteenth century parkland on the Bretton Estate. As well as superb outdoor sculptures there are four galleries inside the house and as we found when we visited the museum visitors can spend hours touring the indoor exhibits along with perusing the fascinating outdoor sculptures. There is even an underground gallery which is fairly new to YSP, while our five year old was transfixed by the sculptures that dwarfed us all as we walked around the park.

We were very lucky as this visit coincided with exceptionally warm weather that served to enhance the look of the gardens, woodland and lakes although as you will see if you visit the park anytime soon that even in winter time the sculptures and scenery look magnificent so don’t let winter conditions put you off! In fact every season brings something different therefore why not visit the park as the seasons change to see what the place has to offer.

Entry to the park is free therefore visiting Yorkshire Sculpture Park is an inexpensive day out for all the family. You do have to pay for the car park but then you can't have everything! Visitors will need to wear comfortable footwear as the park is very spread out but with all the lovely scenery and great works of art to see walking is a real pleasure with time passing very quickly. We have visited Yorkshire Sculpture Park many times and it never fails to please. Why not add YSP to your list of must visits you will not be disappointed.

What's on at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Coming in March 2015 is the Henry Moore Back to the Land Exhibition, we will definitely be going back to the park in March for this one. Henry Moore of course isn't to everyone's taste so why not take a look at illustrator Emily Sutton's work which is very pretty or join in her two hour hat making workshop that is suitable for kids age four to ten.

The Barbara Hepworth exhibition is another must see especially as Barbara was born and brought up in the area of Wakefield where the park is located. Barbara is local girl made good and her work is amazing. Andy Goldsworthy is another superb artist whose work can be seen at the park along with Dennis Oppenheim whose trees hang with items such as basins and toilets making for a very unusual sight. YSP hosts many family friendly events details of which can be found at the website.

Outdoor exhibits not to miss at YSP include

  • Iron Tree by Ai Weiwei
  • Anthony Caro Sculptures
  • Anthony Gormley Work Gormley created the Angel of the North Statue
  • The Ha-Ha Bridge by Brian Fell. (Look for the words Ha Ha in the sides of the bridge)
  • Elisabeth Frink Sculpture
  • Greek style summer house
  • Land locked boat house

Further information regarding outdoor exhibits can be found at the website.

Our Verdict

Naturally as we have kept returning to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park you will have deducted that we love the place and you would be right! Set in amazing rolling countryside the outdoor experience is unique and not to be missed. Even if you are not a sculpture fan or don't understand the exhibits we find we still enjoy looking at them and trying to work out in some cases what they are or in others what they represent.

There is so much to see and do here, while as the award winning  YSP is a unique international centre for modern and contemporary art why not bring a little culture into yours and you child's lives by taking a look at what there is to see. Yorkshire Sculpture Park is really family friendly with great staff who welcome kids to run around in the grounds to their hearts content.  Most museums do not tolerate children touching the exhibits, but not here.

YSP has no objection to the kids touching the sculptures, while there a plenty of great woodland walks for families to enjoy. Oh and don't forget to take the kids to the Magical Shell Grotto. Some of the best artists in the world have exhibited and are exhibiting their work here, while the estate itself is a beautiful setting in which to spend a day. Souvenirs may be bought in the park shop or online along with more expensive artists work. Don't take our word for it visit the park today you will not be disappointed!

Location and Opening Hours

If you are driving to Yorkshire Sculpture Park use postcode WF4 4JX for your Sat Nav directions. There is a car park that costs £8.00 for the day, £5.00 for up to two hours and £2.50 for one hour. These charges may seem steep but all the proceeds go back into the upkeep of the park. There is also a bus service, number 96 that runs from Wakefield and Barnsley to the park.

As for opening times there is a comprehensive list at the website. Times change according to the time of year and days of the week, while times also differ for different areas of the park too. YSP has a fully licensed restaurant along with two cafes serving snacks and drinks. Picnics are also facilitated in the park.

Visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park official website.