Amelia Earhart quote at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Visiting Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The hashtag for Yorkshire Sculpture Park is “art without walls” which perfectly sums up the experience of a visit.

The park, located in the 500-acre Bretton Hall estate, comprises of more than 100 outdoor sculptures and installations.

We found it was the perfect place to visit with children, as there is plenty of space for them to run around and explore. The artworks themselves also led to lots of interesting questions and observations from our little adventurer.

Discussing Damien Hirst’s “Charity”

Many of the artworks are tucked away behind hedges or amongst trees, so it is also fun for little ones (and big ones!) to keep their eyes peeled for new pieces.

With social distancing rules still in place in the UK, it is also a great place to get your art fix while maintaining an easy distance from other people.

The collection at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The open-air collection at Yorkshire Sculpture Park includes long and short term loans, as well as gifts from artists and site-specific commissions. We particularly enjoyed the Damien Hirst collection, and pieces from Joana Vasconcelos: Beyond.

Joana Vasconcelos at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Reflecting on Joana Vasconcelos’ “I’ll be your mirror”

One of the wonderful things about the setting is that the park itself plays a part in the art by providing a backdrop for it. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great during our visit, but the grey sky added an atmospheric feeling to some of the pieces. I imagine on a bright sunny day, visitors would have a totally different experience.

Lower Lake at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
A moody sky over the Lower Lake at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The park is also beginning to reopen some of its indoor galleries and there will be a number of exhibitions over the coming months.

Need to know information about Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Booking required

Currently due to covid-19, all visitors need to book a ticket in advance. Tickets are £6 per person (some concessions are available). Under 18s are free. 

Getting to Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park is seven miles from Wakefield and 20 miles south of Leeds. It is one mile from junction 38 on the M1. The park has two carparks, a main one for the park and a smaller one at The Weston Restaurant. The ticket price includes parking. 

Dog friendly

Dogs are welcome in the park, but must be kept on a lead and are not permitted in indoor spaces.

Accessibility at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

There is priority parking for Blue Badge holders and mobility scooters can be hired from the Visitor Centre. However some areas of the park have uneven terrain so it is recommended that users speak to staff about routes.

Food on site

Hot food is served at The Restaurant at The Weston and The Kitchen at YSP Centre. There are also a number of takeaway kiosks for hot drinks and light snacks. Visitors are also welcome to take their own picnic and we enjoyed eating ours while admiring the view over the Lower Lake.

For more days out in the area, check out my guide to the six best beaches in North Yorkshire.