Skip to main content

Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

25 August 2011

This was my last visit for the foreseeable future to the Peoples Republic of South Yorkshire. I went down to pick Sal up and bring her back home after she had spent a week with her parents. We had agreed beforehand to visit The Yorkshire Sculpture Park on our way back. I went about 15 years ago and found it an interesting place so I knew it would be Sal's cup of tea.


We met up in the Red Lion as we normally do and had a drink before heading up the M1. The weather was kind to us but the park very busy so we had to park in the Learning Centre Car park. This threw me a bit as but we worked on the theory that if we continued downhill then we would eventually get to the Lake and I would then know where I was.

One of the first series of sculptures we came across were of large rabbits or hares with human bodies, most strange.

thing was certain was, the sculpturer was an "arse" person. 10/10 for the peachy posteriors ;)

Next was a beautiful glass building called Camellia House which was full of trees and vines with a waterfall in the centre.........

............ then outside was a sculpture made out of old toilets and sinks!

Eventually we found our way to the lake and walked up to the main bridge and along the path on the far side which gave lovely views across to Bretton Hall.

The hall opened as a College in 1949, specialising in design, music and the visual and performance arts. Its graduates include three of the four League of Gentlemen creators/performers, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith.

Most significantly it was from Bretton Hall College that Yorkshire Sculpture Park emerged - founded by one time Bretton Hall lecturer Peter Murray CBE.

We eventually came to a lovely little bridge with stepping stones. As if on cue, a cow appeared and walked across the stones to the far bank giving a lovely photo opportunity.

The next piece of work on our travels was the Seventy One Steps by David Nash

Quote "The intervention consists of seventy one oak steps, carefully charred and oiled, which follow the lie of the land up the hill. The steps are embedded in thirty tons of coal, to create a useful artwork that will gradually erode as it is walked on.

The steps are an evolution of an abiding theme within Nash's sculpture that connects up and down, root and branch, and inspired by his primary interest in wood and trees.

as the description said, they were steps and there was 71 of them!

Next up was some Henry Moore rubbish. Neither of us could see the point of any of it so we took the piss and then beat an hasty retreat to the tat and coffee shop. Nuff said.

On the way we passed Nomad by Jaume Plensa which I thought was really impressive. 

Sal missed out on her "tat fix" for the second week running. A broken woman, she retreated to the coffee shop where we sat out on the balcony overlooking the park. Time was getting on so we decided to saunter back to the car but we were both of the opinion that we had missed out on so much and decided to come again and give ourselves plenty of time. We particularly wanted to see the the full Jaume Plensa exhibits but we thought we had missed them.

We wearily walked out of the Visitor Centre to go back to the car and there they were in front of us. I'm not really into sculpture or the Arts much but I found Jaume Plensa's work amazing and I'm sure Sal did as well.

I don't think we saw the full exhibition either, I think a lot of it was inside but there is always another time. Time was pressing on and we had to get home, also the Sculpture Park was starting to close.

On the way out Sal took some rather risque photos of Elizabeth Frink's "the naked men with white faces and tackle out" which caused a bit of a commotion!! We had done quite well. As I recall, this was the only Sal "giddy" moment of the day and that was my fault as well.

We headed back up the M1 only to hit the rush hour traffic on the M62. The journey back seemed to take a lifetime but we still managed a last drink in the Sun at Cottingley, not really our cup of tea but needs must!

 I can thoroughly recommend YSP but make sure you have plenty of time to see the exhibits and walk around the full site. It is a big place, we don't do things by halves in Yorkshire :)

This was another cracking day out and nice to do something different, thanks Sal.

Popular posts from this blog


These are just a selection of photos I took a few weeks ago. The first bunch are of Linton Bridge and the River Wharfe just outside Grassington. The concrete retaining walls of Linton Mill by the side of the bridge now support a housing development called ‘Linton Falls’. A corn mill has probably stood on this site from Medieval times. In 1788, Robert Hargreaves & Co of Addingham built a worsted-spinning mill there. Soon after a new tenant, Samuel Gill, and until 1804, his partner James Parker, turned the mill over to spinning cotton. By 1830 it had returned to worsted spinning under the ownership of J & W Birkbeck. Birkbecks then built a five-storey cotton mill on the site in the mid-19th century. This mill burnt down in 1912 and was replaced by a smaller structure. This went out of business during the 1950s. It was demolished in 1983 apart from the houses facing onto the footpath that crosses the river. Prior to demolition, the mill’s rare uniflow steam engine was rescued an…

Derwent Valley, Castleton and The Devil's Arse!

I had this day out and took these shot's at the beginning of June when all the rape was in bloom in the fields above High Bradfield. The cloud cover was kind to me as well, letting the sun burst through intermittently,  lighting up the yellow fields beautifully.

I love this area which is on the edge of The Peak District and can't thank Sal enough for introducing me to it. The view over Bradfield Dale to the distant Derwent Edge is one of our favourites and has to be one of the loveliest in the area. Coupled with this are a pair of nice pubs, a beautiful Church and a brewery which makes Bradfield an ideal stopping off point. No pubs for me today though.

Sal had often mentioned The Derwent Valley so I thought I'd go and have a bit of an explore and then drive on to Castleton. The moor road over to the main A57 passing Strines resounded with the call of the Curlews so I presumed it was their mating season. I love their call, it is an unmistakable, plaintive, and lonely …

The Old Brown Horse :

On the minor road to Scarness Bay in Cumbria, there has been a small stable where 2 two horses have lived for years. On passing it the other week with Dave and Chris, we noticed an R.I.P sign and only one horse. He or she looked so sad and forlorn.

As shown in it's eyes, it was obviously missing it's old mate. Thanks to Sal for the verse which it is rather apt.

The Old Brown Horse :

The old brown horse looks over the fence
In a weary sort of way.
He seems to be saying to all who pass:
“Well, folks, I've had my day-
I'm simply watching the world go by,
And nobody seems to mind,
As they're dashing past in their motor-cars,
A horse who is lame and half-blind.”

The old brown horse has a shaggycoat,
But once he was young and trim,
And he used to trot through the woods and lanes
With the man who was fond of him.
But his master rides in a motor-car,
And it makes him feel quite sad
When he thinks of the days that used to be, and of al…

Swinsty Reservoir

With the Lakes and Yorkshire Dales becoming increasingly more popular, its good to know that you have quieter places on your doorstep where you can escape for a few hours. Swinsty Reservoir and Fewston Reservoir in the Washburn Valley are such places. Obviously they get busier at weekends but midweek they can be havens of tranquility with robins, blackbirds and bluetits never far away and always singing their happy tunes. Mind you at Swinsty,  the geese and ducks which congregate by the picnic area can make a right racket but these can soon be left behind.

Sal came with me today and it was the first time she had been in the area. Give her a camera, a bit of nature and she will disappear in to her own little world. Come to think of it, that's exactly what I tend to do as well. I think we compliment each other, I usually see the landscape opportunities whilst she see the more creative and quirky things which I tend to miss. I am told that I'm getting better at spotting them these…

Out with the old, in with the new.

Nearly two years ago I decided to buy a mirrorless four thirds camera as my DSLR gear was getting a bit too heavy to carry about when I was out walking in the Lakes and Dales. I plumped for the Fujifilm X-T1 which was marketed as being an enthusiasts camera i.e. you can use it in manual, aperture, shutter speed modes as well as the normal program mode where everything is set for you. It was a brilliant camera and everyone raved about it but, try as I may, I never really got on with it. And I did try, I tried for nearly two years to like it.

I think my problem was that there was just too much on it. There were dials here there and everywhere and frequently I would accidentally move one which would either overexpose or underexpose my photos plus lots of things were menu driven as well. For example if I wanted to take a close up photo I would have to troll through the menu system and turn the macro setting on and then do the same to turn it off. For someone who is as blind as a bat and…

To Lochinver via Coigach

Again, I don't really think many words are needed for this blog. The photos tell the whole story of one of the best drives in the UK.

The route chops and changes from mountain to coastal and back again and is possibly the best section of the Wester Ross Coastal Road. I was fortunate enough to be at Gruinard Bay when the tide was out so I more to less had the whole beach to myself, th the mighty An Teallach (widely regarded as the best hill in Scotland) towered above me as I drove down through Dundonnell.  Then it was through the Dundonnell River gorge and across the Dundonnell Forest to Loch Broom and Ullapool. Even Ullapool looked good with the morning sun and blue skies. I hardly met any traffic at all from the moment I left my hotel on the shores on Loch Maree which meant driving was a sheer pleasure.

The last section of the route through Coigach to Lochinver is the reason I keep visiting these parts. It may only be about twenty miles in length but it goes through what is, in m…

Icy Morning on Coppice Pond

After a few days of gloomy weather, it was nice to see the sun in the sky again and, as usual for this time of year, a clear day means a frosty day. I was on my way to do some shopping so just popped in to St Ives to stretch my legs and give the camera an airing.  There was plenty of wildlife about: squirrels, robins, jays, ducks, geese and swans but not the elusive heron. I haven't seen it up there for months, you can usually spot in on the island hunting for its food. Maybe it has found easier pickings elsewhere.

All the autumn colours have just about disappeared now but I did find an oak tree which had the full range of colours on its leaves. I think I managed to capture a few nice shots with some being a bit different from the norm so the visit was worthwhile.