Left to right: Swans by Simon Gudgeon, Sculpture by the Lakes; The Sculpture Park, Churt
Five of Britain’s Best Sculpture Parks
With Coronavirus restrictions starting to ease this spring, here are some inspiring outdoor art spaces to visit…
Pollination of Bees and Butterflies by Ruth Moilliet, Dance Macabre by Wilfred Pritchard and Agapantha by Jenny Pickford
The Sculpture Park, Churt, Surrey
Nestled in a quiet corner of Surrey, The Sculpture Park in Churt is home to one of the world’s largest year-round sculpture exhibitions with 300 sculptors showcasing 650 sculptures. Specialising in 20th century, modern and contemporary sculptures, most of the exhibits within the 10 acres of grounds are for sale, so the displays change regularly.
Visitors will enjoy walking the two-mile path which winds through woodland and lush gardens and wildlife-inhabited water gardens. The sculptures on display cover themes from animals to water creation sculptures and are made from a wide variety of materials including bronze, ceramic, marble, metal, and steel.
Left to right: ‘Athena’ and ‘Dancing Cranes’, both by Simon Gudgeon
Sculpture by the Lakes, Dorset
Nestled in 26 acres of Dorset countryside, Sculpture by the Lakes is an adults-only space (no under 14s or dogs admitted) for art lovers and collectors and was set up by renowned sculptor Simon Gudgeon and his wife Monique. Many of Simon’s works are dotted throughout the gardens and are recognisable by their minimalist, semi-abstract forms which depict both movement and emotion.
This spring, FORM. The Sculpture Exhibition (1st April – 16th May 2021) will display over 30 of the UK’s top sculptors with 100 outdoor sculptures and an additional 200 pieces within the galleries indoors. Other events planned include The Garden Festival (12th – 16th May), Rare Plant Fair (27th June) and a Wellbeing by the Lakes Festival (8th – 12th September) with meditation, live performances, healing therapies and expert talks.
Stay* nearby at The Priory Hotel.
Left to right: Cells of Life by Charles Jencks; and Joana Vasconcelos’ Gateway. Photos by Allan Pollok-Morris.
Jupiter Artland, Wilkieston, Edinburgh
Located just a few miles west of Edinburgh and founded in 2009, Jupiter Artland is a 100-acre sculpture park which is home to an extensive and growing collection of sculptures.
Normally open from May until September, an annual commissioning programme invites emerging and established artists to display their work with landscapes as a prominent theme. There are permanent artworks on display by celebrated artists such as Phyllida Barlow, Christian Boltanski, Charles Jencks, Anish Kapoor, Hamilton Finlay, Antony Gormley and Helen Chadwick, and five indoor gallery spaces with regularly changing installations.
Learning is at the heart of Jupiter’s ethos and pre-bookable free visits (with guided tours and practical hands-on workshops) are offered to nurseries, schools, colleges, universities, and community groups from anywhere within Scotland.
A small art and music festival called Jupiter Rising (28th – 30th August) takes place annually and includes live music, artist moving-image and film programmes, artist-led workshops, feasting and dancing.
© Jonty Wilde, courtesy of Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield
Twenty miles south of Leeds, Yorkshire Sculpture Park currently boasts an installation of four major sculptures by Damien Hurst (running until 1st April 2022), six works of art by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos (running until 9th January 2022) as well as up to 80 sculptures that can be viewed in the open air. Subject to lockdown restrictions easing, indoor exhibitions planned include Breaking the Mould (1st April – 13th June), an epochal survey of women’s sculpture from Barbara Hepworth to Eva Rothschild, and Annie Morris (July), the artist’s first UK solo museum show of tapestry works and sculpture.
The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, Gloucestershire
Established in 1986, The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail was one of the first to open in Britain and is a unique collection of world-class sculpture – both permanent and temporary – in a whimsical woodland setting. The trail stretches 4.5 miles and purple markers direct visitors towards many eye-catching works of art.
Sculptures include the Cathedral, a 15-foot-high stained-glass window designed by Kevin Atherton which is suspended above the forest floor; a deer made from steel rod and steel wire by Sophie Ryder and Keir Smith’s Iron Road where 20 railway sleepers with forest-inspired carvings have been laid on a disused railway embankment.
Stay* nearby at Ellenborough Park Hotel & Spa
*Please note that overnight hotel stays in the UK are not currently permitted.