Jo’s Monday walk : Yorkshire Sculpture Park


A damp, grey English day sounds just perfect for a visit to a 500 acre country park, don’t you think?  At least I didn’t need to fight off the crowds at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.  And the sheep seemed perfectly content.  What’s a little rain between friends?

It’s a place I’d wanted to visit for many a year, so I wasn’t going to be easily deterred.  I’d even taken note of the website, which suggested that sturdy shoes might be helpful.  The fact that I then left them in the boot of the car… well, some people never learn.


So, we’ve met the sheep.  If you pick up a map at the YSP Centre, you can then work your way around the sculptures.  A small ornamental garden sits below the main building and then the ground rolls away down to the lake.  The wisteria was just coming into bloom.

The shapes are interesting, though not necessarily to everyone’s taste.  Sticking to any kind of order was beyond me.  A glimpse of something through the veil of trees and I’d be off at a tangent.  There are marked paths, however, so you don’t need to stray, unless you want to.  The mossy pond gave me my first vision of rhododendron loveliness.

The first renowned piece of work was Molecule Man 1+1+1, by Jonathan Borofski.  Impressed, I examined it from many angles.


I don’t pretend to understand, but some things just draw the eye.  Barbara Hepworth’s Family of Man I found less appealing but, huddled there beneath the trees, I felt a certain sympathy.  The textures were beautiful.



Next in line (groan!) Magdalena Abakanowicz’s Seated Figures, but I didn’t get the photos to do them justice.  My eye was wandering off to a small stone and glass structure, sunk in gloom upon the lawn.  The door, temptingly ajar.


The Camelia House, and its bedraggled beauties.  White Rabbit or Mad March Hare?  I wasn’t sure, but I kept a wary eye on him.  And the horse!

And then there are the KAWS.  I don’t know that I entirely ‘get it’, but they are the reason for my presence in the park today.  An exhibition dedicated to them is set to end on 12th June, and my son is a fan.  Reading about them it seems that Brian Donnelly, a Brooklyn-based artist known as KAWS, focuses on ‘nostalgic characters in the process of growing up’.  There’s certainly pathos in his Disneyesque creations.


At this point the mizzle was getting a little heavier and there was a fair chance of getting seriously wet.  While the others made for one of the exhibition spaces, I couldn’t abandon my pursuit of nature so easily.  I was determined to reach the lake.

At Cascade Bridge I had choices to make.  The trail around Upper Lake appeared to offer more shelter from the weather, leading down into the woods.   Persistence found its reward when, deep in the woods, I came upon this dazzling display.



Aren’t they beautiful?  Despite the weather, or maybe because of it, I delighted in their radiance.  It was starting to get a little slippery underfoot and it was time to retrace my steps.  I had already decided that I would be back, to witness the park in all it’s Autumn finery.

We never did get to see the KAWS exhibition, much to my son’s disgust.  The Longside Gallery, where it was held, was on the far side of the park. Had I paid closer attention I would have observed the small pink shuttle bus making it’s round trip to the gallery, every 30 minutes.  Instead we contented ourselves with a quick look at the work of graphic artist Eduardo Paolozzi, and a cappuchino in the restaurant.  The deck beautifully overlooks the surrounding countryside.

Living in Leeds, our son is much closer to YSP than we are, and he intends to return this weekend.  IF he sends me any photos, I’ll share them on my Facebook page.  Meantime, you can read all about it and find details of how to get there on the YSP website.  Coffee time now, isn’t it?

walking logo

I have a wonderful selection of walks to share again this week.  Please make time to visit.  You really won’t be sorry.  Many thanks to all of you for sharing and for walking with me.  Details of how to join in are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  A click on the logo above will take you there.


Drake was quick off the mark this week with a very beautiful share :

For your eyes only

Then  along came Anabel, almost on my home turf!  Such a lovely place.  You’ll like it :


Meg took me gently strolling  through the streets of Warsaw, and down Memory Lane, in more ways than one :

Warsaw at dawn

I love introducing one blogging friend to another!  Susan, in California, meet Ann in the Ukraine :

Walking Chernigov, Ukraine

Jaspa shared life on an extremely grand scale, down in Buenos Aires :

Avenida 9 de Julio

Something a bit more challenging now, in a country I would love to visit.  Please go and say ‘hi’ :

Hiking in the Japanese Alps- Kamikochi to Nishi Hotaka hut

I also love reflections, shop window or otherwise :

Soho Reflections- Part 11 

Jude is the perfect companion for a garden stroll.  This one is delightful :

Garden Portrait : Bourton House

I’m reserving judgement on Denzil’s amusing walk, but I did visit Ostende, briefly, many years ago :

Walking the Belgian coast

Carol is taking us to the heights, in more ways than one, in Hawaii :

Walking up, Looking Down

If only the bench were free, I could sit with Gilly all day enjoying this one.  After our stroll, of course :

An Overbecks Stroll

That’s it for this week.  Although I’m showing you clouds, I’m happy to report that a tiny bit of sunshine has made it to north east England.  I hope to get out and enjoy it.  Take care and I’ll see you soon!






  1. I loved the journey I took with through the park, amazing sculptures and beautiful flowers that just love the English weather… Still wouldn’t change my home in sunny Spain though… Love to you x

  2. How extraordinary…so different, love it! The weather added to the effect. I particularly like the two men wrestling (?). I wouldn’t want to go there in the dark though…! You amaze me with all the places you visit and share with us. Such a beautiful place Yorkshire… thank you for taking me along dear Jo, even though as usual, I’m straggling… 😉 xx ❤

    1. You’re up there with the leaders, kid! 🙂 Thank you very much for your company, Sherri. I appreciate it. 🙂 I enjoy what I do and I hope it shows. Hugs!

      1. I love your company Jo…and your enjoyment shows and some. That’s why we keep coming back…for more!!! Big hugs right back at you lovely lady 🙂 xx

    1. Morning, Susan 🙂 At least I think it’s morning here! We have swirly fog outside and I’m hoping it just might lift and let some sun through before I go walking. Thanks a lot. I’ll pop over.

  3. Stunning, and very envious of you of your visit. Really must make sure I visit again next time I’m ‘upnorth’ 🙂
    Hope all is well with you, and that the sun has returned to your part of the world. Was very cold in Essex this week but this week has been glorious so far in Hampshire.

    1. Hiya Becky 🙂 The weather’s a bit up and down. Almost basking yesterday, grey today. Got to get those jobs done some time 😦 I’ll definitely go back in the Autumn- hopefully on a sunny one 🙂

  4. Ah the county of my birth “eeh by gum lass you did a great job in the rain and wrong shoes” My favourite was the lit up galloping horse but the rhododendrons sparkling in the rain and covered in rain drops were the stars of your walk Jo I’m pleased you persevered into the woods.

  5. Hi jo (I mean best pal) – ha

    The radiance of those flowers at the end had the radiant effect over here too! After the wonderful and varied art – wow is that diverse and I love how you said you “do not pretend to understand….” But I guess we let art be art….
    Thanks for this cel restive walk – – peace

    1. Morning sweetheart 🙂 (or G’nite 🙂 ) You know I like to spread a little joy, if I can. Always lovely to have your company, Yvette, and I know you’d love this place.

  6. Very interesting Jo thanks for posting about your visit! The floral displays are magnificent and the sculptures intriguing! I think it’s probably best just to wander round as the mood takes you, which you did – better weather would have certainly helped but now you have a good excuse to go back later in the year! I think you’re basking in sunshine at present – my dad says it’s been in the mid 20s in Yorkshire this week 🙂 We’ve just had our coldest June day for 5 years – a real blast of cold air from the southern polar regions apparently so well rugged up, heating fired up and loving the wood fire in the evenings! 🙂

    1. I thoroughly enjoyed it, Rosemay, despite the rain dripping down my neck. 🙂 We have had 2 and a half days of glorious sunshine, and that’s probably our ration for now. 😦 The coast is back down to 14C, but parts of the country are still basking. Huddle in that rug, hon. Summer will soon be back for you 🙂 🙂

  7. Amazing, on my to do list now – didn’t know it, even I have been both in Nottingham, Leeds and Manchester several times – visited Yorkshire Moor too, but this was the more northern Yorkshire – really enjoyed this wonderful walk… 🙂

  8. Absolutely loved reading about this! Reminds me of the outdoor sculpture park “Storm King” in the Hudson Valley outside of NYC. Yorkshire looks beautiful – the flowers are amazing:).

    1. We have some fabulous places to visit, if only we can find time, don’t we? This one is free too, I’d forgotten to mention. The girls would love this place. Many thanks for your company. 🙂

    1. There’s so much I don’t know about art! KAWS has become a worldwide brand. If I ever get to the States again it would have to include San Fran. Thanks for taking me there. 🙂

  9. Art is so subjective, Jo. I loved some of these pieces (molecule man was my favourite) – but others just seemed to fall flat. This reminds me of the gallery where someone left their glasses on the floor and others thought it was part of the art work! 😀 But it’s always wonderful to walk through places like this (particularly with you – even though I didn’t have proper shoes on either) 😉 The flowers are absolutely magnificent xxxx

    1. It’s a big space, Dianne, so you never feel like you are tripping over the artworks (and believe me, I would! 🙂 ) Nature is still what you see first despite the scale of some of the pieces. I loved it. 🙂

  10. I enjoyed “our” walk through the sculpture garden today, Jo. The sculptures were fine (especially the silver ones dotted with water), but I really like the effects of nature: the mossy pond, rhododendrons, camellias, and the emerald green grass. Always a treat to see where you tread.

    1. It doesn’t have to be posted on a Monday, Liesbet. It can be any day, up to and including Sunday, so I can include it the following day 🙂 Many thanks! I’ve had a busy day so I’ll be with you as soon as I can.

  11. I love the ball with raindrops and reflection and the Barbara Hepworth. And I’m glad you persevered to the lake. I smiled at your account of being attracted off at tangents: I saw you in action in Łódż!

    1. Jo, the headless chicken! Maybe kid in a sweet shop is more flattering 🙂 I did have a ball, literally, Meg. It was so worth the wait. More sunny hugs this morning. 🙂 🙂

  12. Sculptures are always such a personal thing. Some you love, some you hate, some you haven’t a clue what they are supposed to be. I liked the metal spheres, didn’t like the KAWS if that is what the large doll-like figures are. I do admire YOUR persistence in carrying on with the camera in the rain! And you have reminded me that I was going to write about the sculptures in my local sculpture garden – again some interesting ones, others, well you’ll find out shortly…

    1. It’s a deal! 🙂 I needed to interrupt the flow of Poland as it was getting a bit sentimental and samey, and the deadline is this weekend for anyone interested in the exhibition. If we’d had time I would have gone in out of curiosity, but we’d already been in search of a car bumper in Dewsbury, and into Leeds for lunch.

  13. Haha being from Barcelona I’d say that rainy weather would deter me from a walk (which actually happened last Saturday 😉 ), but I’m happy it didn’t stop you or we wouldn’t have discovered the scuptures park. So interesting that they filled the park with scuptures, and the flowers do look beautiful with the water droplets. So nice also that you had the company of your son!
    I haven’t written about any walks lately but there’s a walk in this post, a little bit mixed with some history of the place and conversations with locals. I guess it can be considered a walk though:
    Have a nice week!

  14. Oh, fascinating! I like the sculptures around the park. Could you perhaps share a bit more about the metal spheres? Something about them laid around captures my attention.

  15. RJo – The words ‘sculpture garden’ always makes me smile – are they sculptures? is it a garden? – and it turns out, they are both, and so delightful. Thanks for the link-up with Ann. Such fun the blogging world is!

  16. That sure is a diversity of statues! Now, I command the sun to come out, so you will not need sturdy footwear anymore, and you can happily forget it at home or in the car. 🙂

  17. quite an array of interesting works of art, Jo! the molecule man art is quite impressive! and the flowers so lovely but the sheep stole my heart 🙂 your enthusiasm and great post brightened up the damp, grey English day! thank you! 🙂

  18. What an interesting park Jo! I love all the cool sculptures. It was really rainy when we were in London and I’ve heard about the floods in Paris. So I suspect you’ve had a rainy month too. So have we here but it is so green and the flowers are amazing. Problem is the mosquitos are all going crazy too now with the rain!

  19. The grey background leant a special beauty to your photos – thanks for persisting. I love your first photo of the meadow with sheep around the tall silvery statue! It is surreal and the two figures seem to be floating in a wonderful way.

    1. I’m glad you liked that one. There were a couple of shots I wasn’t going to include because they’re not very distinct with the pale skies, and that was one of them. 🙂

  20. Nice moody skies Jo. Oh, the English weather. My son got married on Saturday, the forecast was awful but the weather was perfect. Who needs the Met Office? Not sure about those statues I have to say!

      1. I did mention that we were going to be there but at that stage we hadn’t decided on an itinerary. It’s pretty much sorted now. Our daughter is living in Manchester, so we will be there first. Then she is coming to the Lakes District and Yorkshire with us. I’m also hoping to catch up with Jude in Cornwall before the northern adventure.

      2. Fabulous! The YSP will fit then. 🙂 I’m hoping to see Jude in September too, but up in Edinburgh. Funny old blogging world we have 🙂

  21. I loved sculptures very much, I have never seen such interesting ideas! This ball reflecting nature scene was fantastic! I found out a lot today! Thank you, Jo, for introducing Susan to me, it’s a great surprise! Hugs!

  22. I like sculpture out doors even if the work isn’t to my taste. And I especially like the first mercurial structure among the sheep (a pelvic girdle?). The sheep do seem to bring something to the work, though now I’ve seen the skeleton connection I’m beginning to think lamb chops, which is not so good :). A great day out though, Jo. Thanks for braving the rain in the wrong shoes.

  23. What a shame the weather wasn’t entirely on your side! But it looks like a great day anyway.
    such a wonderful mix of nature and man-made art. And you have captured it well,Jo – always a challenge without help from the weather

  24. I’ve read about this a few times now and really must get myself there some day. We have something a bit similar in Jupiter Artland near Edinburgh which we visited last weekend. It might make it as a Monday Walk some day. In the meantime, thanks for mentioning Lindisfarne and I hope to have my final Northumbrian instalment ready for you today.

    1. Wonderful, Anabel- thanks a lot :). I think you can see the park is well worth a visit, and free too, apart from parking. Forgot to mention that in the post.

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