Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Patrick Cant

4/13/2009 (6 years ago)

McClatchy Newspapers (

Contra Costa Times (MCT) - I wager there are few museums where rubber boots are the preferred footwear. Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Bretton, near Leeds, England, is a rubber boot museum. Or at least hiking boots.


By Patrick Cant

McClatchy Newspapers (

4/13/2009 (6 years ago)

Published in Travel

The 500-acre site is beautiful rolling parkland with sculptures scattered about, connected by hiking trails. Cows, sheep, swans and other fowl also populate the landscape.

Tour buses visit the park, but a car is probably your best option.

From the parking lot (4 pounds, the only entrance fee), visit the front desk inside the gallery for a map, then head out into the countryside. On a bracing morning in late February, it was a cold endeavor, but well worth the walk.

The works displayed at YSP cover a wide range of what you might define as "sculpture." There are traditional metal and stone statues, avant garde modern form expressions, site-specific pieces that make use of the weather to create art and water features, as well as a traditional gallery for more delicate exhibitions.

One draw for me was Andrew Goldsworthy's work. He is an English sculptor who works with natural materials to create often fleeting pieces of art. He covers dark stones with brightly colored leaves and photographs them before the rain washes the leaves away. He works in stone, frost, rain, ice, snow, boulders, leaves, tree branches and more.

He also makes more permanent pieces, including an installation at the new de Young Museum in San Francisco. A crack runs through the stone foyer, including the larger stone "benches" in the area right in front of the doors.

At YSP, there are three Goldsworthy pieces, including a sheep fold (a set of stone fences to hold and sort sheep) that includes a "shadow" stone of sorts. In rain or snow, if you lie on the stone for a while and then get up, you leave a shadow in your form on the flat surface.

"Hanging Trees," another Goldsworthy piece, is composed of three boxes inserted into a stone fence, with fallen trees suspended in the boxes. It's quite stunning to come across in the forest, as is the haunting "Outclosure in Round Wood," an imposing wall closing off a part of the forest floor from the rest of the woods.

Another stunning piece is James Turell's "Deer Shelter." Looking like a stone barrow from the uphill side, and a mausoleum from the downhill side, it's actually a square room with an open roof and white walls that change color depending on the sun and the sky. On a gray day in February, the light was almost ethereal.

Two kilometers south of the YSP center is Longside Gallery, suitable for larger indoor exhibits.

On the way back from the Longside Gallery, a giant, floating eye hovers over the path. I admit, my inner geek went immediately to Lord of the Rings and Sauron's fiery floating eye, but this looks more like a burlap tapestry, with the shading coming from the thickness of the strands.

Because you have to hike to see the installations, you will want a map. There are a lot of pieces to see and a lot of ground to cover, so you may want to pick and choose. From the YSP center you go downhill toward the center of the park, then climb up to the far end. It's not the easiest of hikes. Some pathways are uneven because of tree roots in the forest, and the paths are open to mountain bikers, so keep your eyes open.

That said, it is a tremendous museum. Walking along in the countryside and coming across the installations is like a great Easter egg hunt.

At the far end of the land, we came to "Basket #7." "Oxley Bank," a two-story structure designed by Winter/Horbelt as a lookout/rest spot/gathering location. In the high wind, the mesh walls didn't offer much shelter, but the views were worth the climb.

Back at the YSP center, a hot cup of tea was just the right antidote to cold fingers and toes.

The gallery itself was filled with work from Isamu Noguchi, and some of his striking stone pieces also were in the courtyard. Noguchi was a stoneworker, industrial designer, landscaper and even designer of theater sets.

The gallery, made up of seven or eight rooms fronting a glass wall, is open only as long as there's light. Although the hallway has a few ceiling lights, the galleries themselves are lit only by the sun.



GETTING THERE: Yorkshire Sculpture Park ( is one mile from junction 38 of the M1 (coming from London), close to Leeds. Signs will direct you off the freeway.

WHEN: Open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (10 a.m.-5 p.m. in winter). Museum store and cafe close at 4 p.m. Car park gates locked at 6:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. in winter).

ADMISSION: 4 pounds for parking.

WHAT TO BRING: Solid hiking boots, or at least shoes you don't mind getting muddy.


© 2009, Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.).


More Travel

4 of the world's tallest and most intense roller coasters bring new excitement to amusement parks Watch

Image of


Amusement parks have been soaring to new heights - literally. As thrill-ride seekers experience the gift of advancing technologies in increasing speed and velocity on park rides, the fun does not stop there. North America has four out of five of the world's giga ... continue reading

World's largest airplane set to take off next year Watch

Image of


With ambition to further revolutionize aerospace technology and outer space research, a megaplane is currently under construction to become the biggest aircraft in the world. Named Stratolaunch Carrier, the world's biggest airplane is set to fly out next year for the ... continue reading

'Ghost Hunters' receive shocking, unexpected surprise when searching abandoned hospital Watch

Image of


A group of "ghost hunters" shockingly discover a dead body, belonging to an old lady, inside the abandoned Kuhn Memorial State Hospital in Vicksburg, Mississippi on the night of June 28, 2015. The hospital has been deserted for two decades. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading

15 amazing summer hacks you can't go on vacation without Watch

Image of


Whether you are headed over to an exotic island in the tropics or off to some beautiful scenic destination in Europe for the summer, be sure to use some of these cool tips that will come in handy for you and the rest of your family. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading

New floating hotel: Serene, amazing, surrounded by nature Watch

Image of


Salt & Water design studio's project is a total work of art that offers fine, beautiful luxury. The floating hotel houses catamaran apartments and is designed to present guests with an opportunity to celebrate the impeccable view of nature surrounding them. ... continue reading

List of the most at-risk cities for terrorist attacks in the world Watch

Image of September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, New York.


In a list that ranks cities around the world on terrorist attack risk, based by a study from Verisk Maplecroft for its new Global Alerts Dashboard (GAD), Baghdad is at the top, as the city with the highest risk of terrorist attacks. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading

Airplane staff reveals the shocking gruesome secrets of airplane hygiene Watch

Image of


Staff from an airline cabin crew claims that airplanes are a health risk, due to improper use of facilities by passengers and the lack of consequent sanitation by maintenance. The research team found that the dirtiest parts of the plane might be those we never thought ... continue reading

How safe is your country? Interactive homicide map shows the world's most dangerous places to live Watch

Image of The Murder Map shows the most dangerous places.


Some news may frighten us about the security of our own community, as many people are victims of violence and are murdered everyday. It may seem to us, that our homes are not safe anymore. Yet, according to a database map, we may be living in a relatively safe location ... continue reading

How to explore the world without the cost: Tips from an experienced traveler Watch

Image of


With his eBooks "How To Fly For Free" and "How To Find Cheap Flights," Scott Keyes is sharing his secrets on  how he travels the world without it costing him a penny. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Keyes hit the headlines first for having a plan to ... continue reading

Plane passengers' safety IN DANGER: Terrorists may hack on board Wi-Fi Watch

Image of


An alarming report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) explains that terrorists can now threaten plane passengers' safety with access to the plane's on board Wi-Fi. Although the reports doesn't specify whether this is going to be an easy thing for ... continue reading

All Travel News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Thessalonians 4:1-8
1 Finally, brothers, we urge you and appeal to you in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 97:1, 2, 5-6, 10, 11-12
1 Yahweh is king! Let earth rejoice, the many isles ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 25:1-13
1 'Then the kingdom of Heaven will be like this: Ten ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 28th, 2015 Image

St. Augustine of Hippo
August 28: St. Augustine of Hippo is the patron of brewers because of his ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook

Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter