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.).

Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


More Travel

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

Beautiful village hidden deep inside the Grand Canyon welcomes visitors Watch

Image of The tribe has plantations and weaves for livelihood.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Most tourists had been flocking annually to see the Grand Canyon. But there are only few knowledge and attention given to a tribe that has been living within its depths for the past 800 years. The Havasupai tribe has about 600 members, and is considered as the smallest ... continue reading

No longer lost, 'lost cities' still fascinating to visit in modern day Watch

Image of Persepolis, Iran, known as

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lost cities, built by ancient man, that have survived into the present day offer the modern traveler a fascinating glimpse into human history. Elaborate structures, some constructed by societies who had yet to invent the wheel or harness fire offer testament to ... continue reading

X-ray scanner reveals a mother's bizarre and dangerous smuggling attempt Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Airport staff at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines, were shocked after they discovered a sleeping infant inside a luggage through their X-ray scanner. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - It was later revealed that the two-month old ... continue reading

Why are hundreds of koalas being taken from their homes and killed? Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

700 koalas were taken from their homes and killed over a six month period in Australia. Put in secret culls, the authorities claim the heinous act was done to prevent overpopulation. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - From September 2013 to March 2014, a colony of ... continue reading

Top 3 most disgusting tourist destinations in the world Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Have you ever imagined yourself going out of your way just to see a bunch chewed gum stuck on walls? Or have you ever thought of skinny dipping in a pool of sake with a bunch of other people of all ages and size? Each one of us has probably had more than a hundred ... continue reading

BREATHTAKING: Fearless photographer climbs great heights to take amazing photographs (PHOTOS) Watch

Image of All of 20 years of age, death-defying photographer Esty Ilabaca scales buildings and mountains -- without a harness - to take truly breathtaking images on his travels around the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

All of 20 years of age, death-defying photographer Esty Ilabaca scales buildings and mountains -- without a harness - to take truly breathtaking images on his travels around the world. From Moreton on the Wirral, Merseyside, Ilabaca has parkoured -- a ... continue reading

For the adventurer in you: The top 10 exotic caves from around the world Watch

Image of The beautiful and hidden Actun Tunichil Muknal cave in Belize.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The hidden treasures of the world captivate the adventurous hearts of common people everyday. Caves are unique; no two caves are the same. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) Ancient civilizations used caves for places of worship or hiding. These caves were preserved and ... continue reading

Saint Kitts Railway takes visitors on a fascinating historical tour of the West Indies Watch

Image of It was decided that a railroad was most efficient way to transport the sugar from the island's dramatic interior to its capital, Basseterre. Between 1912 and 1926, narrow-gauge railroad tracks were built to meet the demand.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Saint Kitts, an island some 18 miles long and five miles wide, its west side bordering the Caribbean Sea and its eastern side facing the Atlantic Ocean, regularly attracts tourists. Greeting these visitors is the Saint Kitts Scenic Railway. Called the "last ... 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, Acts 9:26-31
26 When he got to Jerusalem he tried to join the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 22:26-27, 28, 30, 31-32
26 The poor will eat and be filled, those who seek ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:1-8
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the ... Read More

Reading 2, First John 3:18-24
18 Children, our love must be not just words or mere ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 3rd, 2015 Image

St. James the Lesser
May 3: St. James the Less, the author of the first Catholic Epistle, ... 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