On Sunday we went on a Yorkshire Sculpture Park photography day. I was keen to get out and use my new camera and improve my very basic photography skills. The Sculpture park seemed ideal as it is just over an hour from home and offered a walk in the country with plenty of objects to take pictures of. It is an award-winning open-air museum dedicated to large pieces of mainly 20th-century art.

The park

The sculpture park is in the grounds of Bretton Hall, it is not far from the M1 and so quite accessible to most of us. It costs £10 per car to park which seems expensive but there is no entry fee beyond that and there is so much to see that it is easily a full day out. MId-January and the car park was quite busy so I wonder if it would be quite full in the middle of the summer. You can bring your dogs too as long as they stay on their leads.

We arrived about 11.30 so decided that a quick bite to eat was in order before setting off around the park. It gave us the opportunity to study the free map of the park so we could see where the major “must see” pieces were sited. The food was quite pricey but reasonably healthy. With the profits all going to the charity you don’t mind quite so much.

There’s a shop selling arty gifts and mementoes again a bit pricey but nice quality.

Upright Motives Henry Moore
Upright Motives Henry Moore

Yorkshire Sculpture Park Photography

Having rained a lot recently we are both wearing stout boots. The going is a little soft underfoot so that’s something we don’t need to worry about. A quick hike across the Capability Brown landscaped garden finds us at the Henry Moore sculptures. These are big! There is so much bronze in them I wonder how he managed to create them.

Two forms Henry Moore
Two forms Henry Moore

These bronzes are huge, I could have used a different camera lens to capture their dominance of the area. Strange how I didn’t realise at the time how sexual these pieces are!

Reclining Figure with Arches Henry Moore
Reclining Figure with Arches Henry Moore

One of the great things about the park is the surprises you come across as you wander about. It is not just about the set pieces on the map, there are interesting finds around most corners.

Cooling Towers Sculpture
Cooling Towers Sculpture

At first, I thought these were rubbish bins before it was pointed out to me that they look like Cooling Towers. Yorkshire sculpture park photography isn’t just about the sculpture, there is loads of wildlife and the trees are something special too. Robin at the Sculpture park
I love Robins so couldn’t resist the chance to capture this sweetie.  We also saw squirrels in the magnificent trees and loads of different water birds on the lakes. DIgital sculpture

The sculptures are not all bronze. We happened across this digital one and there are one made of stone, and wood about too.

three heads
This trio of heads is from a series of 12 representing the Chinese Zodiac.

Zac Ove
Heres a corner of an exhibit by Zac Ove called Black and Blue: The invisible man and the Masque of Blackness. It reminds us of the terracotta army. Fortunately, there is an explanatory plaque with each exhibit so that we know what we are looking at.

texting man

As you can see, not all the exhibitions are traditional sculpture, this larger than life figure was standing just over the bridge.



Just look at this lovely Highland Cow or Coo. Every since our Scottish boating trip, I’ve wanted to capture a good picture of a Coo so this darling was an unexpected bonus.

The cows are in a wooded area and seemed almost oblivious to the tourists wandering close to them. They were far more interested in eating than having their photos taken.

There are woods to walk through and lakes to see with lots of birds and wildlife. We could see nesting herons but unfortunately, I could not get a decent photo.



As the afternoon was getting on we decided to wander back slowly and come across the Victorian Camelia house. Another unexpected opportunity at out Yorkshire Sculpture Park photography, I switch the lens to Macro and take a few flower snaps.


Barbara Hepworth Sculpture
Barbara Hepworth Sculpture

I was determined to see the Barbara Hepworth works before we left. These are a collection of tall abstract shapes know as the family of man. They were created circa 1970 from bronze. I love how some of the bronze has been allowed to go green whilst other areas are kept brown. Once you read the information plaques it seems obvious these are people.

Yorkshire sculpture park photography
I have a lot more photos but I suspect that’s enough for one blog. We missed out on seeing so much that I’m hoping for a return trip when the skies are a bit brighter.  Next time I would try and do things a little differently:

  • Arrive a bit earlier
  • Have more than one camera lens with me
  • But the full guidebook so I could read more about the sculpture.
  • Remember to pay for the car parking before setting off home. We had to go back which was a pain.

We thoroughly enjoyed our Yorkshire sculpture park photography day. Where to next to capture some interesting pictures and practice my photography? Any good ideas? I would love to hear about them.