What it is Yorkshire Sculpture Park is 500 acres of rolling countryside dotted with world famous, inspiring and intriguing sculptures just 45 minutes’ drive from York. There
are some indoor gallery spaces, but this is really an outdoor day out that calls for strong footwear and an exploring state of mind.
What’s in it for kids – As well as a ton of bracing fresh air and a load of exercise in
stunning scenery, kids of all ages will love trying to work out the sculptures. We must have been asked ‘what’s that?’ by our four year-old and two-year-old a hundred times during our visit. They really enjoyed spotting the sculptures in shapes that they recognised and guessing what the less obvious ones might be. For firing imaginations, it’s a great place to go. There’s plenty of woodland to play in: we spent a lot of time hiding-and-seeking.
Where to eat – There’s a lovely restaurant and café serving a good selection of healthy,
hearty homemade food. Young children will enjoy the selection of sandwiches and snacks – ours certainly did. Highchairs are available, as are good baby-changing facilities. It’s not cheap to eat here, so picnics are popular.
Our verdict – Yorkshire Sculpture Park has fast become one of our favourite trips out. It’s a lovely way to spend the day, and the perfect antidote to the places we go that are full of playgrounds and other child-specific entertainment. Proof, if we needed it, that kids don’t need swings and slides to have a great day out. The fact it’s free is a bonus, too.
Good to know – Little ones with less stamina may struggle with all the walking, so pack a sturdy buggy/sling/carrier or be prepared to give into cries of ‘carry me!’ by the end of the afternoon. Pick up a map when you arrive to make sure you don’t miss anything.
The damage – Admission is free, but you’ll need to pay to park.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield WF4 4LG – www.ysp.co.uk
This article was first published in issue 2 (summer 2014) of the Little Vikings magazine