A visit to the world’s largest all year sculpture park
Tucked away in the Surrey Hills is a place that reminds me of Narnia. The Sculpture Park is the world’s largest all year sculpture park with more than 600 works of art nestled within 10 acres of wooded valley.
We discovered it while staying at Bel & The Dragon which is just across the road in Churt, Surrey. The park seemed like the perfect place to spend a bit of time with the girls before Mr Tin Box joined us for a weekend break. He’s been working in London, so staying in Surrey gave him a break from the regular weekend commute back to Devon.
To be honest, I hadn’t done any research about The Sculpture Park. After all, it would be one of those ‘does what is says on the tin’ type places, right? Well, I was wrong.
The world’s largest all year sculpture park
We arrived in Surrey on one of the coldest Friday afternoons I can remember for a long time. I bundled the girls up in their winter coats, hats and gloves ready for a wander. As we walked through the iron gates with two dragons watching our every move the frozen air swirled around us. We might as well have been stepping through the wardrobe.
Signs told us to follow the path to reception. This is where we paid our entrance fee (£10 for adults and £5 for children aged five to 15). There was also a sign politely asking parents to keep children under control around the art. I resolved to keep Tin Box Baby in the pushchair so I only had one pre-schooler to keep in check.
A few paces on we came across our first sculpture. And then another and another. Everywhere you turn in The Sculpture Park there are multiple examples of 20th Century modern or contemporary art. You can walk around and touch the majority of them so despite the brusk sigh at the entrance the park is actually really accessible for kids.
Routes to take around The Sculpture Park
There are 2.5miles of trails around woodland and three lakes, taking you on a tour of the ever changing exhibition. Most sculptures are for sale so you can never guarantee to see the same artwork twice. Having quickly studied the guide and map we were given at reception I knew there was no way we’d see all of the park in the hour I had allocated for our walk. I really had anticipated something much less grand! So I decided we’d stick to the green and blue trails around the middle and lower lakes. These looked the easiest to navigate on my own with the pushchair.
The yellow and red rails take you higher up the sides of the valley and have more steps but are said to be accessible if there are two adults to help with pushchairs.
I don’t know if it was the dramatic frozen landscape or the sheer number of sculptures that wowed me about this place. It was probably a bit of both. If you are in Surrey I can definitely recommend you seek out The Sculpture Park and see some of this stunning artwork for yourself.
Handy information for visiting The Sculpture Park
- Parking is free and is directly outside the park entrance on Jumps Road or you can use Bel & the Dragon’s overflow car park when this is full. The post code is GU10 2LH.
- There is no cafe at The Sculpture Park but we can recommend the food at Bel & The Dragon opposite the entrance. Or why not take a picnic? There are lots of places to sit and appreciate the view.
- There are toilets at the reception lodge.
- It’s recommended you allow two to four hours to see The Sculpture Park properly.
- The Park is open all year round from 10am until 5pm. This is with the exception of 23 December when its opening hours are 8.30am until midday. It is closed on 24 and 25 December.
- Dogs are allowed on a short lead.
Have you been to the world’s largest all year sculpture park in Surrey? Or can you recommend any others around the world?
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