Sunday I was invited to tag along with Catherine as she recce'ed a route for a Nordic Walking away day at Yorkshire Sculpture Park...All I can say is wow!!! It's such a brilliant concept, combining various works of art with a trail in the countryside. Most of the pieces are interactive, you can walk on it, around it, in it--there were only a few that were barricaded off to protect from damage. Some of it left me shaking my head wondering why it would be considered art but like beauty, it's definitely in the eyes of the beholder and it sparked a conversation so therefore the purpose was served. However the interior of the Deer Shelter Skyspace reminded me of the tornado shelters at the rest areas near Jarrell, Texas but with a hole in the roof, fairly sure that is not the intended effect!
Yes, you get to share the trail with sheep and cows
We also ended up being a part of the "scenery". there are always comments and smiles whenever people see you out walking with the poles but we ran most of the route on Sunday with them so there were even more than usual! It was quite fun though, it's the first time I'd went for an extended time Nordic running (we covered just over 4 miles). There were frequent stops to read the information plaques, take a few pics and to debate various works.
One particular piece that I didn't get the significance of until after Monday's class, was the Ha-Ha Bridge. A re-grouping and catch our breath stop was near a ha-ha wall and when it was pointed out to me and the purpose explained, it was an "Ohhhhhhhh! So that's what the bridge was all about" moment. A ha-ha would be built to keep livestock and deer away from an estate's gardens yet preserve the view across the grounds, sort of like an infinity pool only without the pool. You can see the sunken stone wall better in the pic on the right
My partner took several great photos of the sculptures nearer the main visitor centre and of one of the exhibits but he's not finished editing them yet. Hopefully I will have permission to share those in a later post. YSP is well worth visiting more than once because the exhibitions do change every so often. Parking is a bit steep at £8 per day but once you factor in that there's no other entry fee and you can pack in a lunch that doesn't seem to be so expensive after all especially if you car-share or have a large family. There is a cafe on site and a coffee shop is also available at Longside Gallery (approximately 2km away from the main centre) so even packing a meal is optional and if you are like me, a cheeky slice of cake is the perfect way to end a walk.