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The sculpture scene of the UK has developed into one of the hottest tourist attractions on the continent and offers the ideal cultural outdoor activity this summer! We’ve searched up and down the country to find five of the best outdoor art exhibits that are sure to inspire you…
Public Art in Portsmouth
The UK’s only island city offers a grand exhibition of British history. Awaiting you on the Public Art in Portsmouth tour are the commanding monarchs, brave heroes, and daring explorers of Great Britain - you’ll even see a whale crashing into terra firma in Richard Farringdon’s ‘The Whale’s Tail’!
Throughout the year you can find a thrilling itinerary of walks and talks, opening your eyes and ears to the rich and fascinating history of the southern city. Not far from the city centre and only 45 minutes from its neighbouring city in Southampton, the tour promises a unique and educational experience for all ages.
Yorkshire Sculpture ParkRiace by DncnH/CCBY (image size has been modified)
A pioneering outdoor art exhibit, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park attracts over 40,000 annual visitors – and not just because it’s pretty! The only sculpture park of its kind, it aims to ‘challenge, inspire, inform and delight’ and is the centre for modern and contemporary art.
YSP’s open air displays are home to the work of some of the world’s finest and most accomplished artists, such as Roger Hiorns, Julian Opie and Marc Quinn, and its four stunning galleries showcase a number of fascinating exhibitions. The park also runs talks, tours, workshops, and events- take a look at what’s on to start planning your trip!
The Sculpture Park can be found just outside the city of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, around a half hour drive from Leeds City Centre.
'Bells II' by Kris Martin by Loz Pycock/CCBY (image size has been modified)
Sculpture in the City
Found in the heart of London, the Sculpture in the City exhibition offers more pieces of eye-catching genius than ever before. Now in its third year, the free and simply outstanding exhibition stretches for miles across Central London, and houses iconic installations such as Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture, as well as Jake and Dinos Chapman’s trifecta of giant, steel dinosaurs.
Standing on the north bank of the Thames, the exhibition is widely accessible through various means of public transport.
Another Place Sculptures
Sunset light (explored) by Beverley Goodwin/CCBY (image size has been modified)
Antony Gormley’s spectacular Another Place sculptures can be found standing tall and proud on the shores of Crosby Beach in Merseyside. Consisting of 100 cast-iron, life size figures that stretch across 3 kilometres of the beach and 1 kilometre out to sea, the figures, each a cast of Gormley’s own body, stare out at the horizon in a strong and pensive fashion.
The sculptures have made their way around a lot of Europe, having seen the sights of Cuxhaven in Germany, Stavanger in Norway, and De Panne in Belgium, their latest home now just half an hour from the centre of Liverpool.
Riverside Sculpture Trail
Combining the past and present of the great Northern city in a breathtakingly beautiful display, the Riverside Sculpture Trailtook sculptor Colin Wilbourn, writer Chaz Brenchley, and the spirited people of Sunderland ten years to create.
The trail includes a ‘shadow’ of a hammerhead crane unique to the shipyards of Wearside, ‘Taking Flight’ - a five-stage cycle of a Cormorant taking off, and a collection of huge stone books outside the University Library – working together with the community, Wilbourn and Benchley created something instantly memorable.
Situated on the coast of Sunderland, the Riverside Sculpture Trail is only a short half hour trip from Gateshead.