BREATH OF FRESH AIR: Children can learn about art in the great outdoors at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Well, God’s Own County does, after all, boast world-famous sculptors in Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, and the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle (ysculpture.co.uk), a collection of art-focused institutions each within half an hour of each other, has put the county firmly on the map as the home of British sculpture.
First up is The Hepworth Wakefield, recently named Art Fund Museum of the Year.
Beyond that, there’s the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Each offer world-class exhibitions (and free admission), proving that the region is crammed with culture like never before.
Top contemporary art exhibitions and world-class sculptures have helped to earn The Hepworth Wakefield (hepworthwakefield.org) great acclaim.
Just six years old, it’s the largest purpose-built exhibition space outside London with large windows in the pitched roofs giving views of the river, historic waterfront and city skyline.
At the heart of its superb collection are a large number of pieces by Wakefieldborn Barbara Hepworth herself, donated by her family.
A few miles away next door to the Leeds Art Gallery, is the Henry Moore Institute (henry-moore.org), an international research centre as well as a gallery providing a year-round programme of historical and contemporary exhibitions.
Currently on show is a display titled Becoming Henry Moore (until February 2018) that focuses on his trajectory during his informative years from 1914 to 1930.
Visitors often visit a sculpture named ‘Mean Average’ by Tony Cragg
The Yorkshire Sculpture Park at West Bretton, near Wakefield (ysp.co.uk) is an open-air ‘gallery without walls’, with changing exhibitions throughout the year.
Once voted Museum of the Year and currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, the park is set in 500 acres of an historic landscaped estate, where families can introduce children to sculpture while having the freedom to run around. You can take the dog, too.
With hidden treasures to hunt for, it’s a real family-friendly venue. There are exhibitions in five indoor galleries too. On show until 22 April is the Circle of Animals display by Ai Weiwei, a collection of 12 animal heads representing the traditional Chinese zodiac.
Overlooking City Square, the imposing art deco Queens Hotel is one of the most famous landmarks in Leeds.
It’s in the ideal location, a stone’s throw from most of the city’s impressive shopping arcades and providing instant access to the nearby railway station, while its 1930s interior and luxurious rooms make it a glamorous and homely choice. Double rooms from £71 (0845 034 5777/ qhotels.co.uk).
A number of intriguing and thought-provoking pieces can be found in West Bretton, Yorkshire
The self-service restaurant at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park wins more points for its views of the park than the food (think hot roast beef baguettes and large slices of cake) but there are plenty of other more exciting culinary options.
Tattu (tattu.co.uk) serves classic dishes with an Asian twist in a dining room dominated by a cherry blossom tree. Highlights include Yorkshire beef ribs with shiitake mushrooms and a cumin jus plus kimchi crab cakes using crab from Whitby’s waters.
Alternatively, dine on seasonal British grub in the tasteful marble and dark oak interior of Crafthouse (crafthouserestaurant.com). Choose between cured salmon with beetroot and sesame and grilled grass-fed beef from the Orkneys, washed down with local Yorkshire lager.
Yorkshire is best known for its history, cricket and countryside
After a £500,000 renovation, Leeds Art Gallery (leeds.gov.uk) reopened a few weeks ago. The building itself is a work of art and now much of the gallery’s original glory including its Victorian tiled hall, previously hidden for decades, can be seen.
Yorkshire tourism: yorkshire.com