Best Sculpture Parks in the UK
  • HOME

Best Sculpture Parks in the UK

Where to see sculpture al fresco

‘Sculpture is an art of the open air’, once said Henry Moore. Anyone who has visited an outdoor gallery will know this to be true: set amid natural surroundings, art forms take on a new meaning. Gardens and sculptures complement one another. The UK is filled with beautiful sculpture parks, housing works from internationally renowned artists – and since we’re living in the age of al fresco, there’s never been a better time to explore them. From Cornwall to Edinburgh, here are some of the best sculpture parks the UK has to offer.

The C&TH Art Hub

Best Sculpture Parks in the UK


Photo 1 of
Chelsea Barracks Sculpture Trail

Chelsea Barracks’ Sculpture Trail

Following the debut of its first sculpture trail, Chelsea Barracks has launched a second – this one themed around environmentalism. The public art walk will feature pieces by world-class artists, with two works sourced from the prestigious Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, which this year had a climate theme. Highlights will include Petroc Sesti’s Tree Beacon, emerging from the development’s central water feature; Walter Bailey’s Tenderness is Complicated, made from sustainably sourced wood; and Douglas White’s Black Palm, situated amongst the greenery of Mulberry Square. This focus on sustainability reflects the wider ethos of the Chelsea Barracks development, which was awarded LEED Platinum status in 2021, making it the most sustainable development in Europe.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

This expansive open-air gallery dates back to 1977, when an art teacher named Peter Murray decided to set up a sculpture park in the grounds of a Georgian mansion. Over 40 years on, Yorkshire Sculpture Park stands as one of the country’s best outdoor art spaces. You could spend hours exploring it, with 500 acres of countryside housing works by numerous internationally famous artists such as Antony Gormley, Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. Alongside the permanent pieces, the park holds regular exhibitions – current offerings include a show from Damien Hirst and the first major European exhibition of works from American artist Robert Indiana.

Carden Park Estate

Carden Park Estate

Cheshire’s country estate Carden Park Hotel recently got even more beautiful thanks to a new sculpture garden. Curated by Grant Ford, BBC’s Antiques Roadshow expert, the collection is set against the backdrop of the 1000-acre resort, which features rolling green landscapes, lakes and old woodlands. The current exhibition includes works from Halima Cassell, Tom Hiscocks and Michael Thacker. All pieces are available to buy through

Sainsbury Centre, Elisabeth Frink

Sainsbury Centre

An expansive sculpture park surrounds the Norman-Foster designed Sainsbury Centre building, located at the University of East Anglia campus. It dates back to 1973, when Sir Robert and Lady Sainsbury gifted their art collection to the UEA – with Henry Moore’s Draped Reclining Woman being one of the first sculptures to be housed there. Nowadays the space features over 20 works from leading sculptors including Elisabeth Frink, Lynn Chadwick and Antony Gormley, plus the park’s first site-specific piece: Ian Tyson’s painted steel Proximity. New for this autumn is a bronze sculpture by Japanese-Swiss artist Leiko Ikemura, part of a wider exhibition running at the Sainsbury Centre.

Image: Mirage I and II, Elisabeth Frink, 1969

Alicja Kwade, Big Be Hide at Albion Fields

Albion Fields

A newcomer to the UK’s sculpture park scene is Albion Fields, located within 50 acres of picturesque Oxfordshire countryside. The grounds offer a unique setting for artworks, ranging from open vistas to secluded woodland. Some of the land has been rewilded to its natural state too, which means sculptures will be sharing the space with deer, badgers, green woodpeckers, hare and owls. The first installation is now on display, featuring pieces from 26 contemporary artists including Adel Abdessemed, Joana Vasconcelos and Vito Acconci.

Image: Alicja Kwade, Big Be Hide, 2019. Image courtesy of König Galerie

Tremenheere sculpture garden

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

You’ll find site-specific works from David Nash, James Turrell and Richard Long at Tremenheere, a secluded sculpture garden set in a sheltered valley overlooking Mount’s Bay near Penzance. Much of what you see here is down to Neil Armstrong, a local doctor who bought the site in 1977 and transformed it into an idyllic green art space. Aside from the sculpture, there’s plenty of horticulture to feast your eyes on, as Tremenheere basks in a balmy microclimate, allowing subtropical plants to grow there.

Image: Instagram

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden

Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden

From 1949 until her death in 1975, Barbara Hepworth lived and worked at Trewyn Studios in St Ives. The garden here provided an opportunity for her to work in the open air and served as an inspiration. These days, the space is owned by Tate, housing a museum and sculpture garden crammed full of Hepworth’s distinctive forms. She planned for the garden to be open to the public after her passing, so we see the sculptures as she placed them, dotted around within the shrubs and trees. To wander round here is a joy, with gravel paths weaving between lawns of exotic plants, plus a raised pond and glimpses out to sea. ‘Finding Trewyn Studio was a sort of magic’, wrote Hepworth.

Image: Instagram

Temple of Apollo, Jupiter Artland

Jupiter Artland

Since being founded by philanthropist art collectors Robert and Nicky Wilson in 2009, Jupiter Artland has grown to become one of the most important art organisations in Scotland. Situated amid 100 acres of meadow and woodland a few miles west of Edinburgh, the park is home to art from some of the biggest names in modern sculpture – Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Phyllida Barlow, to name a few. Artists are invited to come and stay and create works while they’re there, allowing pieces to meld with the landscape. There are no set routes here: visitors are encouraged to explore in their own way, engaging with the land as a whole.

The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail

Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail

Dating back to 1986, the 4.5-mile Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail was one of the first to open in the UK. The original brief – given to artists like David Nash, Magdalena Jetelova and Ian Hamilton Finlay – was to create pieces specific to the Forest of Dean, to be dotted discretely around the forest. Following the initial wave of commissions, the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trust was set up to oversee the maintenance of the trail, managing the adding of new pieces – both permanent and temporary. Follow the path round to see a new sculpture by Natasha Rosling, as well as Cathedral: a giant stained-glass window suspended in the trees, created by Kevin Atherton.

Image: Instagram

Farleys House & Gallery Sculpture Garden

Sculpture Garden at Farleys House & Gallery

A pretty sculpture garden surrounds the former home of artists Lee Miller and Roland Penrose in east Sussex. It was redesigned by Penrose in 1949 to resemble the rooms of a house, complete with an orchard area, a more formal flower garden and lawns which were used for picnics and playing croquet with visitors. Nowadays, the garden houses over 20 permanent works by contemporary artists alongside new pieces – the 2022 display includes an installation by Christine Kowal Post exploring the mythological and spiritual significance of dogs.

Henry Moore Sculpture Garden

Henry Moore Studios & Gardens

Many of Henry Moore’s most famous sculptures were made at his studio on an old farm called Hoglands, near Much Hadham in Hertfordshire. He moved here from London after his Hampstead home was bombed during the Blitz. Since Moore died in 1986, Hoglands has been open to the public, with over 70 acres of rolling fields filled with over 20 sculptures, positioned just as he intended.

Image: Instagram