A year ago we heard about the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) from the in-laws, and decided we should take them sometime. Now turned out to be the time, and I'm calling it the first of four gems we found during our week with them in Yorkshire.
YSP has been around for decades, so its a shame we've only now known about it and have seen it. A year or two ago they hosted an exhibition/installation of Andy Goldsworthy, which was apparently their most popular show yet. And having seen a book of his work whilst resident at YSP, I'm not surprised. Wish we'd seen it ... The current exhibition has more than 100 pieces by renowned wood sculptor David Nash. Ranging from a few ounces up to several tonnes, and laid out in very different indoor and outdoor spaces, there's a marvellous variety. Mostly achieved with hoists and a armoury of different chainsaws, his art was accessible and interactive enough that it just made you just want to have a go yourself. Or at least that's what I left wanting to do.We stayed in Wakefield, which is pretty handy for YSP. On the Sunday we visited Destiny Church. This is sandwiched neatly between a brand-new hospital and Wakefield's former "Pauper's Asylum" which have now been converted to expensive apartments. They got lots of marks for being friendly, welcoming, enthusiastic, loud, and for having a good mix of ages and backgrounds. The sermon wasn't great (waffly and didn't show how he got his points from the Bible), but they redeemed themselves a bit by telling us about the next gem ...
... eating at the Swan & Cygnet pub by the Calder reservoirs near the Wakefield motorway junction. Obviously popular, it had a more extensive menu of good quality pub favourites that usual, very reasonable prices, some local real ales and a good atmosphere. We went back there later in the week, and rounded off the evening by walking from it around the neighbouring reservoir, admiring the sunset and wildlife, but unfortunately failing to find the geocache by the weir.
We also visited York, which is too obvious a gem for me to mention here. But hidden round the back of the Minster I found a rather special place for lunch: Gray's Court. We didn't find out about its history, though it clearly has more than your average lunch spot. It had a wonderful longroom full of old sofas to relax in, plus the option to eat outside in its charming gardens, backing onto York's Roman town wall. It wasn't cheap, but you could tell the quality of the ingredients; I've never had such a rich or filling Rarebit before, and Martha had the best-presented and tastiest Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs.Finally we chanced on the Fox & Hounds pub next to Newmillerdam Country Park, where we had a most excellent and filling lunch. Worth the (rather long) wait.