A walk through the park and a poetic mapping of the landscape at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (West Bretton). Follow these instructions to complete the walk to find seven letterboxes, each containing a rubber stamp, ink and a circle poem. You can collect these.

This guide begins from the YSP Centre and proceeds clockwise, but you can begin at any point on the circle. Pass through the small metal gate beneath the coffee bar into the Country Park. Walk downhill heading towards Henry Moore’s ‘Seated Woman’. Behind the sculpture there is a wooden fence.

: behind ‘Seated Woman’ on the wooden fence
Walk in the direction that Seated Woman is facing, towards ‘Reclining Mother and Child’. With Eduardo Chillida’s tall, rusted sculpture ‘Buscando La Luz IV’ to your left, cross the drive on your right, making for the fenced plantation of trees. Follow the mown path downhill keeping the estate chapel, St. Bartholomew’s (1744) and Henry Moore’s ‘Three Piece Reclining Figure No.1’ on your left. Before you reach Moore’s ‘Two Piece Reclining Figure No.1’ there is a stile.

WWLB14: on the stile.
Continue downhill past ‘Two Piece Reclining Figure No.1’ towards the bridge, under which the diverted River Dearne flows. Go over this and continue across the dam. If you look to the west over the lake you can see the telecommunications mast at Emley Moor (at 1084ft it is taller than the Eiffel Tower). On the other side of the dam is the locked door to an old well. The inscription relates to the residence at Bretton Hall of Grace, Countess of Eglington (1685). Follow the path to the right as far as the fallen log with a view over the lake.

WWLB15: behind the fallen log, near some small sycamore trees
The path turns away from the lake (the nature reserve is only open to visitors who have a permit) and continues up the steps, then on through the birches and to the other side of the wood where there is a picnic bench. Here you can take your ease.

: on the picnic bench
Pass through the stone squeeze in the recently restored dry stone wall. There are two paths. Take the fork to the right and follow the path downhill through the beech trees. Emerging from these you carry along the grass path. Looking to the north, Bretton Hall is in the distance. Here, don’t turn off to the right but look right to see an oval gallop, designed for training horses. Soon the path that you are on joins the gallop. Shortly after, you reach a ditch where four conifers and an oak tree grow. This used to be a horse jump. Beware of the nettles.

WWLB17: by the fallen tree next to the old horse jump
Continue around the gallop, past some small trees to the left. Take the path that bends off to the left and carry on through the metal gate and the old iron gate with four stone posts. Walk down the path, giving a wave to Antony Gormley’s sculpture ‘One and Other’ which is perched on the sycamore trunk. Go over Cascade Bridge, past the gates to the nature reserve then turn right to the kissing gate and into Lower Park.

WWLB18: kissing gate
Follow the path past Sol LeWitt’s sculpture ‘123454321’ on your right. Before reaching Bretton Hall – when you spot Richard Serra’s ‘Untitled’ sculpture of four Portland stone blocks – turn left and go up the hill, through the Lower Park sculpture display. Walk uphill to the glass and stone Camellia House.

WWLB19: at the corner of the Camellia House nearest to the large copper beech tree stump.
Walk past the Camellia House up the tarmac path and across the University of Leeds car park. Continue by way of Barbara Hepworth’s ‘The Family of Man and Squares with Two Circles’, across the road. The wide paved steps lead to the Formal Terrace. This will lead you to the Centre in time for tea. Your circlesthrough thepath is now complete.

*circlesthroughthepath is part of Alec Finlay’s artist residency at YSP: Avant-Garde English Landscape. Yorkshire Sculpture Park West Bretton, Wakefield WF4 4LG t 01924 832631 f01924 832600

Total time: approx 1.5 hours Distance: approx 2.5 miles / 4 km

The route follows pathways, but their are steep and uneven parts, which are not suitable for wheelchair users. Wear suitable footwear.

If you find any damaged boxes, please tell a member of YSP staff.

Close all gates behind you

Alec Finlay
Alex Hodby