Today I took my annual “autumnal stroll” around the Yorkshire Sculpture Park at West Bretton. I wanted to try to catch the wonderful colours of the trees and plants in the park before they all disappeared. Unfortunately, earlier in the week we had some strong winds so the trees has already lost some of their coats
As I wandered into the park the sky decided to cloud over so I opted to go to the cafe and grab myself a cappuccino to sustain me through my walk which was to come later.
I sat outside on the veranda and said good morning to a young lady undertaking some cleaning duties. When she replied I noticed an accent so I asked her where she was from. “I am from Hungary………Budapest, the capital city” so we then had a lengthy conversation about how beautiful Budapest was and the merits of the excellent Hungarian wine Egri Bikaver (often known as Bulls Blood in the UK).
She explained she had come to the UK to get work and paid a reasonable wage (I suspect she was on minimum wage working at the YSP). She explained that wages were very poor back in Hungary but gas, electric and goods in the shops cost the same as in the UK. Her English was impeccable (which merely embarrasses me more and more at our lack of linguistic skills in the UK) and she said she had come direct to Yorkshire to live and had not done the “London” route.
She said she loved the countryside in Yorkshire and in particular the Yorkshire Dales, something with which I concurred. She also taught me how to say “good morning” in Hungarian – Jó reggelt! So not only do I get the beauty of the countryside but I get language lessons for free!
After coffee I set off around the park and already at 10.30am there were lots of visitors enjoying what had now become a clear blue sky. The leaves left on the trees were lovely shades of brown, green, orange and yellow with the odd shades of red, purple and mauve thrown in for good measure.
I made my way down to the lake only to find it half empty, I think they had drained it to do some restoration work, but it still looks impressive half full. By now the sun was high, the temperature had increased and it became a very pleasant morning to walk at leisure around the park taking in all the wonderful sights and views.
Finally, I made my way to see the first large-scale survey in Europe by highly acclaimed American artist Ursula von Rydingsvard. The exhibition, which is the artist’s most extensive to date, illustrates the full scope of von Rydingsvard’s diverse practice, including more than 40 works of drawing and sculpture made over the last two decades, presented in YSP’s purpose-built Underground Gallery and the open air.
After nearly three hours I ambled out of the park and made my way back to my car for the short journey back to Huddersfield. I feel very lucky to have such a park virtually on my doorstep and one that has both national and international renown.
If you have not already visited then put it on your bucket list as one of the “10 things I must do”…………..you will not be disappointed.