We take a curious walk around Cotswolds Sculpture Park, which is home to “Elemental”, a collection of quirky contemporary art displayed outdoors.
Where did we go:
Cotswolds Sculpture Park, which is located in the pretty village of Somerford Keynes.
When did we go:
We visited the park in July 2020. We arrived on Sunday morning for opening time and it was quite busy. The car park soon filled up, so we’d recommend visiting mid-morning or mid-afternoon to avoid any crowds.
Why go here:
If you love art, garden sculptures and anything quirky (Dave loves steam punk objects), then you’ll enjoy this place. The 10 acre site is run by David Hartland (a sculptor himself) and his son Tadd Hartland. Originally a wild thistle field, it has been transformed into a unique visitor attraction.
The gardens have mixed deciduous and conifer woodland with a pond, gardens and glades. Woven into the paths, lawns, pond and trees are lots of quirky and wonderful pieces of contemporary art.
How did we get there:
For Satnav users set your route to postcode GL7 6FE. We travelled along the A419 onto the Spine Road (sign posted Cotswolds Water Park). Once you approach the beautiful Cotswolds village of Somerford Keynes
What we liked about Cotswolds Sculpture Park
With over 150 sculptures created by 70+ local artists there’s something here for everyone. From huge towering sculptures to tiny woodland animals (which were my favourites).
Keen contemporary art collectors are spoilt for choice here. There are figurines, abstracts and objects, using wood, marble, metal and stone. When we visited there was an enormous structure next to the tearoom made out of car parts. I think this was Dave’s favourite as he loves steam punk art.
With your entry ticket you’re handed a guide listing all of the art sculptures that are for sale. Prices range from £20 to over £30,000, as I say, something for everyone and their budget.
The artist list guide also makes for a fun treasure hunt whilst wandering around the gardens. The sculptures aren’t always easy to find, some are definitely hiding.
I loved the bench seats made out of scrap car parts and wood, which were dotted around the park. It allowed you to stop, sit and take in the surroundings and really absorb the atmosphere. Birds were signing in the trees around you. Children were laughing and pointing excitedly as they spotted another sculpture as mum or dad ticked them off their ‘treasure hunt’ list.
Some of the art was designed and created with motion. Metal leaves, flowers and chimes that swayed or rotated in the wind were quite beautiful. I became quite addicted to watching them when I sat on a bench in the sunshine. They were very hypnotic and relaxing. We had no where to be, nothing to rush around for, we could just sit and ‘be’ in the gardens. I started to get it… I could see the point of contemporary garden art.
Points to note:
Unfortunately Cotswolds Sculpture Park isn’t dog-friendly 🙁 So leave your fur babies at home for this one.
The Sculpture Park is open June – October so best to check their website for opening times before travelling.
Don’t miss the art gallery and shop. Whilst walking round the park I spotted several metal squirrels holding a nut, which I knew had to come home with us. Dave spotted the metal squirrel for sale in the shop. Our little bit of Cotswolds Sculpture Park is proudly on display in our own quirky, rustic themed garden.
Where did we eat:
Poppin Tearoom is just inside the entrance/exit to the park.
There’s a nice courtyard area with quirky seating, as well as a picnic tables, benches and umbrellas for shade on a hot day.
Poppin Tearoom serves a selection of hot and cold drinks and light snacks.
We ordered a couple of veggie panini’s and coffees. A tasty pit-stop refreshment before walking around the park for a 2nd lap.
And of course there’s plenty to see and chuckle at while you have your lunch.
We walked around the park a couple of times, whilst trialling our new Insta360 camera. With each lap we spotting something new. TIP: Look all around you including up high in the trees as well as down near the ground. There’s so much to take in you really need to wander slowly.
We came away with some fun footage of the park in 360 views. Now we just need to work out how to edit and add some quirky video tricks to compliment the quirky, fun sculpture park.
Location: The Paddocks, Somerford Keynes, Gloucestershire GL7 6FE (UK)
Parking: There is FREE parking on site
Local artist info: It would have been nice to read about the artist whilst looking at each piece. I have since found a ‘Featured Artists‘ section on their website. I’d recommend having a read through this before you visit or print it off to read whilst you wander around the gardens.
Sculpture park website link: for more info
What else is nearby:
Cotswolds Water Park – One of our favourite places and should definitely be explored if you are staying in the area.
Cirencester Park – part of the Bathurst Estate and well worth a visit (popular with the royals for riding). Cirencester town is highly recommended too. This is one of our regular dog-friendly shopping trip places to go.
We hope you enjoyed our review of the Cotswolds Sculpture Park. We’re adding to our Out and About section all the time, so check out our recent posts. Why not subscribe and we’ll send you an email update once or twice a month so you don’t miss our reviews and top recommendations for motorhome travel with dogs.
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