Usually I don’t have time to stop, so despite Saturday being a bit damp and chilly we decided to have a day out in Gloucestershire and check it out.
The signs peter out as you get further away from the main road, but just keep going straight on and you’ll get there.
Watch out for the A-board in the middle of the entrance to the car park, and walk round to the left to the tearoom and gallery – look out for the Morris Minor perched on a column of old car parts! – to pay your entrance fee, a very reasonable £5.
Having already stopped for coffee and a snack at Hobbs House in Tetbury we didn’t sample the tearoom, but the cakes looked good. As well as a couple of tables inside there’s plenty of seating outside. I noticed that even on this rather dismal day all the outside tables had a vase of fresh roses.
We were given a map of the grounds and a list of the sculptures, most of which are for sale, many for thousands of pounds.
What you’ll see at The Elemental Sculpture Park
It’s an eccentric mixture of bronze, stone and marble sculptures, some by members of The Royal British Society of Sculptors, and pieces made of scrap metal. You can easily miss some of the smaller pieces, like these glass foxgloves set in the flower beds.
At one point I thought we were approaching some cars parked in a sunken lane, only to discover they had been buried in the ground!
The Elemental Sculpture Park is owned by the Hartland family, who live on the property in a wooden house that blends into the woodland, and rent out two holiday lets. They have converted old metal tanks into elevated sun terraces reached by spiral steps, and even created their own above-ground swimming pool!
It’s a fun destination, a long way from the rarified atmosphere of many art exhibitions. I can imagine it provokes lots of discussion about the meaning of art, and what some of the pieces are about!
The Elemental Sculpture Park is a great place for a family trip, with something for everyone to enjoy.
The Mythic Garden near Chagford in Devon. The sculptures in this annual exhibition are displayed in a beautiful birch and alder arboretum. We’ve been lucky enough to have this magical place to ourselves, apart from the resident geese and cat!
The Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail, currently 17 sculptures set amongst the woodland.
And on our to do list for a future Cornish break is Tremenheere, near Penzance. Despite often visiting the cafe, shop and gallery, we somehow haven’t been round the sculpture gardens yet.