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Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Hello there! Today felt like the perfect time to get out and about and enjoy the glorious Autumn sunshine. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is about twenty minutes away from Leeds, down the M1, and nestled on the outskirts of the pretty little village of West Bretton. It's a place I return to again and again, a spot to enjoy some of the best works of art and to discover something new. Although truthfully a lot of the time I haven't got a clue what any of them are about! There were two things I really wanted to see though -  the first, the new exhibition 'Listen to the world' by the legend that is Rob Ryan. We've seen his work at the park before, way back in 2011 and had the pleasure of meeting him there too when he did a book signing. This latest collection of his work spans the last six years and includes some enormous pieces that fill whole walls. All of his papercuts were for sale, some of several thousand pounds including this red one below. As much as I like his work it's well out of my price range. But I might go back and get one of his limited edition plates that he's designed specifically for the YSP exhibition. 

The other reason for visiting YSP this season is it's star attraction - Poppies: Wave. This was the second time I've seen the display, luckily both on sunny days. Part of the original ceramic poppy installation at the Tower of London, it is a sweeping arch that extends into the lower lake from the centre of the Cascade Bridge. It's stunning as you approach head-on, but it is impossible to get a shot without hundreds of other visitors on top of the bridge. As you get behind it though, you can get a better idea of how beautiful each flower is and take some nice photographs. If you are planning a visit then I recommend you do it on a weekday and get there for opening. On both occasions that I've visited since this has been on display the park was absolutely heaving, the busiest I've ever seen it. It must be twice as bad on a weekend. 

After checking out the poppies, I took a wander round my favourite parts of the park enjoying the Autumnal light, the leaves falling from the trees in those glorious yellows, reds and rust colours and the birdsong. I always head to the Upper Lake as it's much quieter, there is a bird hide to watch the wildlife on the water, a shell grotto, a Greek Temple and the highlight for me, the Boathouse. It was super nice to discover that it now has it's own sculpture inside it. It feels complete now. 

Although the morning started off a little breezy and chilly, towards the end of my walk my jacket and scarf were off and I felt nicely warmed up. I headed back to the Centre to get a coffee and a wander round the gift shop before returning home to Leeds, tired yet happy after spending some much needed time immersed in nature. It's good to embrace these #slowautumndays.