Exploring the Cotswolds Sculpture Park

Do you love Sculpture Parks? I do, so I was delighted to discover the Cotswolds Sculpture Park, very close to where we live. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this place, which is described on their website as being:

The home to “Elemental”, a collection of quirky contemporary art, displayed outdoors.

Sounded intriguing so Dave and I set off to explore and find out more. Below I share what we found during our visit to the Cotswolds Sculpture Park, how to get there and examples of the art on display.

About Cotswolds Sculpture Park

If you love art, garden sculptures and anything quirky (Dave loves steam punk objects), then this is the place for you. The 10 acre site, located in the pretty village of Somerford Keynes, 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 in the Cotswolds.

Cotswolds Sculpture Park
Why come to Cotswolds Sculpture Park

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.

Cotswolds Sculpture Park
Cotswolds Sculpture Park – conifer woodland walk with contemporary art

When we visited

We visited the Cotswold Sculpture Park in July. We’d heard this was a popular visitor attraction in the area so we arrived on Sunday morning just before opening time. Sure enough it was busy and the car park soon filled up, so we’d recommend visiting this park mid-morning or mid-afternoon to avoid the crowds.

How to get to Cotswolds Sculpture Park

The Costwolds Sculpture Park is located at: The Paddocks, Somerford Keynes, Gloucestershire GL7 6FE (UK)

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 turn right and follow the signs through the village to the entrance to the park.

Ordnance Survey Maps for your mobile

What we liked about the 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).

Cotswolds Sculpture Park

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, provided with your entry ticket, also makes for a fun treasure hunt whilst wandering around the gardens. The sculptures aren’t always easy to find, some are definitely hiding. Kids were having a great time running around the park hunting down each sculpture on the list.

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 singing in the trees around you by the benches. 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, which is a shame especially as it’s an outdoor attraction! I think well behaved dogs on lead would help draw in lots more visitors.
  • 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.
Cotswolds Sculpture Park
Proudly on display in our garden from the gift shop at Cotswolds Sculpture Park

Useful Information

  • Further visitor information can be found on the Sculpture park website 
  • There is FREE parking on site
  • Poppin Tearoom is just inside the entrance (and exit) to the park. The tearoom serves a selection of hot and cold drinks and light snacks.
  • There’s a spacious courtyard area with quirky seating, as well as a picnic tables, benches and umbrellas for shade on a hot day.
  • We walked around the park a couple of times, 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.
Cotswolds Sculpture Park

What’s nearby

  • Cotswolds Water Park – One of our favourite places and should definitely be explored if you are staying in the area.

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I hope you’ve found this article about the Cotswolds Sculpture Park useful. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve visited the park and what you thought? I’d love to see your pics too.

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