Yorkshire Sculpture Park, open air museum

Getty Images

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Top choice in West Yorkshire

One of England's most impressive collections of sculpture is scattered across the formidable 18th-century estate of Bretton Park, 200-odd hectares of lawns, fields and trees. A bit like the art world's equivalent of a safari park, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park showcases the work of dozens of sculptors both national and international. The park is partly a homage to local heroes Barbara Hepworth (1903−75), who was born in Wakefield, and Henry Moore (1898−1986), though more of their works are on display at the Hepworth Wakefield.

The rural setting is especially fitting for Moore's work, as the artist was hugely influenced by the outdoors and preferred his art to be sited in the landscape rather than indoors. Other highlights include pieces by Andy Goldsworthy and Eduardo Paolozzi, and Roger Hiorns' famous work Seizure 2008/2013, an apartment coated in blue copper sulphate crystals (open weekends only). There's also a program of temporary exhib­itions and installations by visiting artists, plus a bookshop and cafe.

The park is 12 miles south of Leeds and 18 miles north of Sheffield, just off Junction 38 on the M1 motorway. If you're on public transport, take a train from Leeds to Wakefield (£3.90, 15 to 30 minutes, frequent departures), or from Sheffield to Barnsley (£4.30, 25 minutes, four hourly), and then take bus 96, which runs between Wakefield and Barnsley via Bretton Park (£3 to £3.40, 30 minutes, hourly Monday to Saturday).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby West Yorkshire attractions

2. Hepworth Wakefield

5.52 MILES

West Yorkshire's standing in the international arts scene got a boost in 2011 when the Yorkshire Sculpture Park was joined by this award-winning gallery…

3. Tetley

12.47 MILES

Tetley Brewery's defunct 1930s offices have been converted into a contemporary-arts venue with a restaurant and pub on the ground floor, spilling out onto…

4. Royal Armouries

12.48 MILES

Leeds' most interesting museum was originally built in 1996 to house armour and weapons from the Tower of London, but subsequently expanded to cover 3000…

5. Thornton's Arcade

12.9 MILES

Though not the grandest, Thornton’s Arcade was the first Victorian shopping arcade to be built in Leeds and remains one of the most interesting. Its sky…

6. Leeds Art Gallery

12.96 MILES

This major gallery is packed with 19th- and 20th-century British heavyweights – Turner, Constable, Stanley Spencer, Wyndham Lewis et al – along with…

7. Henry Moore Institute

12.96 MILES

Housed in a converted Victorian warehouse in the city centre, this gallery showcases the work of 20th-century sculptors, but not, despite the name,…

8. Leeds Industrial Museum

12.97 MILES

One of the world's largest textile mills has been transformed into a museum telling the story of Leeds' industrial past, both glorious and ignominious…