Experience Grizedale Forest: Art in the Outdoors

Lady of the Water by Alannah Robins (1995) - Grizedale Forest Sculpture 'Seeing the Forest Through the Trees', AND Festival 2015 at Grizedale Forest (photo by The Plant Sex Consultancy) Love Motel for Insects, Brandon Ballongee - AND Festival 2015 Ancient Forester 2 by David Kemp, 1995 17° South by Linda Watson, 1997 - (photo by Tony West) Grizedale Sculpture Trail - photo credit Tony West Coniston Launch - photo credit Ben Barden

All year round Grizedale Forest invites you to venture to the southern Lake District for an exhilarating and inspiring cultural retreat. With impressive outdoor sculptures situated intriguingly throughout the almost 25 km² area of scenic woodland, this is a not to be missed Lakes Culture experience…

Grizedale Forest, nestling between Consiton, Hawkshead & Ulverston in the southern Lake District is associated with all sorts or adrenalin fuelled activity – but it is also internationally renowned for its impressive outdoor sculptures.

Ever since 1977 a huge range of top international artists have created unique sculptures for Grizedale Forest, helping to establish this scenic woodland landscape as the first collection of site-specific art in the UK. Now there are around 40 artworks right across the forest, linked by the network of walking and cycling trails.The sculptures provide moments of quiet contemplation and a special way of navigating this extraordinary landscape.

Some Fern by Kerry Morrison (1997) - Grizedale Forest Sculpture
Some Fern by Kerry Morrison (1997) – Grizedale Forest Sculpture

18 – 20 September 2015 saw the arrival of the AND Festival in Grizedale. This extensive wooded landscape became a temporary haven for filmmakers, artists, creative technologists and artists to explore the secret infrastructure of the forest. The festival featured a programme of artwork trails, performances and workshops, which explored elements of nature and the environment of Grizedale Forest.

‘Seeing the Forest Through the Trees’

Until 6 December 2015 head over to Grizedale Forest for the intriguing ‘Seeing the Forest Through the Trees’. This curious exhibition curated by Monika Bakke as part of AND Festival, features many international artists whose work creatively examines plants’ complexity through experiments, performance, design and action.

The artworks reveal ways in which artists are contributing to our efforts to understand plants, celebrating plant lives, and stressing the necessity to deal with them in their own terms and for their own sake. Visitors to the exhibition are invited to closely observe the plants’ behaviours, their strategies to avoid and attract other species, find nutrients, to sing, fantasise and to dream.

Grizedale Forest (photo credit Forestry Commission)
Grizedale Forest (photo credit Forestry Commission)

Why not make a weekend of it?

Take little bit of time to explore the area and stay somewhere like Fisherbeck Nest, situated on the Eastern side of Coniston Water and very handy for the Forest. Part of a quaint former C17th Lake District farmhouse, the Nest has been tastefully modernised keeping lots of original features but also offering every mod con for up to four people. This is the perfect place for a cultured break away, ideally located and offering the perfect place to relax with spectacular panoramic views across to The Old Man of Coniston and Coniston Water.

Fancy doing something different during your stay?

Why not hire a Stand Up Paddleboard from the Coniston Boating centre and get your ‘Swallows’ on – paddle the lake and head over to ‘Wild Cat Island.’

You’re bound to have worked up an appetite so how about grabbing some lunch at the Blue Bird Café overlooking the shores of Coniston, tuck into some lovely ‘scran’ and enjoy the café’s outstanding views over the lake.

After all that excitement you could always hit the town and pop into the Black Bull and sample some of their very own beers from the award winning Coniston Brewery – top beers including Bluebird Bitter and Old Man Ale, all made using local mountain water – delicious!


Grizedale Forest – LA22 0QJ
Coppermines Cottages – LA21 8HJ
Coniston Boating Centre – LA21 8EW
Blue Bird Café – LA21 8AN
Black Bull Inn – LA21 8DU


Grizedale: the UK’s Unique Forest for Sculpture

Abandon Normal Devices (AND) commission groundbreaking and imaginative projects, gathering an eclectic mix of academics, filmmakers, scientists and artists to hijack the imagination and abandon traditional settings and partnerships, discover more about Abandon Normal Devices Festival September 2015

Environmental Photographer of the Year 2015 – took place at Grizedale Forest July – September 2015

To enjoy this Lakes cultural event and much more, book your break in the Lake District here