Grizedale: the UK’s Unique Forest for Sculpture

Lady of the Water by Alannah Robins, 1995 The Clockwork Forest by greyworld, 2011 17° South by Linda Watson, 1997 - (photo by Tony West) Some Fern by Kerry Morrison, 1997 - (photo by Tony West) Romeo by Rupert Ackroyd and Owen Bullet, 2012

Grizedale Forest is home to the largest collection of site-specific art in the UK. A collection of environmental art that has been created over the past 30 years and today establishes Grizedale uniquely as the UK’s first forest for sculpture!

The impressive selection of landscape artworks is located throughout the almost 25 km² area of scenic woodland and can be discovered via a variety of different walking and cycling trails. The forest holds around 50 permanently sited artworks created by leading international artists in response to the Grizedale landscape.

Set amongst the dramatic backdrop of Grizedale Forest, these art works provide a perfect opportunity for cultural adventure and exploration.

The sculptures have often been sited to carefully reflect a sense of environment within the overall artistic concept of the piece, integrating landscape and art, and providing a distinctive outdoor experience for anyone fascinated by both adventure and culture.

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

Some of the sculptures now date back decades, establishing a relationship between nature and art over time that adds to the intrigue. When suddenly encountering an artwork that has evolved through exposure to the elements over many years and has been further embellished by the Grizedale flora, there is a sense of the sculptures having emerged from the land itself, as much an organic part of the landscape as the trees. An unexpected manifestation that provokes and invites visitors to question how these fascinating creations should be present in this verdant forest landscape.

Enjoy a walk or cycle ride through the forest with a curious creative twist.

Today artists continue to respond to the unique forest environment, creating site-specific work in a continually changing landscape. Grizedale Forest also hosts temporary art exhibitions and events throughout the year.

On arrival at the visitor centre complex at Grizedale Forest you will be greeted by the magnificent Ancient Forester, a sculpture by David Kemp that evokes an immediate sense of magic and mystery as this timber giant looms down with his impressive woody girth.

Ancient Forester 2 by David Kemp, 1995
Ancient Forester 2 by David Kemp, 1995

If you fancy a more challenging walk that will reward you with an intriguing artwork and utterly magnificent views, then take the trail that heads up to Carron Crag, the highest point in Grizedale. Here you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy an unforgettable 360° panorama of the Lake District, along with the suitably positioned 17° South by Linda Watson, an artwork from 1997 that today still sits invitingly in the landscape, providing a spherical vista in the vast expanse.

Keep your eyes peeled for the fascinating secreted eco-artworks that present themselves at unexpected twists and turns in the woods, such as Light Column by Charles Bray, a curious monolith that resides near a delightful grassy glade with well positioned picnic tables nearby – a perfect spot to enjoy a well-earned lunch break in beautiful surroundings.

So grab your boots, your binoculars and your camera and head over to Grizedale Forest Sculpture for an unmissable Lakes’ woodland artworks adventure!

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