Author Adele Parks explores The Sculpture Park in Churt – Are We Nearly There Yet?

Adele Parks relaxing at The Sculpture Park, Churt

Adele Parks relaxing at The Sculpture Park, Churt - Credit: Archant

Having missed the opportunity to view Henry Moore’s sculpture park in the north numerous times, bestselling author Adele Parks visits one a little closer to home near Farnham

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine August 2017


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I’ve always fancied going to Henry Moore’s sculpture Park in Yorkshire. We drive past the brown sign every time I visit my parents (that is a really long journey, we take it in turns to ask, ‘Are we nearly there yet?’). The point is, we never have time to divert. So, it was suggested to me that I go and have a look at The Sculpture Park in Churt, an area of outstanding natural beauty nestled in the Surrey Hills, on my doorstep.

The Sculpture Park boasts over 800 sculptures made by 150 artists. Why limit yourself to one artist when you can have a whole eclectic array?

I loved the place immediately because there was a sign at the entrance that requested only, “well behaved, quiet children” enter. It was an astonishingly honest and sensible request in times that seem increasingly anarchic. Of course, I had to immediately ditch the six-year-old Twins that Frazzled Friend had brought along, I sent them to the pub across the road. No, just kidding. They, like most kids, rose to the occasion and loved the idea that they were only allowed access because they were somehow especially good and proved to be so.

On arrival, we were given a map detailing the trail to follow. The trail is split into four parts: yellow, red, blue and green, each with helpful real-life, on the ground coloured arrows to guide visitors through the meanderings paths, enabling viewing of the full collection. A map, a choice of paths and two small boys, what could go wrong? Nothing actually.

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What a brilliant outdoor gallery The Sculpture Park is; the best I’ve ever seen. It really is the perfect art gallery for any one of any age. There’s so much to see and think about. There were endless pieces to look at and all of them provide great talking points.

A couple of fun games we played were ‘Guess the Name of the Sculpture’ (hilarious with children who are a little blunt, basic and even brutal and adults who are endearingly competitive) and we played ‘Guess the Price’.

Yes, almost all the art in The Sculpture Park is available to purchase and, as well as a map, on arrival visitors are given a guidebook that helpfully lists the artist’s name, title, medium, edition and price of all the sculptures. Experts are on-hand to advise on choosing the best sculpture for your garden or home. There’s a huge variety of pieces for sale to suit most budgets and tastes.

It turns out I have expensive taste. I adored the power of James Doran-Webb’s life-size Rutting Stags, made from driftwood. The piece beautifully captures every sinew and nerve. Absolutely stunning. A little out of my price bracket at £75,000 (also it’s big, where would I put it?) but if Hollywood ever call and make me into a gazillionaire, by turning one of my books into a movie, then I’ll be right back to buy that beauty.


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