A visit to The Sculpture Park, Farnham offers visitors a unique combination of art and nature. Set in 10 acres of woodland, the Sculpture Park boasts a quirky collection of sculptures in a natural, picturesque setting and is one of Surrey’s hidden gems.
In fact, you really don’t need to be an art expert to enjoy a visit to the Sculpture Park. You can enjoy a leisurely walk in an idyllic location, with 650 sculptures thrown in as a bonus. All in all, it makes for a great family day out in Surrey.
In our guide, you’ll discover practical information about Surrey’s woodland Sculpture Park and what to expect on a visit to the Sculpture Park with kids.
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Where is the Sculpture Park?
The Sculpture Park is in the small, pretty village of Churt, on the outskirts of Farnham. It was previously called The Pride of the Valley Sculpture Park.
Farnham is a historic market town in Surrey, in South-East England. It takes just over an hour from London.
Our visit to the Sculpture Park
On arrival, we headed for reception, where we received a guide book, with details of all the sculptures.
There are 4 coloured arrows, which lead you round the gardens, ensuring you don’t miss any art work. The woodland trail is about 2 miles in total and you’ll find different sculptures everywhere you look.
The Sculpture Park has an eclectic collection, with objets d’art in all shapes, sizes and materials. With such an assortment, you’ll find something to suit everyone’s taste.
One of our favourite sculptures was made completely from discarded toys. Another to look out for are the boot trees!
Is the Sculpture Park good for kids?
The art is very contemporary, with many pieces which will appeal to children. You’ll find sculptures of animals, machines, fantastical figures, and other curiosities that will pique their interest.
Plus, don’t forget to keep an eye out for the dancing skeletons lurking in the woods.
The Sculpture Park also has 3 lakes and waterfalls, so you’ll also find interesting artworks on the water.
Wind chimes hanging in some trees add to the peaceful ambience of the park, though can get a bit annoying if the kids hit them too often!
The highlight of the trip for the Chimptrip kids was a large installation piece, called The Mineshaft. We entered a concrete room and followed the walls round an indoor maze in pitch black. The complete darkness is very eerie and I lost all sense of direction. Too scary for me, but the kids loved it!
Art for sale
In total, there are over 650 sculptures from 300 different international sculptors. It is the largest all-year sculpture exhibition in the world.
The sculptures are all numbered and most are for sale. By referring to the guide, you can see what each item of art costs.
A fun game to play was guessing the real price of the art. Of course, it was way out of our league and we never got any right!
As the art is for sale, the sculpture pieces change regularly, so you can see different art on subsequent visits.
How do I get to the Sculpture Park in Farnham?
The easiest way to get to the Sculpture Park is by car, either via Farnham on the A31 or Hindhead on the A3. You can find it on the corner of Jumps Road and Tilford Road, using the postcode GU10 2LH.
There is limited parking in front of the Sculpture Park. Alternatively, use the car park at the Bel & Dragon pub opposite.
By public transport
The nearest train stations are Farnham or Haslemere, which have direct lines from London Waterloo.
From the station you can take a taxi or the number 19 bus to Churt Village. You can then walk.
By foot (from Little Frensham)
Rather than driving all the way to the Sculpture Park, we parked at Little Frensham Pond and took the scenic Devil’s Jumps walk. From here, it’s a picturesque walk around the lake and across beautiful Surrey countryside.
Just before the Sculpture Park, we climbed one of 3 small hills, the Devil’s Jumps, giving us magnificent views for miles around. Apparently, there are many folklore legends linked to these hills and it was even rumoured that the Devil would jump from one to another, hence the name.
Although we really enjoyed the circular walk from Little Frensham, it’s not advisable if you’re making your visit to the Sculpture Park with kids. The circular walk is about 5 miles in total, but you’ll have another 2 miles within the park. Quite honestly, if you’re taking the family, I’d recommend driving all the way.
However, if you are a keen hiker, a visit to the Sculpture Park makes a great addition to a lovely walk in the Surrey Hills. Even better, if you stop for a pit stop at the pub!
When is the Sculpture Park open?
The Sculpture Park is open every day from 10am-5pm, all year round.
Refreshments at the Sculpture Park
It’s worth remembering that the Sculpture Park doesn’t have a café or any refreshments for sale. However, there are plenty of benches and scenic picnic spots.
Alternatively, you could head for the Bel and Dragon pub opposite the sculpture garden. Here you can get snacks or meals, with the added bonus of an open fire in winter.
A visit to The Sculpture Park is one of the many fantastic things to do in the Surrey Hills. Its unusual setting in an arboretum means that you can enjoy art, whilst enjoying time outdoors and nature.
One of the advantages is that the exhibition is very varied. Furthermore, the sculptures don’t seem to be in any discernible order, so you never know what to expect next.
Another positive is that you can admire the art work at your own pace. You could easily spend 2-4 hours here and might need to return if your kids have had enough art appreciation for one day.
The natural beauty of the gardens, tied with its informal atmosphere make it great day out for all ages. What’s more, the fun and quirky sculptures add to its appeal as one of the most original family-friendly attractions in Surrey.