Andy Goldsworthy Trail

Andy Goldsworthy is one of the UK’s most well-known contemporary artists. Working internationally, he is known for his site-specific installations involving natural materials. He grew up in Yorkshire and had early experiences working on a farm. From this he developed an appreciation and understanding of his natural surroundings. This also made him aware of the sculptural nature of agriculture.

Andy has created four permanent works in the landscape at YSP. Pick up our three-mile circular trail map from the Information Desk or download before your visit, and see if you can find them all.

The route will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. The walk includes some steep inclines, uneven ground and unpaved paths and is not suitable for trampers or wheelchairs.

1. Start at YSP Centre. Grab a drink from the Coffee Shop and make use of the toilet facilities. Walk past the Underground Gallery, through the hedges and across the drive. Go down the hill toward the Learning Centre. Head to Cascade Bridge in Lower Park. Cross the bridge and go straight through the gate into the field toward Longside. Peter’s Fold will be ahead of you near the top of the field.

2. From Peter’s Fold, continue toward Longside Gallery. Cross the fence at the stile, and turn left to take the track to Round Wood to find Outclosure.

3. From Outclosure take the path out of Round Wood to Oxley Bank. Make your way higher into the trees, look down to the right to see the ha-ha. Along the ha-ha you will find Hanging Trees.

4. Continue along Oxley Bank on the path to find David Nash’s sites specific work, Seventy-One Steps. Walk down the steps and turn right at the bottom. Follow the path to cross Lower Lake. Head straight through the gate into the Country Park and toward the Chapel. On the way you will see Shadow Stone Fold. You can enter through the wooden gate on the side.

5. Continue up the hillside in the Country Park to return to YSP Centre. Look out for another site specific work – James's Turrell's Deer Shelter Skyspace – on the way. Head to the Kitchen Café to recharge with lunch on the balcony, looking out across the landscape you've just discovered. See if you can spot Peter’s Fold in the distance.

About the artist

Andy studied Fine Art at Bradford School of Art (1974-75) and at Preston Polytechnic (1975-78). While at Bradford, Andy became aware of the Land Art movement and artists such as Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer, Christo and Dennis Oppenheim. He also learned about performance and happening artists working at the time. His ideas were also shaped by his recognition of the ephemeral qualities of nature and the environment. This inspired him to create artworks directly in the landscape. He made his first outdoor works on the streets of Bradford. During his studies at Preston Polytechnic he got to know the work of artists such as David Nash, Richard Long and Hamish Fulton.

Andy uses found natural materials and different conditions to create semipermanent sculptures. This can include earth, rocks, leaves, ice, snow, rain or sunlight. He also uses his own body as medium through actions such as spitting, throwing, climbing, walking and creating shadows. He describes this as a ‘collaboration with nature.’ Some of the materials may seem more permanent than others but they all change over time. Some works exist for a short time before natural processes change or erase them. He uses photography to document his work before it disappears.

The landscape is very old, but it is not an antique, it is not dead, not finished. There are things that are new and there are things that are old; there are things that are dead and things that are born.

- Andy Goldsworthy, 2007
The artist Andy Goldsworthy standing next to a giant white snowball