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“What a Grey Day”

The Hepworth Wakefield
Ranked #5 of 43 things to do in Wakefield
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Hepworth Wakefield is Yorkshire's award-winning gallery designed by David Chipperfield Architects which opened to the public in May 2011. The UK's largest purpose-built gallery in over 50 years, we celebrate the achievements of one of Britain's most significant sculptors, Barbara Hepworth, in the city in which she was born and raised. As well as the Hepworth Family Gift, a unique collection of Hepworth's working models gifted to Wakefield through the Art Fund, the gallery also holds the collection of the former Wakefield Art Gallery. Alongside collection displays, we also present a regularly changing programme of contemporary exhibitions by world-renowned artists as well as offering award-winning family and learning activities for all ages, a cafe bar and shop - a perfect day out for all the family. Free admission all year round.
Wakefield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“What a Grey Day”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2013

The Hepworth stands on the river Calder, overlooking the Chantry Chapel. It sound idyllic, but unfortunately in my eyes is a huge grey eyesore , but perhaps more pleasing than a number of industrial units which also blot the landscape in its vicinity.
There is also a hideous effigy hanging from a crane on the canal side, which you will see as you cross the bridge from the car park (which is expensive by the way) which looks like some sort of scarecrow made from all sorts of flotsam and jetsam. Some may call this art but all I can see is a pile of junk scaring off children.

However, once you have overcome the fright, you enter a spacious world, with welcoming staff, and a very decent café / restaurant - all be it a little pricey. However, the Yorkshire rarebit can be recommended and the Tiffin is superb.

The gallery isn't bad either with many different exhibits on show form the very modern to the traditional, catering for all tastes. There are plenty of activities for children through the school holidays and a very pleasant children's play area outside. On a sunny day you can even take a picnic and sit outside. Overall its a great way to spend a day and Wakefield should be proud of securing such a venue, even if it is a grey one.

Visited August 2013
Thank Simon K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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800 reviews from our community

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English first
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Sadly Disappointed”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2013

I was really excited to visit The Hepworth Gallery especially when I read the children would have a chance to make metal animal sculptures..... however, before you can make the sculptures you have to explore the gallery and fill in activity sheets, herein lies the problem, the gallery is not at all child friendly, today there were lots of 'mature' visitors without children who were not shy in tutting and giving disapproving looks to the children whenever they made a noise, this made us feel extremely unwelcome in the upstairs part of the gallery. When we returned to make our sculptures my friend and her child were shown how to hammer 'quietly' which made them feel uncomfortable. We spent most of our time outside in the Hepworth play area which as it goes is a fantastic playground well equipped for all ages with lots to see and do. I'm not sure I would visit again.

Visited August 2013
Thank Emma A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Visit to the Hepworth”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2013

Fantastic! Great gallery with tremenous exhibits in a wonderful building. A must see for all who travel even close to Yorkshire. The architecture of the gallery is breath-taking as are the views. Great exhibitions with much flair and huge amount of info on all exhibits. Sorry we missed the opening on August 29 of the new exhibit area but when we go back to this area, we will visit. Restaurant was fantastc also and very good value for exceptional food. A MUST SEE

Visited August 2013
Thank cvshopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
226 reviews
95 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
“Outstanding gallery”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 20, 2013

We travelled via Wakefield specifically to see this gallery. Signposting from the north off the M1 was poor and seemed to abandon us in the Town Centre, however we got there. Car parking was pricey as we only intended to stay for an hour or so.

First impressions were poor, as others have said: dreary surroundings, a river choked with rubbish (although apparently this had only happened recently due t heavy rain after a prolonged dry spell).

Inside was a bit of a mixture; at first I felt disappointed that the whole gallery was not Hepworth. We felt that the temporary exhibition (Haroon Mirza) represented the worst of pretentious clever-clever modern art. The Tissots were nice enough but seemed out of place. The other temporary exhibition by William Scott was much more relevant and interesting.

However ... the contemporary British Art gallery was superb if not very large, and the Hepworth displays (especially the main large gallery) were quite splendid. It was fascinating the see how sculptures had been brought from conception, through prototypes, to completion.

We felt that the staff were remarkably friendly and helpful and that there was much good material for children. We only had a cup of coffee in the café but the food coming out of the kitchen looked excellent and was, we thought, reasonably priced.

Visited August 2013
Thank The_Baptist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
264 reviews
158 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 18, 2013

The press have raved about this gallery so much we expected it to be amazing. It is not. The gallery itself is an ugly concrete block. The river outside is solid with rubbish. The walk to it from the bus station in the centre of Wakefield is depressing. Inside the galleries are OK. The Hepworth prides itself on being child friendly and it is true that children seem to love running around, screaming a lot and stamping as the sound reverberates but hardly conducive for a peaceful contemplation of the art. The Tissot exhibition was nice but small.

Visited August 2013
Thank Lizzie071
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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