The best thing about living in the West Country is that it is full of hidden surprises, those unexpected gems you find by chance and which then become your new favourite place. Sculpture by the Lakes
, a new discovery for Country Calling, is a case in point.
Here, we think, is the ultimate place for a summer picnic, 26 acres of Dorset countryside set around the beautiful Pallington Lakes and Simon Gudgeon’s outdoor sculpture.
The park was landscaped by Simon and wife Monique, a four year project which began in 2007, with the idea of creating an outdoor sculpture gallery. This means that each piece is in the perfect setting whether it’s the enormous Ibis (a duplicate of the abstract bird which stands in Hyde Park and is 3 metres high), the gigantic bronze heads stationed on the edge of a field gazing skywards (Search for Enlightenment, main image) or an entwined pair of silver swans floating on the lake.
The park has a no under 14s rule which makes for a serene, contemplative experience. You are encouraged to come for the day with a picnic, book ahead for one of the chi-chi shepherds huts and kick back.
The garden, planted by Monique, is natural and wild in the style of Piet Oudolf and other contemporary landscaper gardeners and a perfect foil for Simon’s awe-inspiring sculptures.
Harder to find a more romantic setting than this one.
Open daily 11-5 http://www.sculpturebythelakes.co.uk