We love a sculpture trail and over the last few years, we have had some of our best ever days out as a family hunting for colourful sculptures in different locations. It is a brilliant day out (or days depending on how spread out the sculptures are or how obsessive you are about finding them all) for the whole family, a great way to get lots of fresh air and exercise, a brilliant way to discover new places and of course it is great fun too. The sculptures often give you lots of great photo opportunities too with a range of fun and colourful sculptures to pose alongside.
It also doesn’t have to cost any money either. Some of the trails come with an app to help you to navigate from one sculpture to another and whilst there might be a small charge for the app, most trails are charity based and the funds all go towards the nominated charities.
Our obsession with sculpture trails started with Gromit Unleashed in Bristol back in 2013 with the first Gromit Unleashed trail. We discovered a new city which we all fell in love with and after a number of visits, found lots of the Gromits and we have such great memories of our trips and quite a collection of memorabilia too. The first Gromit Unleashed trail was the combined initiative of the Grand Appeal and Aardman Animations. With 80 sculptures fabulously designed by a wide range of creatives and celebrities, not only did it attract over a million ‘hunters’ that summer, but it raised a staggering £2.3 million.
That is the other great thing about sculpture trails too, they often raise amazing amounts of money for deserving charities as the Bristol trails have shown with another hugely successful Shaun in the City trail two years later which saw 120 Shaun the Sheep sculptures in London and Bristol which also raised an impressive £2 million.
Since the first Gromit Unleashed trail, we have searched for Shaun the Sheep, Paddington, Snowdogs and Hares.
Each trail is just as exciting as the last. We love them.
With the exciting news that Gromit Unleashed 2 will be arriving in Bristol this summer, I did some research and have discovered at least three different trails that we should be able to do this summer. While I was researching, I discovered a few different sculpture trails that are coming to different parts of the UK in 2018 and I thought I would share them. All of them have a wonderful array of fantastically colourful characters to find, all raising much-needed funds and awareness for well deserving charities and many have smaller versions to look out for too which are designed by local schools.
What are you waiting for, get sculpture spotting?
Gromit Unleashed 2 #GU2
Gromit is making a welcome return but this time he isn’t alone. Also waiting to be discovered across the city of Bristol will be his pal Wallace and his arch enemy Feathers McGraw. There will be 60 sculptures to find from 2nd July to 2nd September.
Find out more news about the Gromit Unleashed trail on the website.
The Snowdog Art Trails – Snowdogs Discover Ashford
Kent is the next destination for the Snowdogs and from September to November this year, you will be able to discover 25 Snowdogs around Ashford and believe me when I tell you that they are super cute as we discovered in Cardiff last year.
The Snowdogs Discover Ashford Trail will take place in Ashford, Kent from September and to November 2018. Find out more on the Snowdog Art Trails website.
Cotswold AONB Hare Trail
This is the second year running for the Cotswold Hare Trail and as many of the hares last year were in places around where we live, we were lucky enough to spot a few of them. They look so pretty and the idea of the hare links back to a famous Roman Hare Mosaic in the Corinium Museum in Cirencester.
The hares will be situated across the Cotswolds and as it is a stunning area, this is a great way of exploring a beautiful part of the country.
The Cotswold AONB Hare Trail will be taking place between 22nd May and 9th September 2018. Find out more on the website.
Nottingham could be the only possible destination for Hoodwinked 2018 which is a sculpture trail in honour of Robin Hood, but with a difference, each of the Robin hood theme sculptures is, in fact, a robin. Such a clever idea is bound to be popular and a great way to discover the wonderful city of Nottingham.
Hoodwinked will take place between 7th July and 30th September in and around Nottingham. Check the Hoodwinked 2018 website for more information.
Worcester Stands Tall
Another Wild in Art event takes place in Worcester. The aptly named Worcester Stands Tall is a sculpture trail of 25 2.5 metre tall giraffes which can be found around the city of Worcester.
The gentle giants will be on display for ten weeks this summer from 9th July until the 16th September and more information can be found on the website.
Norfolk is the home to another Hare-raising trail with the GoGoHAres 2018 trail. With 68 colourful hares in total, 50 hares in Norwich and a further 18 across Norfolk, there are plenty of these sculptures to track down.
The trail starts on the 24th June 2018 and ends on 8th September. Check the GoGoHares2018! website for more information.
Maggie’s Penguin Parade
Scotland isn’t going to miss out this summer as Dundee is the next stop on my hunt for sculpture trails this year and they are hosting another Wild in Art trail. It is worth mentioning that Wild in Art have been animating cities for over ten years with events like this and have raised a staggering £10 million which is just amazing.
Maggie’s Penguin Parade is named after Maggie’s Centre which provides support to people with cancer and their friends and family. The Penguin Parade will consist of 80 penguin sculptures on a trail in and around Dundee and the aim is to raise at least £540,000 which is the cost of running The Maggie Centre for a whole year.
Maggie’s Penguin Parade trail will run from 29th June until 24th September 2018 and you can find out more on the Maggie’s Penguin Parade website.
Snailspace Brighton & Hove
#BeMoreSnail is the hashtag that accompanies the Snailspace Brighton & Hove trail this summer. The idea behind the hashtag is to take a slower path around the city this summer in search of the snail sculptures.
Another Wild in Art trail, Snailspace is an autumn trail. You will have eight weeks to find the fifty giant snails in iconic spots around the city (and a few unexpected places too) and the trail will be on from September until November. Watch out for updates on the trail on the Snailspace Brighton & Hove website.
Bee in the City 2018
Manchester is the home of Bee in the City 2018 and what a wonderful way to explore another fabulous city. This is a trail I would love to do as I spent a few very happy years living in Manchester in my student days and I love exploring the city.
Bee in the City 2018 will see over 80 bee sculptures across the city from July until September. Watch out on the Bee in the City 2018 website for updates and more information.
Minerva’s Owls of Bath
With so much history and beautiful locations, Bath is the perfect home for a sculpture trail. The name of the trail comes from the Minerva’s owl which can be seen carved into the stone pediment of the Roman Baths temple, on display at the Roman Baths Museum.
A fully decorated flock of over 100 owls will be landing in and around the city from 25th June to 10th September 2018. Check the Minerva’s Owls of Bath 2018 website for updates and more information.