For the last few years I’ve been spotting various city art trails on blogs and social media and have always missed getting to see them. I’ve been waiting patiently for one to arrive in Oxford and finally the Gromit Unleashed trail arrived in Oxford over the Easter holidays (get there quick, it finishes on 15th April. We headed to Oxford on a slightly drizzly day to visit both Oxford Castle and do the trail.
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N has seen Shaun the Sheep on children’s tv, but never seen Wallace and Gromit, but he doesn’t mind a trail. Especially when there’s a prize involved at the end. The Gromit Unleashed tour cost us £2 which goes towards the Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal and supports sick children in hospitals.
Rather than being all around the city, the trail was based in the Westgate shopping centre. That meant it was perfect for a drizzly day. No worries about getting drenched while looking for them, although it can get busy when you want to photograph them.
Most were Gromit, although there were a couple of Shaun statues too. And we loved the cheese and teapot sculptures too. The cheese was a perfect size for N to sit on and check out the trail map.
What I loved is how a trail round a shopping centre keeps N happy. He doesn’t moan about being near shops, although I wasn’t on a shopping mission unfortunately. If you’re out with the whole family, it’s the perfect opportunity to leave the OH and kids to do the trail while you shop.
We found it a good way to check out the whole of the shopping centre. With only 10 statues to find, it didn’t take long (we did it in a couple of stages as our castle tour was in the middle. It’s lovely to see children’s excitement at first finding the Gromit, and then seeing all the colour, pattern and theme of each one. And N got to choose a Gromit keyring at the end for completing the trail. He’s already decided it’s going on his bookbag.
Hopefully now we’ve had one trail in Oxford, we’ll get more in future. It would be nice to have them stay for longer, and be more wide spread around the city.
Sculpture art trails in 2018
If you’re looking for other art trails to do this year, I’ve discovered a couple of others coming up in 2018:
Bristol – Gromit Unleashed 2. 60 Gromits and friends arriving in the city from July to 2 September
London – Sculpture in the City. An annual trail, this year’s ends this month (Apr 2018)
Nottingham – Hoodwinked. 7 July to 30 September. Robin Hood themed sculptures.
Brighton – Be More Snail. Snail trail around the city
Norwich – Go Go Hares. Starting 24 June to 8th September, 50 city sculptures and more in villages nearby
If you know of any more, let me know and I’ll add them.
Have you seen this Gromit trail? Which other trails have you done in the past?
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