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.

Arts trails 2018 Gromit in Oxford - Bubbablue and me

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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.

gromits story board in oxford

inside Gromits kennel

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.

teapot sculpture in oxford

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.

gromit dreams and balloons

gromit on the roof at westgate centre

Gromit wings

another gromit unleashed

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.

another gromit unleashed

shanghai shaun the sheep

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

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

Manchester – Bee in the City until 23 September, spot the 100 bees around the city and outskirts

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?

Why not take a look at these similar posts.

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  1. I love all the vibrant designs and colours on these statues. We haven’t done a city trail before but there are a couple reasonably near us so I think we’ll make the effort to go on one soon #sharingthebloglove

  2. Ah Evie would have loved to see this! They’re a lot of fun to find #sharingthebloglove

  3. I love this, I should’ve gone to Oxford over the holidays and done it! We did the Zebra one in Southampton a couple of years ago. Lots of fun. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • A zebra one sounds fun. I think they’re great for keeping kids entertained in places they’d not usually fancy visiting

  4. We love trails like this, and I love the fact that this one is all based quite close together, so perfect for little legs, or a rainy day. And I love the idea of setting my husband off on this while I do some shopping even more! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  5. These are fantastic 🙂 I love the Gromits – really bright and colourful – and great fun to do 🙂

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