Thursday, 10 September 2015

Shaun Spotting

I mentioned on Monday that I would do a dedicated post on my trip to Bristol when we went on the trail of Shaun the Sheep. Well here goes.

I've seen these trails in other cities in the past, but I've never had the opportunity to actually go on one before. When I found out that the Shaun the Sheep trail was going to be in its final weekend when I was visiting my Mum and family in Wales, I had to make a request. It didn't take much selling to convince my Mum and stepdad to make the trip.

Before I actually went to Wales I spent a fair amount of time on the Shaun in the City website looking up all the different Shauns. There were seventy of them in Bristol (previously there were fifty of them in London). Each one was decorated by an artist and then placed around the city for people like me to find, photograph and check off the list. Now that the trail is over they'll be brought together for one last public appearance before being auctioned off to raise funds for Wallace & Gromit's Children's Charity.

The day before we went, I downloaded the Sheep Spotter app onto my phone. It was £1.49 and that was definitely money well spent. The cost of the app went to the charity, so I felt good for doing my bit, and it gave you all the information you needed to track down each of the Shauns. This included various trails you could follow to take in different bits of the city, a running total of the number of Shauns you'd found, information about who designed each Shaun and trophies you could collect along the way.

The trophies were actually really good fun. There were the ones you would expect for things like finding five or twenty Shauns, then there were some slightly more random ones like finding a Shaun between 12pm and 2pm, or walking backwards to find a Shaun. It was cool seeing them pop up through the day.

We started our trail just round the corner from the Aardman Animations offices and found our first official Shaun in person (prior to this we'd driven past three other which I'd ticked off on the app because I'd seen them and therefore I figured it counted). The app was handy here too, it recognised when you were within range (providing the GPS was turned on), occasionally it was a little hinky and didn't register you were there so there were some helpful codes provided on each Shaun's plinth so you could check them off on the app that way.

Because I'd already looked at the Shauns online, I had a mental list of some of the ones I wanted to see. I was kind of expecting to just see a handful, but my stepdad got really into the hunt. That coupled with the fact he had worked in Bristol before meant he was the perfect person to get us from one Shaun to the next. We ended up seeing thirty-one Shauns, twenty-eight in person, plus one mini Shaun (the mermaid one).

I did get my photo taken with all the ones I was most desperate to see (The Pirate Captain, Bagpuss, Baa-wulf, Knitwit and the Woolly crochet one), plus I got loads of photos of all the others. I took a lot of photos.

We also walked miles. According to the activity tracker on my phone we walked roughly seven miles and over the course of the day I took somewhere in the region of 18,800 steps. I definitely felt it the next day!

I really hope that they could do some sort of similar trail around Glasgow in the future. If it was a little closer to home I'd probably go on multiple occasions to try and see them all. Especially if there was an app like the Sheep Spotter one to help me check them all off. I'm a sucker for getting awards of any kind and that was right up my street.


  1. You are the second blogger I follow who has done the Shaun trail. The Shauns are so cute. I remember seeing (in various places) pigs, cows, horses, bears and wolves, though not systematically, just ones we happened to pass. I think Aberdeen had dolphins recently but I didn't see those. I suppose Glasgow had Clyde last year but it would be good to have another one.
    Anabel's Travel Blog

    1. I've loved seeing everyone else's photos of the Shaun trail. I didn't know that Glasgow had a Clyde trail last year, if I'd seen that I might have done it. Hopefully they'll have one in the future I can go on.

  2. I've never heard of such a thing. What fun. I wish they'd try that around here.

    1. It's really good for tourism and for raising money for charity. Plus good fun as well. I was reading about one taking place in Japan soon. Hopefully you'll have one near to you some time so you can experience it for yourself.


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