Gromit and his pals have returned – and the South West is in loveTuesday 03 July 2018 by Kayleigh Little Summer in Bristol encourages a multitude of activities; from spending all afternoon drinking at the waterfront and taking evening strolls through Castle Park, to enjoying live music at the Harbourside Festival. But move aside Bristol harbour, because this year it’s all about the return of the acclaimed Wallace and Gromit Trail – Gromit Unleashed 2. And we couldn’t be more excited!
📍 Wapping Wharf
Photo credit: @thiscitymum
Making a comeback with its second succession across the glorious city of Bristol and beyond, the Gromit Trail is an immensely fun (free!) day out for all the family. Not only is it a great way to keep the kids quiet (for at least a few hours), but it’s also a superb excuse to visit some of the city’s hidden gems, which you might not have otherwise known about.
Over 60 giant sculptures of everyone’s favourite canine Gromit, his best friend Wallace and their rival Feathers McGraw have featured on the public art trail this week. Interestingly, every model is completely different and the characters are portrayed in a variety of disguises, each being individually created by local artists and several high-profile designers. The sculptures have already made friends with a lot of visitors since their debut yesterday, including SACO’s very own Marketing Director, Jo Redman pictured below with ‘Gnome Sweet Gnome’ at College Green.
“Who did you meet on your commute into work this morning?”
Award-winning charity Grand Appeal, which has raised over £50 million since 1995 to support sick children and their families at Bristol Children’s Hospital, are the brains behind the Wallace and Gromit adventure. Unlike previous years, this year will see the innovation of new contactless donation points at 17 various sculpture locations on the trail making it easier than ever for you to do your bit. Gromit Unleashed was launched in 2013 and raised an astonishing £2.3 million for the charity from sculpture sales. We then saw Shaun the Sheep featured in a ‘Shaun in the City’ Trail which raised a further £1 million when the 70 characters were sold off in 2015. Gromit Unleashed 2 sculptures will be auctioned off by the charity for the third time in October, gaining funds for specialist equipment, family accommodation, expert doctors and nurses to ensure all patients get the best medical care.
Some of our top tips for making sure you make the most of the Gromit Unleashed 2 Trail…
Tip #1 - Download the app
New to the Gromit Unleashed Trail is the ‘Detect-O-Gromit 2’ app which you can download and use to navigate through beautiful Bristol. The app also includes trail trophies and a quiz which will keep you and any little ones entertained along the way. But be warned – your heart strings will be pulled when you discover the app’s behind the scenes clips showcasing the astonishing life-saving work going on inside Bristol Children’s Hospital.
Tip #2 – Perhaps paper maps are more your thing?
If you’re still stuck in the pre-digital era, you can pick up a paper map to guide you along the trail from various locations including the GU shop in Cribbs Causeway. You might also find something else there if you look closely…
📍 Cribbs Causeway
Photo credit: @home.ed.muma
Tip #3 – Plan how you’ll travel to each location
Fortunately, Bristol has a variety of travel options for those put off by walking, these include the Yo Bike scheme, open top buses running every 15 minutes, or even hopping on a ferry around the harbourside! However you choose to follow the trail, make sure you keep your smartphone handy for those all-important selfies with every sculpture.
Tip #4 – Know what (or who) you’re looking for
SPOILER ALERT! If you want to know what disguises to look out for, you can visit the official Grand Appeal website which has images and information about every one of the 67 sculptures, from where you can find them to the artist who created them. Each model has a 360 image so you can pretend you’ve completed the trail, even if not in person!
Tip #5 - Allow yourself a few days to fully explore Bristol
As there’s a vast display of sculptures to find hidden across this magical city, how about booking a short stay in Bristol so you can experience a true Bristolian summer whilst you’re here as well? But hurry – the trail will finish on the 2nd September 2018.
📍 Clifton Suspension Bridge
Photo credit: @rogerturner6