We were lucky enough to meet an art trail super fan in the shape of 11 year old Ethan from Kent, who popped into our Trail HQ on his recent visit to Newcastle with his family.

Despite his young age, Ethan has already clocked up an impressive 15 art trails across the country, and it’s a favourite summer holiday pastime for him and mum Emma and Dad Alan.

We caught up with Emma to find out a little more about her family’s passion for sculpture trails and their experience of Shaun on the Tyne.

Emma said:

“Ethan loves a treasure hunt. We were intrigued when we came across a Shaun sculpture in London in 2015 and we wanted to find more. We’ve been doing trails ever since. We have always walked them all.

“This was our first time in Newcastle and the furthest we’ve been up north. We has a great time and especially loved walking along the Quayside area. We thought the Shauns were great and each had a different favourite, Ethan loved Shaun the Sheep Dog, Alan’s favourite was Surf ‘n’ Turf and I really likes Candy Baa. We have a different Candy Baa mini ornament from the first trail in 2015 and it was nice seeing a different one this time

Emma said:

“We made it to all the locations on the trail, managing to find all 115 big and little Shauns. We did 80 on day 1 and walked 15 miles and 35 on day 2 and walked 10 miles! Our trail highlight was receiving such a warm welcome when we completed the trail at the HQ at Newcastle Civic Centre. All the staff were lovely and we got our finishers certificate too.”

You’d think that the family would be looking forward to a rest after such a busy time on the trail, but they still have plans to squeeze in more art adventures in over the summer.

Emma added:

“Since visiting Newcastle we have completed Morph in London, walking 14 miles and found all 78 in a day and also travelled to Swindon and walked a further 16 miles and completed all 72 big art dogs. We plan to travel to Southend before the end of the holidays do to the Herd in the City trail and will do Shaun by the Sea in Brighton in September. The trails have inspired Ethan to submit his own design to have an opportunity to paint one for the 2024 trail in Kent next year.”

Wow, we are impressed, that is some real dedication! Well done and thank you to Emma, Alan and Ethan for following the flock and sharing their experience with us. The trails are a great way to discover new places, spend time with friends and family and enjoy fresh air, all while showing support to St Oswald’s Hospice, which will benefit from all the funds raised during the trail. If you want to get started, find out where you can pick up a trail map, download the app, win your own Shaun Sculpture and get fundraising for St Oswald’s Hospice!

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