Gromit Unleashed

The last couple of weeks have been madly busy for us, some days for good reasons, others not so much. That’s why it has taken a bit of time to get round to posting about our recent trip up to Bristol. I had to take Abi up to the Royal Children’s Hospital to get some tests done last week, and fully aware that we were going to be in the hospital all day, that she was going to have to fast and that they weren’t going to be very nice tests I decided it was more practical and would take the edge off the experience a bit if we had a nice day out and then booked into a hotel the night before.

I already knew about the Gromit trail because a) it’s been on the local news more than once and b) we saw the one located at Paddington Station when we went up to London in July. I had been thinking of visiting science museum @Bristol but thought as the weather was good and my companion for the trip, my mum, hadn’t been to Bristol for decades, that wandering around Gromit spotting might be as much, if not more, fun.

It also seemed apt, bearing in mind we were there to visit the Children’s hospital, that the Gromit Unleashed trail is part of the fundraising by Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal which is the charity for the hospital. Anyone who has visited may tell you that one of the things that makes them smile there is the voice over in one of the lifts – done by Wallace and including lines like “Eee, watch you trousers lad” and advising that one of the floors (which are different colours) is the colour of cheese. Madam may be too young to appreciate it but it always makes me and her dad smile.

The basic premise is that there are 80 Gromits, mostly in Bristol. They have been designed by different artists and celebrities and once the trail is over (the event runs until 8th Sept) they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Appeal. There has long been a shop opposite the hospital selling W&G items but for the duration of the trail they have additional space and are selling all manner of items to raise extra money. We came away with a tea towel, Gromit print and some wristbands, and I’m sorely tempted to buy one of the figurines via the website 

A trail map is available showing the locations and providing details of the artists and sponsors, and there is also an app (which I tried to buy but have issues with my phone!) For serious Gromit collectors there’s even a little passport that you can collect embossed stamps in at 6 of the locations. We didn’t have a lot of time so only clocked up eight but were in good company as there were loads of families armed with maps and cameras strolling around the centre of Bristol. If you are in the area and looking for something to do that isn’t going to cost you much (if you avoid the shop and nagging) then it’s a fabulous idea and a nice way to see some of the city.

Sadly there is no way we’ll have time to go back up and clock up more sightings, and as much as I’d love to buy one I don’t have the space (or the cash as I suspect and hope they will raise a good amount each) Maybe I’ll divert our attention to seeing more of Great Gorillas in Exeter and Torbay instead! Without further ado here are some of the Gromits we found.

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Doodles at Cabot Circus

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Gnashional Gromit at the Marriott

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Lancelot at Quakers Friars

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Malago at Broadmead

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Hero at Subway Harbourside

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Salty Sea Dog at the Cascade Steps

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