If you live in the North East you would have to have been in a cave to have missed the Great North Snow Dogs, which popped up on the 19th of September. However, if you're like me you might be thinking apart from "That's cool" what they are for?
Here is what you need to know.
The Snowdog's Trail has 61 individually designed Snow dogs in total placed around the North East. It is Tyne and Wear's biggest ever mass participation public art event - The Great North Snowdogs.
From the 19th September running for 10weeks.
It was inspired by Raymon Briggs Classic animated short film. They have been painted by an array of artist some well known and some yet undiscovered. When the trail is finished the Snowdogs will be auctioned to raise funds for the St Oswald's Hospice.
The Metro has partnered up with the GNSD and are playing a vital role in the trail as most dogs are in walking distance from a Metro station. They have sponsored two dogs at opposite ends of the mouth of the Tyne. Pawdington at South Shields and my neck of the woods "Guide Dog" at North Shields.
All the Snowdogs are free to visit but Metro have a few different ticket options available to those visiting the dogs.
Families travelling to see the Snowdogs can get unlimited travel for one day for a family (up to 2 adults and 3 children) for just £10 using the limited edition Snowdog wristband family packs. The wristbands, which are valid on Metro, the Shields Ferry and local rail services (between Newcastle and Sunderland), are available here – Metro Family Wristbands
There is an app which cost 79p but you can find all the dogs and tick them off alternatively you can do what we did and print off the map at Metro Nexus
Snow Dog Hunt?
You might see some along your travels naturally but we embarked on a full Snow Dog hunt with the Metro which was so much fun. Ive never got into Pokemon hunting but I will have to after the Snowdogs have gone its so addictive.
This is what we did....
With our maps and wrist bands in hand I parked the car on Tynemouth Seafront. I managed to get a free space but parking is generally 60p an hour. We walked and saw our first Dog...
We then walked about 2 mins to Tynemouth Park and saw the second dog...
Another 7minute walk up the road to Tynemouth Metro Station which is my favourite and the Market was on, which is held every Saturday and Sunday 10-4pm. We decided to have a little wander about an snack on some of the amazing "Bennies Macaroons" until the Train turned up.
We hopped on and I have to admit I haven't been on a Metro in a long time. I assumed we would have time to read our maps but it literally flew over in minutes and we arrived at St James Bark...I mean Park!
We saw our 3rd Dog Newcastle United and had a spy at the new Shearer statue too....
We walked to the top of Northumberland Street and saw our 4th Dog No 19 Psychedelic Dog. We should have nipped over to see No18 but little legs was too tired.
Further down Northumberland Street we saw our 5th Dog No 20 Hounds Tooth.
We turned down towards Old Eldon square and saw our 6th Dog No 24 and my personal favourite Rosa Canina sponsored by 'The Botanist' it looks like Cath Kidston made it herself.
Onto Old Eldon Square and spotted our 7th dog No 27 The Dog Father.
It was definitely time for a pit stop now and we decided to go to Wagamamas which is on Old Eldon Square. The kids meals are all around £4.50 and the boys love using chop sticks...the green juice didn't go down as well ha ha.
The stair case into intu Eldon Square is next door to Wagamama and would you know it brings you out at "Hound Dog" No22 and our 8th dog outside of John Lewis. Had a little look in the shops at Halloween stuff too.
We walked to the top of intu Eldon Square and turned at Goldsmiths and there was our 9th dog and No 21 "Roodle" a furry fella.
Out of the Greys Monument exit and we went down Grey Street towards The Theatre Royal and there was our 10th dog No25 "Essence of the North" and our 11th dog No26 "Arthur"
We then walked all the way down to the quayside which was about 10mins but took wayyy more with just one Mammy and two boys with the snuffles so we stopped at one of our fav places "The Great British Cupcakery" and had the most epic milkshakes ever!
On a full blast SUGAR RUSH we went off further along the quayside and took a turn by the Broad Chare and spotted the 11th dog No 32 "Hadrien's Hound - Amicus Optimus" or the solider as the boys said.
We kept pottering along the Quayside until we came to the amazing Millennium Bridge and there was our 12th Dog No 33 "Tyne Tail Jack" I was a bit disapointted that it was dinner time already because I would have loved to have had a bite at "Rileys Fish Shack" on the quayside beach or a beverage at the Pitcher and Piano watch the world go by.
Just along from there we spotted one of my favourites our 13th dog No 34 "Snowberry" who looks like a Strawberry.....
We crossed the Millienium Bridge and the River the Tyne. The Sage was very busy and Oscar was flagging so we sadly by passed No 35 but spotted our 14th dog No 36 "Disco Dog"
The boys have had nasty colds, Oz had croup and they suddenly just crashed, I would have happily walked the 15min but we had to jump in a taxi to stop a melt down to take us to Gateshead Metro Station or 'Gateshound' as been lovingly named in a competition. There was our 15th dog No38 "Mojo"
We jumped on the Metro and were whizzed to South Shields station. A quick walk to the seafront and there was our 16th dog sponsored by the Metro and the boys fav No 60 "Pawdington".
It couldn't have been better timing as the Ferry pulled in just then and we hopped on to take us back to North Shields Fish Quay. There is actually a mini dog on the ferry.
We walked along and spotted our 17th Dog No4 "Skipper" I am going to have to return with out the kids and Adults LISTEN UP. There is one of my favourite bars just behind Skipper called the "The Quay Taphouse" if you take a selfie with Skipper and post it to their FB page then show them in the bar you can have a jug of Sangria for free AND they will donate £1 to St Oswalds for every selfie. I would highly recommend the Tapas while you're there too!
Just along from there was our 18th and LAST dog of the day No 3 also sponsored by the Metro "Guide Dog"
I have to make a special mention to one of my fav girls in the world Molly whose drawing is on the "Girl Guide Dog" which we didn't get to see but will. Well Done Mol!
TOTALLY pooped after a full day of fresh air we jumped on the 333 bus which stops at the Fish Quay and just so happened take us right to Tynemouth Seafront/ to our car! A fantastic day had and now it is our mission to find the rest in the next few weeks its so addictive. I would even make a trip to the toon just to do a Metro Snow Dog Hunt!