Snowdogs around NewcastleGateshead

This autumn, you won’t be able to move for Snowdogs as you explore Newcastle, Gateshead and beyond. With 61 big Snowdogs and 97 little pups, the North East has gone barking mad.

The Great North Snowdog trail which launched this week, is a creative project presented by Wild in Art and in partnership with St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice. It is a public art trail of imaginative Snowdog sculptures, based on the festive story The Snowman and The Snowdog, by Raymond Briggs which will take visitors on a tour of the region from beaches to city centres via forests, parks and attractions.

Against the backdrop of the North East’s finest monuments, landmarks and venues – the Great North Snowdogs trail will get you out and about spotting more than just oversized pups. If you make your way round the whole trail you will also meet the Angel of the North, cross the stunning bridges spanning the Tyne and come across the Northern homes of football - Newcastle's St James’ Park and the Sunderland Stadium of Light.

You have 10 weeks to find the full pack of big Snowdogs and little litters of pups. Take your selfies with each one and share online #snowfie #greatnorthsnowdogs #NewcastleGateshead

Angel of the North

Getting started

To help you spot them all, pick up an official Snowdogs trail map from a number of locations around the region. Click here for a full list of venues and access to printable map.

The dogs have also gone digital so why not download the Great North Snowdogs app to keep track of your trail?

Meet the Snowdogs

Each Snowdog has been lovingly painted by an artist while the little pups were designed by school children across the North East. Local artists, including illustrator Helen Stephenson, Julia Roxburgh and Jim Edwards, are amongst some of the designers who have created their own Snowdogs. Also look out for current Children’s Laureate and satirical cartoonist for The Observer Chris Riddell who has doodled his dog with a Shaggy Dog Story (find Chris' Snowdog in Richardson Dees Park, Wallsend). Can you spot which Snowdog was designed by actress, model, author and all-round national treasure Joanna Lumley? Here's a clue, you will find them in Saltwell Park.

Follow this link and take a closer look at the Snowdogs you will be meeting along the way... do you have a top dog?

Different snowdogs on display

Getting Around

The Metro is ready to help you get around the whole trail and offers a limited edition Snowdogs Pop Pay As You Go card so you can make as many Metro journeys as you like in a day. Families embarking on a Snowdog adventure might prefer to buy a Metro Snowdog wristband which costs £10 and is valid for 2 adults and up to 3 children for a full day’s travel on Metro. What a bargain! Click here to find out more

Here are some ideas for where to start your Snowdog adventure using the Metro to get around:

Monument, Newcastle

When you get off the Metro at Monument you are guaranteed to strike Snowdog gold and make excellent progress on your tick list! As you head in search of the next canine - enjoy Newcastle's vibrant city centre with a chance to explore attractions including Laing Art Gallery, Great North Museum, Discovery Museum, Life Science Centre and plenty of opportunity for shopping.

Manors, Newcastle

A 15-minute walk from Manors Metro is the Ouseburn (or should we say, Ousebone!) where Snowdog spotters will find THE Snowdog outside Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children's Books.  Keep an eye out for dog-themed storytimes and activities taking place at Seven Stories to celebrate the trail. Take a break to rest your legs and refuel at Ernest on your way to find The Biscuit Factory Snowdog. By day, the Ouseburn is a brilliant trip out for families with a stop off at the Ouseburn Farm being a must before continuing your trail.

Tynemouth

Visitors can travel out to the North Tyneside coast and find more Snowdogs enjoying the sea air along the Tynemouth promenade and at the Fish Quay. While you're there, drop into the Blue Reef Aquarium or stretch your legs along Tynemouth's beach. If you are visiting at the weekend - nosy round the bustling Tynemouth Market which, rather conveniently, is at Tynemouth Metro Station.

Tynemouth Market

Gateshead

Head out of Gateshead Metro and you will find a litter of pups in Trinity Square on your wander down the hill towards the Quayside. Admire the view across the Tyne from Sage Gateshead or pop into BALTIC to soak up some contemporary art or browse their fabulous shop before crossing Gateshead Millennium Bridge in search of more Snowdogs. Hang on to the last memories of summer at the Vueling Quayside Seaside before it is packed up for winter on Sunday 2 October. To keep with the dog-friendly theme, stop off at the Redhouse for a drink or some lunch; you can pick up a treat for any real life dog you might be taking on the trail with you.

What happens at the end of the trail?

The sculptures will be on display for 10 weeks before being auctioned to raise money for St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice. The event will take place at Sage Gateshead on Tuesday 6 December. If you fancy giving a Snowdog a home – you can register your interest to take part in the auction but with each pooch expected to fetch £4,000, you might need to start saving now. All the little pups will be making their way back to the schools that decorated them.

Don’t forget, this pawsome trail of public art needs looking after. To make sure they are still worthy of Best in Show at the final auction, please don’t climb on the pooches on parade.

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