Created by Nick Park, this cute little lamb made his first appearance in Wallace Gromit: A Close Shave in 1995. Twelve years later, he got his own spin-off television show. In 2014, he was officially voted the Nation's Best-Loved BBC TV Children's Character, spanning over last sixty years, which was followed by his very own feature length movie. Yes, Shaun the Sheep is a major celebrity, loved by young and old alike.
Now Shaun has left the dull life of his farm behind and has ventured into the big city. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to to find him. Not once. Not twice. But a hundred and twenty times. Just like previous trails before it, artists, celebrities, and sponsors have designed a hundred and twenty spiffing statues of our cheeky friend for the public to discover.
Between the 28th March and 25th May, fifty statues will be dotted around London, after which another seventy will arrive in Bristol on the 6th July, where they will remain until the 31st August. Once the statues are removed, they will be put up for auction, with all the proceeds going towards Wallace & Gromit's Children's Charity and The Grand Appeal. The fifty statues from the Paddington Trail raised over £930,000, so just imagine what can be achieved with more than twice that many.
Granted, folk like you and me will never be able to afford one of these awesome statues, but we can still help raise money. Fundraising ideas include paying to enter a 'Selfie with Shaun' competition and getting people to sponsor you for each statue you find. You can also download the app map for £1.49. This will guide you through the city, tell you more about the sculptures, and allow you to collect trophies and achievement awards. Alternatively, you can download and print a physical map from the Shaun in the City website.
Me Llama Shaun
Not only is looking for, and finding, the statues great fun, but it is also a wonderful way to learn how to get around the city. Before I did the Paddington Trail, I didn't know my way around London very well, but now I feel much more confident about where I am going.
Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom
For London, there are four different trails to take, all of which have a different theme. Shaun's Trail focusses on shopping; Timmy's Trail takes you through major tourist attractions; Shirley's Trail is all about the capital's heritage, and Bitzer will guide you around the business district. There are also a few odd statues further out in Paddington and Canary Wharf.
The Gruffalo Shaun
I decided to go on Shaun's Trail, which is approximately three kilometres and meant to take thirty-five minutes to complete. These time guidelines really do need to be taken with a few tablespoons of salt; not including browse time, it took me almost an hour and a half by myself. If you are going as a family, it will probably take longer, so I recommend freeing up a whole day for your adventure.