Shaun in the City

A couple of weekends ago I went to London to hunt for Shaun the Sheep.  50 Shaun the Sheep sculptures are dotted around London and there are a series of trails you can go on to try and find them.  Some of the trails are short, with sculptures close together, other trails are longer with sculptures further apart and harder to find.

The specific event I attended was organised by Girlguiding Cambs East, the county of Girlguiding in which I grew up.  I still know a lot of the leaders and camp with them occasionally.  When a friend asked if I'd like to join a team, I quickly signed myself up!

Each team (my time was just K and I) was given a map of the trails, a quiz sheet with photos of sheep legs on (and we had to find the sheep with the matching legs) and also a photo challenge.  We left Kings Cross at 10.30 and had to meet at Piccadilly Circus at 4.00.  We had a chart numbered 1-50 and when we found a sheep we had to write down its unique code and its name.  The lady who organised the event had assigned each sheep with its own number of points but we didn't know which were the valuable ones.  So we had six hours to find as many sheep as we could, complete the quiz sheet and do the photo challenge.  Go!

K and I planned to head over to Liverpool Street Station and then on to Canary Wharf.  These were the longer, further away trails and we reckoned these would be worth more points.  We would be lowering the number of sheep found over all, but we were going for higher number of points than sheep!

Liverpool Street Station had this gorgeous sheep:

Each sheep is so beautifully designed and there is great attention to detail.  It is quite hard, on a Saturday in London, to take a photo which doesn't have children in it, so I apologise in advance about some of these photos - I had to take them before yet another child appeared!

The app is great - it lets you know when you're near a sheep and is quite handy for finding the sheep which are slightly off a road, or hidden in a courtyard.  With K's paper map and the app, we had our route planned and knew where we were going!

The Mr. Men and Little Miss sheep featured Shaun:

Then we found Shanghai Shaun:

I think this Shaun was one of my favourites, just a shame about the bikes in the background!

Often we could spot the tourists before we could see the sculpture.  Some were more popular than others (in terms of people waiting to have their photo taken) and lots of people seemed to like Liberty Bell:

Then we have Lenny:

I love the Simon's Cat cartoons, as does my mum, so I sent her a photo of Mittens:

I loved this side of Literary Lamb:

A Capital View:

There were a great number of people at the Tower of London, K and I bumped into a few other Cambs East teams as well as several other Girlguiding groups doing a similar thing.  We had an ice cream (£2.50 for a '99'!) and did our Good Turns for the day by taking a few photos for tourists.

We ate lunch as we went along, we had sheep to find!  We spent ages finding the Hello Kitty sheep in Canary Wharf - it's in a shopping centre which has rubbish signs and we needed a certain floor.  The app said we were right on top of the sheep, which we literally were, just a few floors above!  We asked a security man in the end where it was, and we eventually found it.  It had eaten a chunk of our time, though, and wasn't even that pretty! Anyway.  We hoped it was worth a few more points than the closer together ones!

Time was ticking on - we had planned to find a few more round Piccadilly Circus before we had to meet the others, but we were running out of time.  Overall, K and I found 25 out of 50 Shauns, and made it to Piccadilly Circus right on 4.00 so we didn't get any points deducted for being late.  We were one of the last teams back, but thankfully not the last - that team arrived about twenty minutes later!

After a group photo, everyone headed home apart from one team who had already found 43 (!) and were determined to find the remaining seven.  Which apparently they did.  K and I were satisfied with our 25, the remaining ones are quite close together so we should be able to find them in a couple of hours if either of us decides to return to London before they disappear at the end of the month.

I had a lovely, lovely day (I'm forgetting about the blisters) with K, I realised we hadn't seen each other for five years! But that's what great about Guiding friendships, you can go years without seeing someone but when you do meet up it's as though the last five years were five minutes and within moments you're talking about residentials and activities and politics and all those fun things!

So thank you to Cambs East for putting on the event, and for allowing me to gatecrash!  Hopefully it won't be five years before I join in with another event!


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