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Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro

If you haven't heard about the Great North Snowdogs - where have you been? The Great North Snowdogs are a large scale sculpture trail showcasing the artistic talent in the North East. There are 61 large dogs and 97 smaller dogs to find and enjoy. The trail continues until 29th November and at the end, the Snowdogs will be auctioned to raise money for St Oswald's Hospice. 

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro

Tyne and Wear Metro are supporting the trail and St Oswalds and indeed have sponsored two of their own dogs (You can find Pawdington near the Customs House in South Shields and Guide Dog on the North Shields Fish Quay near Taylors Seafood). 

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - one day travel card

So the idea of driving around the North East to see all of the Snowdogs just doesn't appeal to me. Parking & traffic.......I'm not a fan. So when Tyne & Wear Metro asked if we'd like to work with them and see how we could find Snowdogs using their fantastic £10 family wristband deal, we jumped at the chance.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - limited edition snowdog wristbands

You can order your wristbands online (allow at least 48 hours for delivery). For just £10 a family of 5 (2 adults and 3 children) can enjoy unlimited travel across Tyne and Wear Metro, the Shields ferry and local rail services between Newcastle and Sunderland for one day. This is a MEGA bargain. You will receive a travel card and 5 wristbands which of course must be worn during your Great North Snowdog adventure.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - snowdog trail map

There are 61 big dogs to find in total. WOW that's quite a lot - we had already spotted a couple on Northumberland Street and in intu Eldon Square and couldn't wait to tick more from our list. We parked our car at Wallsend Metro Station as there is a small FREE car park here and climbed aboard the Metro where we headed to Monument in Newcastle.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro

Like most kids, my three LOVE riding the metro and it did honestly feel like a real adventure. We climbed the steps out of monument station and spotted our first Snowdog outside of Waterstones - what a beauty! You can download a Great North Snowdogs app for 79p and enter a code for each Snowdog you find to 'unlock' them. We decided against this though as I didn't think my phone battery would cope with that plus snapchatting/live streaming/tweeting/taking photo and video footage. I think the old fashioned method of a pen and paper and ticking them from your list works just as well.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro  - Rosa Canina on Blackett Street - sponsored by the Botanist
Rosa Canina on Blackett Street (sponsored by The Botanist)

Walking down Grey Street there are a further 2 Snowdogs outside of the theatre Royal - they are so sweet.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne and Wear Metro - Arthur on Grey Street (sponsored by Sanderson& Young)
Arthur, Grey Street (sponsored by Sanderson & Young)

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne and Wear Metro - Arthur on Grey Street (sponsored by Sanderson& Young) - Essence of the North, Grey Street (sponsored by Northumbrian water)
Essence of the North, Grey Street (sponsored by Northumbria Water)

We stopped for a quick breakfast at Violets on the Quayside (pricey but lovely) before walking along the Quayside where we found another three dogs (outside the Broad Chare and Pitcher & Piano). We were on a roll!

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne and Wear Metro -bread basket at Violets, Newcastle Quayside

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne and Wear Metro - Hadrian's Hound, Newcastle Quayside (sponsored by Deloitte)
Hadrian's Hound, Newcastle Quayside (sponsored by Deloitte)

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne and Wear Metro - Tyne Tail Jack, Newcastle Quayside
Tyne Tail Jack, Newcastle Quayside (sponsored by The North Group  - Artist Corinne Lewis-Ward)

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne and Wear Metro - Snowberry, Newcastle Quayside (sponsored by KPMG)
Snowberry, Newcastle Quayside (sponsored by KPMG)

So with the Newcastle Quayside side complete, we crossed the Millenium bridge to check out the Gateshead side. I've been to the Sage a couple of times but Steve and the kids have never set foot in the building. One of the things I love about the Great North Snowdogs is that they encourage you to really get out and about and explore your local area.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne and Wear Metro - view of Newcastle from the Sage Gateshead


Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne and Wear Metro - view of Newcastle from the Sage Gateshead

Inside the Sage you will find lots of snow puppies - it's also a fab place to stop and grab a seat for a little break. The views of the Tyne are superb, there's a free (but small) soft play area for younger kids and there are lots of points of interest including a time-lapse video featuring Question Time being recorded at the Sage.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne and Wear Metro - Disco Dog, Sage Gateshead (sponsored by Sage Gateshead)
Disco Dog, Sage Gateshead (also sponsored by the Sage Gateshead)

The Sage is also home to a fantastic range of Great North Snowdog gifts - if you're looking for a memento from the trail, this is the place to head.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne and Wear Metro - Great North Snowdogs Gift shop at sage

Suitably rested we walked into Gateshead - reason no 987 I love the trail is that it encourages your family to get out and walk. Never in a million years would I suggest walking to Gateshead from Newcastle but today, we had a reason to and the exercise did us good. There are a couple of Snowdogs in Trinity Square and the Metro Station.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - Squares, Trinty Square, Gateshead
Squares, Trinty Square - Gateshead (also sponsored by Trinity Square)

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - Gateshead Interchage

From Gateshead Interchange we hopped on a Metro train to South Shields. I have travelled to South Shields many times before but I've always stayed on the coast. Call be naive but I didn't even realise they had a town centre! LOL! We walked down to the Customs House from the station and met one of our favourite Snowdogs.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - Gateshead Metro Station

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro -Snowdog activity pack



Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - Pawdington, South Shields Customs House (sponsored by Tyne & Wear Metro)
Pawdington, South Shields Customs House (sponsored by Tyne & Wear Metro)

It's Pawdington! The detail on the dogs is fantastic - Pawdington even has his own marmalade sandwich much to the amusement of our children.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - Pawdington, South Shields Customs House (sponsored by Tyne & Wear Metro)

From Pawdington it's a short walk to the ferry terminal and we timed it just in time to catch a ferry that was leaving. Your travel card gives you free travel on the shields ferry and this trip was a first for us as a family - again the kids were loving it.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro -South Shields Ferry Terminal

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro -South Shields Ferry Snowdog

The ferry even has it's own Snowdog. Of course we had to ride up top........... Jack spent the entire journey shouting he could see the 'Kraken' in the sea and he was chasing us. Sometimes I wonder where I got him from.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro -Shields Ferry

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro -view from Shields ferry

The walk along North Shields Fish Quay is again, a lovely one. Here you will find two snowdogs.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - Skipper, North Shields Fish Quay. Designed by Joanne Wishart, sponsored by DFDS Seaways
Skipper, North Shields Fish Quay. Designed by Joanne Wishart and sponsored by DFDS Seaways

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - Taylors Seafood, North Shields Fish Quay

We took the opportunity to browse some of the fabulous seafood on offer and vowed we would be back sooner rather than later to pick up our next fish supper.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - Taylors Seafood, North Shields Fish Quay

Guide dog was another real favourite for us - the map and detail on his coat is incredible. I love how he's looking out to sea - it's as if he's a real dog and protecting the land.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - Guide Dog, North Shields Fish Quay. Sponsored by Tyne and Wear Metro
Guide Dog, North Shields Fish Quay (sponsored by Tyne & Wear Metro)

Yet another first for us......can you believe we've never walked from the fish quay to Tynemouth. It's such a picturesque walk and very easy for kids too. We walked all the way along the coast to Tynemouth Station where you'll find a regular weekend market.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - North Shields Fish Quay beach

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - North Shields Fish Quay

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - Tynemouth Station

It was around 2:30pm by this point and we'd been out of the house since before 9am so we were hungry and tired. We grabbed a table and ordered fish and chips from The Little Fishy. The owner Michael informed us that he sources all of his fish from the fish quay we had just walked from. It's good to keep it local.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - The Little Fishy - Tynemout Market Fish and Chips

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro - The Little Fishy, Fish and chips Tynemouth Market

With our tummies filled we felt like we could walk no more so called an end to our mission for that day. We counted that we'd seen 15 dogs in total and definitely have the bug now. The Great North Snowdogs provided us with some fantastic weekend entertainment for very little cost. I loved that we'd visited places we hadn't seen before and tried something new plus we had walked over 15k in total. Very impressive! With tired legs we climbed aboard the Metro from Tynemouth Station and headed back to Wallsend to collect our car.

Explore the Great North Snowdogs with Tyne & Wear Metro -Tynemouth station platform and metro train


The kids were happy and we all chatted about our favourite Snowdogs from the day and started planning our next Snowdog adventure.



Phew! Well done for getting to the bottom of this post, it's been a long one. I hope we've inspired you to get out and explore the North East and the Great North Snowdogs. If you'd like to see more from our adventure, take a look at our video below:-



Need To Know


The Great North Snowdog Trail continues until 29th November 2016. There are 61 'big dogs' and 97 'snow puppies' to find across the North East. The Snowdogs will be auctioned on 6th December and all funds raised will be donated to St Oswalds. Buy your tickets to the auction here (tickets cost £15 each and bidding is expected to start at around £4000).


Let me know how many Snowdogs you've spotted so far :-) 

Disclosure: This is a Collaborative Post with Tyne & Wear Metro



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11 comments

  1. Simon always makes me walk from Newcastle to Gateshead and insists we go over the freezing cold High Level Bridge too (Im a Swing Bridge girl myself!) - he's so mean!

    Wow you found loads of dogs in a day, you must have been exhausted!

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    1. Ah we went a different way - over Millennium bridge and then round the back of Sage. We were SUPER tired - can't believe we had the energy to host a Halloween party that night!

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  2. Snowberry looks very unusual! We've heard about this tour and live hundreds of miles away. Looks like a great day out (knackering for little ones). We have something similar near Southampton with Zebras sponsored by a local zoo, but this looks far more seasonal xx

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    1. Ah how exciting that you've heard about the trail and you don't live in the North East. Love it! Snowberry was my daughter's favourite x

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  3. I haven't been snowdog hunting yet, maybe in half term, this is definitely my kind of perfect day out, low cost and lots of walking is always pretty much a winner.

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    1. Yes and you can take Holly to meet her Snowdog pals :D

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  4. Looks like a fantastic day and I love Snowdogs! They are so cute!

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  5. Oh I LOVE the snowdogs. They are like the owls they had in Birmingham a few years ago, which I really wanted to go and do. How good that you get unlimited travel when buying the wristbands. We have never been to Newcastle but this makes me really want to come and visit. Great pictures Sam x

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  6. oh wow that looks like fun. We were looking for dream jars around London over the summer.

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  7. What a lovely day out you had, and the photos of your family are just beautiful. I look forward to seeing more family day out posts!
    TQR x
    thequietresolution.co.uk

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  8. Looks like you had a fab day and found loads of snowdogs. Sadly Pawdington was not there when we went, glad he's back now

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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