Elmer’s Great North Parade with Tyne and Wear Metro | Pip Milburn | AD

Newcastle Monument Great North ElmerTyne and Wear Metro recently got in touch and asked us to go on an adventure. If you follow my YouTube channel you will know that adventuring is what we loved to do! Tyne and Wear Metro have teamed up with St Oswald’s Hospice and are the headline partners for the Great North Elmer Parade. You may have spotted a few brightly coloured Elmer’s in your local area already.

What is Elmer’s Great North Parade?

Elmer’s Great North Parade is a creative and fun trail organised by St Oswald’s Hospice and aims to bring together local businesses, schools and youth groups. There are 50 large and 114 small individually designed Elmer the Patchwork Elephant sculptures dotted around Tyne and Wear. The parade runs until 1st November.

Each of the larger Elmer’s has been specifically designed by an artist and sponsored by a business. Once the parade has come to an end each of the large sculptures will be auctioned off. The money raised will go to St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice to help local young people, children and babies living with incurable conditions.

South Marine Park Great North Elmer

There are also 114 little Elmer’s to find. The mini Elmer’s have been lovingly designed by school across Tyne and Wear.

How can I find the Elmer’s?

You can download the app (charge of 99p applies) or print of you own map here. You can also pick up a map from your local St Oswald’s Shop, local library or shopping centre. There is a full list of where to pick up a map here.

The Elmer trail is a great way to explore Tyne and Wear for locals and tourists alike. The trail takes you from Newcastle city centre to the coast, Gateshead and Sunderland, so you really get to see A LOT of our lovely region. 

An Inexpensive Family Day Out.

Family days out can cost a fortune! However the Great North Elmer Trail is a really fun and a cheap day out. Pop along to your local Metro station to begin your trail and use the map to guide you to each Elmer.

To save money on your Metro ticket order a Pop Pay As You Go card card will save you up to 40p on cash Single tickets and 50p on cash Day tickets.

You can get your Pop PAYG card online at http://www.nexus.org.uk/pop/payg, a Nexus TravelShop or selected Payzone stores. The Pop PAYG card itself is free, but you must top it up with a £10 balance. 

Tyne and Wear Metro Pop Card

Once your Pop card is topped up simply pay for your trip by touching in at the Metro station validator or gate at the start of your journey and touching out at the end. You’ll only pay for the journey you have made and the best fare is calculated for you. You can also use the Pop card to pay for bus fares and on the Shields Ferry. In fact Shields Ferry single and day tickets are cheaper if you buy them from the ferry operator using your Pop PAYG balance.

The Pop card really is a must have if you use public transport in Tyne and Wear!

Our Great North Elmer Adventure

Our adventure started at our local Metro station in Howdon. We got the Metro to North Shields and took the short walk down the hill to the Shields Ferry Terminal. Izzy was very excited about getting the ferry and guess what we spotted on board? A mini Elmer! After a short journey across the Tyne we headed up towards The Word in South Shields.

Shields Ferry

The Word is a great day out on it’s own and is a great place to take the kids. They have different themed exhibitions on a regular basis and the current exhibition is all about Space! The Word have not one but five Elmer’s to spot, my favourite was the little one with glasses!

We then headed out into South Shields, somewhere we don’t really visit at all. The lovely lady in The Word gift shop recommend Cliftons for coffee and cake so that’s where we headed next. As we were walking down the main street in South Shields we noticed a free museum! It was full of local history exhibitions and they even had a mini beastie zone. 

Coffee and cake at Cliftons was delicious and the staff were really accommodating. It was jam packed with folk enjoying afternoon tea but they managed to squeeze us in. We then made our way down to South Marine Park. It’s a beautiful park full of greenery, a mini boating lake, play areas, cafe and even a mini steam train! We also spotted our next Elmer enjoying the view of the lake. 

Heading out of the park and onto the sea front we discovered a kids Ninja Fitness obstacle course.   Izzy loved it and you could very easily spend a couple of hours playing there.


We then hopped on a bus and used the Pop Cards to pay for the tickets. The bus took us to the new South Shields Interchange where the new Metro station is located. Back on the Metro we headed into Newcastle in search of our last few Elmer’s of the day. There was a football match on so the Metro was super busy, everyone was in a happy mood and we still managed to get a seat.

We hopped off the Metro at Monument and spotted our next Elmer straight away. Thinking this would be the last Elmer we would find, we then headed into Eldon Square to use the loos before heading home. To our surprise we spotted another Elmer! This one was designed to look like a surfer dude, with shorts, blonde hair and flip flops!

In total we spotted 5 giant Elmer’s and 5 mini ones. We had a fantastic day out, got lots of exercise and it was all done on a budget.

Tyne and Wear Metro Monument

To see what we got up to in more detail click on the video below.

Have you spotted any Elmer’s? Which one is your favourite?

Great North Elmer Parade with Tyne and Wear Metro Pinterest

This post is in collaboration with Tyne and Wear Metro

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