Wednesday, July 17

A walk along the South Bank of the Thames …and counting sheep

In a semi-spontaneous moment on a very grey and gloomy Good Friday, Bloke and I found ourselves in Waterloo – ideal for a walk along the South Bank of the Thames.

You may have already seen that we stumbled on this piece of street art along the way, plus if you’ve read my 5 fun things to do in London this Easter, you’ll also know the Shaun in the City Art Trail has temporarily taken up residence in the city too.

I didn’t have a map of the locations of all the Shaun statues on me (doh!), but I knew there were some in the area so we decided to try and spot them as we wandered.

The South Bank of the Thames – time we explored!

I was expecting the South Bank to be a lot busier as it was a Bank Holiday but I guess the ominous looking weather put people off. Whenever I’ve been to Gabriel’s Wharf previously it’s been rammed with people but it was very quiet that morning.

Gabriels Wharf on the South Bank of the Thames

The buskers on the beach were certainly getting some attention, and not just from the geese.

Thames Beach buskers along the South Bank of the River Thames, London

Oh dear, just check out that angry sky over St Paul’s Cathedral…

Dark skies above St Paul's Cathedral in London. Taken from the South Bank of the Thames

Hurrah, we found our first Shaun the Sheep statue though!

Br-Ewe-nel, part of the Shaun the Sheep Art Trail in London. This one was on the South Bank. The Thames and St Paul's Cathedral is in the background

Near the Tate Modern and opposite St Paul’s, Br-ewe-nel was designed and sponsored by the Brunel University, both are named after Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

We kept walking, and It wasn’t long until we stumbled on our next Shaun. I really liked the style of this little guy which coincided with being located outside the Globe Theatre.

Shakespeare Shaun - part of the Shaun in the City Art Trail

Shakespeare Shaun is titled “To Sheep Perchance to Dream”, was designed by One Red ShoeI found this cool little time lapse of him being made.

I also had a chuckle when I was there as I overheard a little girl say very seriously…

Mummy, I don’t think this can be Shaun because he has a moustache” – too cute!

Shakespeare Shaun from the front - part of the Shaun in the City Art Trail

We continued along the South Bank of the Thames by walking down Clink Street past the ruins of Winchester Palace and the replica of Sir Francis Drake’s famous Golden Hind.

Replica of Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hind in St Mary Overie Dock on the South Bank of the Thames

It wasn’t too long before we found another Shaun. This time it was Mittens, designed by Simon Tofield who writes the children’s cartoon “Simon’s Cat“.

Mittens Shaun reflects the cartoon adventures of Simon's Cat - part of the Shaun in the City Art Trail

A stones throw away was also PETAL who was designed by illustrator Emily Ketteringham.

PETAL by Emily Ketteringham - part of the Shaun in the City Art Trail

It was after seeing PETAL that I heard what sounded like an alarm going off…baffled for a moment, I turned to Bloke and said “Is Tower Bridge opening?!!!”. I’ve lived in London my whole life but somehow I have never seen this – I know, I don’t know how either.

So despite the gloomy weather. Despite me only having a silly point and shoot camera. Despite me never using the video feature on the silly point and shoot camera before. I took my place at the riverside and watched Tower Bridge opening for the PS Dixie Queen.

Don’t laugh, we all have to start our video career somewhere, right? Haha. Seriously though, I am now inspired to do more video in future and a GoPro is on my Birthday wish list.

Update: In the end I bought the basic GoPro HERO from (on it’s the this one (affiliate links)). Will report back on how good it is after my Nordic cruise!

We decided it was time to leave the South Bank of the Thames and head north via Tower Bridge. Midway across the bridge we found this guy.

Mid-way across Tower Bridge is Globetrotter Shaun - part of the Shaun in the City Art Trail

Globetrotter Shaun was created by Sarah Matthews, a designer at Aardman Animation who are the creator’s of Shaun the Sheep.

Looking up as we walked over Tower Bridge in London

You can actually go up the top of Tower Bridge and walk along the ramparts as part of the Tower Bridge Exhibition. I’ve never done it myself, it’s on the ‘to do’ list for one day though.

We finally decided it was time for lunch. Traditionally we always have fish on Good Friday – which in our world translates to fish and chips, so we headed to St Katherine’s Dock and the Dicken’s Inn for our pub lunch.

Dickens Inn in picturesque St Katherine's Dock, London

It’s a bit of a tourist trap (with tourist trap prices), but it’s a pretty area, even when gloomy – you just have to suck up that sort of thing up sometimes. We refuelled with a traditional Good Friday lunch of fish, chips, mushy peas and uh, beverages.

Fish, chips and mushy peas in the Dicken's Inn, London

After our pub pitstop we headed along the cobbled streets outside the Tower of London on the hunt for…you guessed it, more sheep.

Yeoman of the Baaard Shaun - part of the Shaun in the City Art Trail, London

Yeoman of the Baaard is designed by Vivi Cuevas – a Chilean artist, now living in Bristol.

It’s a two-for-one at the Tower as very close by is also Shaun-Xiao by Stephen Taylor and this Shaun has an interesting story behind it’s design.

Shaun-Xiao represents the Royal Mint and the Chinese year of the Sheep. Part of the Shaun in the City Art Trail in London

It’s sponsored by the Royal Mint which was originally based at the Tower of London for over 500 years. They have started minting a series of coins celebrating the Chinese New Year called The Shengxiao Collection and 2015 is the Year of the Sheep – so it’s very fitting.

After a lot of walking, our discovery of sheep had finally ended for the day. After stopping off for another quick drink in a pub (big mistake, it finally started raining while we were in there, grr), we decided it was time to jump on the bus and head home.

Despite the weather, we’d had a great day along the South Bank of the Thames and around the Tower of London. I’m looking forward to going on the hunt for some more Shaun in the City statues before the Art Trail finishes on May 27th 2015.

Update: We found some more Shauns! We visited Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and St Paul’s Cathedral for more sheep related adventures.

If you enjoy exploring, I think you’ll also enjoy my Hidden Secrets post with plenty of London trivia to keep you entertained. If you need to find the best way to travel around the city, I also have also written a handy guide to London transportation tickets.




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