Elmer’s Great North Parade features statues of Elmer the elephant. These unique statues are hidden around the North East. Find out where to find them.
Elmer’s Great North Parade has begun in North East England. Have you been out hunting the streets searching for the elusive elephants? Are you wondering where to find them? Read on to discover more about these beautiful elephants, what they look like and where to find them.
Everyone is familiar with Elmer the Elephant, the cheerful patchwork elephant who stars in children’s books. For 11 weeks until November 2019 you can find individually painted statues of Elmer in various locations around the North East.
Elmer’s Great North Parade follows on from the success of the Great North Snowdog Trail. It aims to raise money for St Oswald’s hospice in partnership with Wild in Art and Anderson Press. On the trail you will find 50 large Elmer statues and 114 little elephant statues.
To help you track your progress on the trail you can get a trail map. There is also an app which allows you to keep track of all the elephants you find.
Maps are available in most St Oswald hospice shops and a selection of other venues across the North East including Fenwick’s Toy Department, Jesmond Dene Pet’s Corner and the Sage. They cost £1 which goes to St Oswald’s Hospice. You can find the full list on the St Oswald hospice site and also print out your own copy.
I bought a copy of the map but also printed out a couple to take with me whilst hunting so my map didn’t get damaged.
If you prefer you can download the app. Each Elmer statue has a special code which you need to put into the app. This will unlock milestones and rewards. All the little herds have a special code as well.
The Elmer elephants are works of art and should be treated with care. No on wants to go and visit an elephant and find it is not there because it has gone off for repair. Don’t climb on them.
If you want decent photos of the elephants in busy places, go early. They are very popular and lots of children want to cuddle them.
You will find the Elmer statues in and around Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland. I have put them into groupings below to make your hunt easier.
There are quite a lot of Elmer’s in and around central Newcastle. We began by seeing the ones round the edge and then working our way into Northumberland Street and the Eldon Square area.
We began at Barker and Stonehouse on Leases Park Road. Nice to Be Nice is right outside the window and easy to spot.
This lovely black and white elephant is outside St. James Park. Can you spot the Newcastle landmarks on his body?
Just across the road from St James Park you will find Ele-bot outside Newcastle Business School. He does look a little worried.
Continue walking in the general direction of Central Station and you pass the Newcastle Helix, a global centre for urban innovation. It is on the site of the former Newcastle Brewery.
To find Electric Ellie go past the People’s Kitchen and walk towards the building with Newcastle University on the side. He is outside this building.
If you walk back towards the main road and go left past the core you will find a statue with the blue star for the former Newcastle brewery.
This Roman centurion Elemer is guarding the inside of central station. He is taking his duties seriously.
You will find Disco Wilbur strutting his stuff outside the medieval St Nicholas Cathedral, looking sparkly in the sunlight. Why not pop inside the cathedral while you are there? It is full of interesting history.
Read more: A visit to St Nicholas Cathedral
Walking along Pilgrim Street towards the Swan House roundabout you will find The People’s Elmer at 55º North. This is actually on the 55th parallel north, the circle of latitude that goes around the earth.
This Elmer features lots of photos of different people.
There is plenty to discover on the roundabout including a number of restaurants and the Holy Jesus Hospital, a historic building that is now an office building.
Read more: Holy Jesus Hospital
There are plenty of Elmer elephants to discover in and around Eldon square and the streets outside. Inside Eldon Gardens you will find Brightside whose lovely colours add a splash of spring time into her corner.
Newcastle is home to its very own medieval castle and now it has two. The Elephants New Castle is a great tribute to how Newcastle began. He is just round the corner from Eldon Gardens in the centre of Eldon Square.
Read more: A visit to Newcastle Castle
Telly is a tribute to the age of television and he’s just inside Eldon Leisure. You need to get the lift up to find him.
Surf Dude is inside Eldon Square near the entrace to the monument. He looks like he is getting ready for a sunny day to hit the waves.
The exotic Savanna is outside Old Eldon Square. I love her blue colour.
Tynie shows the Rive Tyne and the bridge across it. She is near the Laing Art Gallery.
This rainbow elephant is just along from Monument on Grey Street.
The neon lights of Dazzle are found at Grey’s Monument.
Run North East is a celebration of the Great North Run, Newcastle’s half marathon that takes place every year. You can see the runners crossing the Tyne bridge.
The blue and yellow colours of Hapi give a vibrant feel to the bottom of Northumberland Street, near Fenwick.
Elm Tree is at the top of Northumberland Street. This Elmer has a lovely forest design, spot the animals peeking out from the body.
Raphael is celebrating the World Transplant Games that were recently held in Newcastle. He is hoping to win after training hard and certainly looks ready to race. You can find him outside the Civic Centre.
Read more: The Art at the Civic Centre
You will find Raybow in Exhibition Park, just in front of the Cafe in the Park.
Newcastle Quayside is always worth a visit. Stroll along the banks of the river Tyne and take in the iconic bridges. Cross the Millennium bridge to Gateshead and the Baltic Art Museum or simply enjoy a meal or drink.
There are plenty of Elmer’s to discover as well.
Orbit is found next to the Swirle Pavillion, a work of art on the quayside that has the names of all the European ports that were regularly visited by shipping from the Tyne under the globe These are Hamburg, Genoa, Aberdeen, Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Malmo, London, Antwerp and Hull.
Aptly Elmer has a world map on his side.
Next to the Pitcher and Piano and beside the Millennium Bridge you can find Under the Sea who represents the threat of Global Warming and the rising tides.
Next to the Quayside Seaside you will find Jumble, who is a mixture of different sorts of animals. He is really striking with his tiger face and golden eyes.
This beautiful golden Elmer stands in Trinity Gardens, just around the corner from Trinity House which is one of Newcastle’s hidden gems. He is gorgeous in his simplicity, the light reflects off him.
Read more: A visit to Trinity House
Blossom stands next to the Swing Bridge and her bright striking colours stand out against the river.
Fancy a holiday? Holibobs will put you in the mood to travel. You can find this Elmer outside Sambuca in Heaton Park
Weighed in Nelly is ready to race, he is just waiting for his jockey. He stands outside the entrance to Newcastle racecourse. I wonder if he won?
Summer Flowers brings a splash of colour to Gosforth High Street. If you are travelling past the shops towards Newcastle you will find him on a bit of green land just off the main road.
Willow reminds me of a Chinese willow pattern plate. You can find him outside Seven Stories – the National Centre for Children’s Books.
If you have time it is worth popping into Seven Stories. There is a charge but it has lovely exhibitions that kids love. At the moment one of the exhibitions is Elmer and Friends: The Colourful World of David McKee.
Read more: A visit to Seven Stories
Henna the Elephant stands near the entrance to Jesmond Dene Pets Corner, near the visitor centre. If you go inside the visitor centre there is also a small herd of elephants.
Jesmond Dene is a lovely park in Newcastle and it is well worth a wander around. It is well worth booking afternoon tea at Jesmond Dene House for a special experience.
The elephants in North Tyneside are quite spread out and some are a little difficult to find.
North Shields Fish Quay dates back to the 13th Century and is a vibrant mix of historical buildings and places to eat as well as being a working fish quay. It is well worth a stroll along the river.
You will find Beyond the Sea near the Old Low Light. He is not obvious, you need to walk down towards Fiddlers Green, a statue of a fisherman which commemorates fishermen lost at sea. You will find him behind the wall near the river front.
I have never been to Northumberland Park which is between North Tyneside and Tynemouth. It is a gorgeous Victorian Park with woodland paths, gardens, lake, a bowling green and children’s play area.
Hakuna Ma Elephant is a glorious celebration of African animals, many of which are endangered.
This beautiful blue elephant is Hope and you will find her in Tynemouth near the priory. She celebrates the courage and strength of patients at the Great North Children’s Hospital. If you look carefully you will find the words hope on the maze on her side.
This wonderful fish Elmer is outside Spanish City in Whitley Bay. Everyone is family with the dome of Spanish City. For many years it was derelict but has now undergone a revamp and is home to a number of restaurants. It is nice to see it back in use.
Elenora the Explorer is one of theb harder Elmer’s to find. My advice is don’t go along the A19 to the Tyne Tunnel or you will find yourself going through the Tyne Tunnel, having to pay the toll and then having to come back.
The elephant is outside the TT2 Administration Building. The best way to get there is to go along the Wallsend North side via the A187 past Willington Quay and at the tunnels roundabout take the first exit near Sambuca’s.
This Elmer is worth the effort. As well as the amazing camper van theme it has a gorgeous mural for a backdrop.
I still need to track these two down.
There are three Elmer elephants in South Shields.
The Customs House is an art centre which also doubles as a theatre and cinema, as well as having a Bistro Bar. Trudi is in a gallery on the first floor, just follow the footprints and arrows to find her.
There is also a herd of little elephants in the Customs house.
The Word is just around the corner from the Customs House and is a centre for celebrating the written word. There is plenty to see here. As well as being a library it has events and exhibitions.
At the moment the Amazing Space exhibition will take you on a journey through the Solar System. Star of the show is Elmer Armstrong, first elephant in space.
A herd of little elephants also roams The Word.
Marine Park is the park on the sea front at South Shields. Feathered friends stands beside the boating lake. There are plenty of seagull admiring him.
A bit further from us you can find the Elmer elephants in Sunderland. We found four out of the seven.
Fab Nelly is on Seaburn seafront and looking at her design I am sure you can work out where she got her name. Fancy an ice lolly?
The original Elmer, the patchwork elephant is in Roker Park. You will find him if you head along the seafront to Roker beach as he is in plain view from the main road.
Follow the main road alongside Roker Beach and take the signs to the seafront and you will discover this black and white elephant with splashes of colour. Spot the hidden objects in his coat.
The Beacon of Light is a sports training ground next to the Stadium of Light, Sunderland’s football stadium. This elephant is a tribute to football and he is found inside. Four little elephants also roam inside.
I haven’t seen the next three elephants but will update this if I find them.
There are 114 small elephants roaming in herds around the North East as well as the large Elmers.
You can find them in the following locations:
Before the Elmer’s go to find their forever homes in the final auction you will have a chance to see them all together.We went to the Great North Snowdog farewell event and it was a brilliant chance to see them all.
The event takes place on the 9th and 10th November at Newcastle Racecourse. You will be able to get tickets nearer the time.
Would you like to win your own large Elmer? You can get tickets in St Oswald’s Hospice Charity Shops or online at: https://www.stoswaldsuk.org/elmer/news/win-big-win-elmer/
Tickets cost £1 each or £20 for a book of 20.
The Elmer’s will be sold at auction on the 12 November in the Sage Gateshead. This could be your chance to buy one.
Have you been hunting for Elmer’s across the region? How many have you found? Let me know below.
Why not pin for later?