On the Snooks Trail in York

One of the Snooks outside Cliffords Tower in York

If you go to York (my home town) between now and the 25th April, you may encounter several large painted fibreglass monsters reading books dotted around. They’re the Snooks, and they’re part of the The Snooks Trail around the city.

There are 21 snooks in total, mostly in the city centre but a couple located further out. We spent part of our Easter Sunday hunting the snooks, and managed to see 12 of them. Our eight-year-old thought that ‘Frankie the Fostering Snook‘ was the best one – it’s outside York Central Library and sponsored by the York Fostering Service. Whilst the full list is on the web site, we also saw a few two-dimensional Snooks in the windows of buildings that we passed that presumably aren’t part of the official trail.

Each of the snooks has a letter attached, and if you put the letters in order, you can find a secret web address. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit all of the snooks and didn’t get the full code.

Placing painted fibreglass sculptures around cities is hardly a new idea; CowParade was the original, but many cities have copied the idea. In the UK, Manchester was the first in 2004 with their version of CowParade, and Liverpool did its own thing when it was European Capital of Culture in 2008 with Go Superlambananas (I took a handful of photos in 2010). More recently I’ve seen Larkin with Toads in 2010, Reindeer in Leeds (2014), and Snowdogs in Huddersfield (2022).

After the trail finishes on the 25th April, there’ll be an auction where you can win one of the snooks. The funds raised from the auction will go to St Leonard’s Hospice in York.