York Character Trail 2024: Snooks to Showcase York in London 

Make It York to reveal a first look at four of the 23 Snooks that will be hidden throughout the city’s cobbled streets and secret gardens between March and April 2024, as part of York’s first character trail. 

Make It York will be showcasing four of the snooks at London Kings Cross Station on Monday 15th January, as part of ongoing marketing activity to celebrate an exciting year of trails in York this year. They’ll be opportunities to see the Snook’s up-close and in person, take plenty of photos with the 6ft sculptures, and learn more about the upcoming trails and events in the city.  

As part of Yorks City of Trails campaign, the four Snooks will also appear alongside a Tansy Beetle canvas to represent the York Trailblazers Trail, taking place throughout the Autumn, and an impressive ice sculpture of the London to York skyline to represent the York Ice Trail, taking place in February.  

The activation in Kings cross station aims to showcase the exciting events York has to offer these upcoming months to a national audience, along with highlighting the short travel time to the City from London and supporting short stay city breaks. 

The Snooks will be the subject of a free 8-week trail across York city centre from March to April 2024, organised by Make It York with charity partner St Leonard’s Hospice. The character was designed by Yorkshire artist Sian Ellis and each sculpture has been sponsored by local businesses, with some being joint sponsored, and paired with artists across the UK to decorate their individual Snooks. 

In alphabetical order, the full list of sponsors are: 

  1. Art of Protest – Art of Protest Projects is a York based arts and engagement business who use the practice of Street Art to connect with young people of all backgrounds and diversities. This complements our main business which is curating and creating large scale Street Art programmes throughout the cities and towns of the UK.
  1. Aviva – one of the UK’s leading Insurance, Wealth & Retirement businesses operating in the UK, Ireland and Canada, with a key office based in York. 
  1. City Cruises York – offering a unique perspective of York on-board their comfortable riverboats, you can enjoy sightseeing trips, fish & chip cruises, party cruises and self-drive boats to explore the city down the beautiful River Ouse. 
  1. City of York Council fostering team in partnership with York Mumbler – City of York Council support a diverse community of foster carers who provide nurturing homes for some of York’s children and young people when they need it the most. York Mumbler is York’s largest parenting community and information website, showcasing interesting blogs and city-wide listing to inspire family-friendly activities and days-out throughout York and North Yorkshire.   
  1. Delta Hotels by Marriott York in partnership with Little Vikings – overlooking the beautiful York Racecourse, businesses and visitors can enjoy a scenic escape to York with comfortable rooms, high-speed wifi, a gym and a Cast Iron Bar & Grill with Delta Hotels by Marriot York. Little Vikings is an award-winning, independent print and online guide to the best of York (and beyond) for families, founded and run by a York family with three children. 
  1. Greatest Hits Radio – a classic hits radio network in the UK, playing the biggest songs of the  70’s, 80’s and 90’s. 
  1. JORVIK Viking Centre – experience the sights, sounds and even smells of Viking-york as our famous ride takes you through a reconstructed village. After meeting the inhabitants visit the gallery to see some of the most significant Viking-age artefacts in the UK.   
  1. LNER – a British train operating company taking you from the panoramic views of the Scottish Highlands to the hustle and bustle of London, and so many beautiful places in between. LNER’s headquarters are based in York. 
  1. Make It York – York’s Destination Management Organisation, responsible for city centre management and development of the city’s many festivals, events and markets. This includes Shambles Market, an award-winning outdoor market home to York’s largest collection of independent traders. 
  1. Middleton’s Hotel – a four-star, award-winning hotel which boasts unrivalled architecture, historic roots and 56 individually designed bedrooms across six, Grade II and Grade II* listed buildings. 
  1. The National Railway Museum – home to iconic locomotives and an unrivalled collection that celebrates the past, present and future of the railways. Plus, a brand-new interactive space for families, Wonderlab: The Bramall Gallery. Visitors will be amazed as they discover science in action with live experiments and explosive live shows. 
  1. St Leonards Hospice– an independent charity, providing specialist palliative care, and support for local people with life-limiting illnesses. 
  1. YDL – one of North Yorkshire’s largest independent carriers, offering Storage and Warehousing services and specialising in Parcel and Pallet Distribution. YDL is the Snook Trail Logistics Partner. 
  1. The York BID – a group of York residents who are passionate about the city and work hard to build partnerships with key stakeholders to make impactful change for people who work, live and visit the city. 
  1. York Barbican – the largest music and arts venue in York, hosting some of the biggest touring acts in the country. The venue offers a diverse programme of world-class events, including comedy, a range of live bands, sports, family shows and community events. 
  1. York Central – one of the UK’s largest brownfield regeneration sites. Located next to York Railway Station, the 45 hectare mixed-use development site will aim to bring new homes, new jobs and new retails and leisure spaces to the city. 
  1. York’s Chocolate Story – an entertaining and educational guided-tour through the fascinating history of York’s most famous chocolate-making families and their finest creations. Visitors can learn about the origins of chocolate, how to make it, and how to taste it through interactive exhibits and chocolate-making workshops. 
  1. York Park & Ride – park for free across six sites across York to enjoy a great value, easy ride into the city on 100% electric, zero emission buses. 
  1. York Roast Co – keeping the UK fed with hearty roast dinner-inspired dishes, using high quality British ingredients with a side of friendly customer service and a touch of Yorkshire charm. 
  1. York St John University – transforming lives through education, York St John are passionate about giving students a teaching and learning environment that is safe, exciting, inclusive and inspirational, within the centre of York. 
  1. The Yorkshire Museum – showcasing some of Britain’s finest Roman, Viking, Medieval and Jurassic finds within the beautiful historic setting of the Museum Gardens 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director of Make It York said, “It’s amazing to be able to work with so many incredible businesses and organisations who help make York a great city for residents and visitors alike, and especially being able to partner with St Leonard’s Hospice who make such a difference to people during such difficult times.  

The trail will provide opportunities for residents and visitors to discover more of our wonderful city and interact with businesses, charities, and attractions. We can’t wait for the Trail to begin in March, and we’re delighted that local businesses are just as excited as we are for their launch.” 

James Wainwright, Head of Fundraising at St Leonard’s Hospice says: “The Snooks Trail is a new and exciting way for St Leonard’s to remind people why we’re here and of the difference we make for people in York and the surrounding area. This will be a really high-profile event for York, with the exciting prospect of the sculptures being auctioned off in May to help even more patients and their families in future.” 


For more information: 

Helen Williams, Corporate Partnerships Development Lead at St Leonards Hospice, 


Brittany Guymer, Communications & Marketing Executive at Make It York  


Notes to Editors: 

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.   

These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

About St Leonard’s Hospice 

St Leonard’s Hospice is an independent charity, providing specialist palliative care, and support for local people with life-limiting illnesses.  We’re dedicated to providing support tailored to the specific needs of patients, and their families and carers, with a wide range of services offered in a relaxed and friendly environment where care is taken personally. 

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