The Toads Of Hull And Finding My Prince
In 2010, Sylvia and I went on an Adventure to Hull in Yorkshire. I heard about the Toads of Hull, a city wide art project celebrating the life and art work of Phillip Larkin. I am a huge fan of art and sculptures and so it was an adventure I was keen to go on.
For three months, from 21st July to 25th September 2010, the streets of hull were populated with 40 giant, colourful, artist-decorated Toad sculptures. This formed an exciting trail and adventure for anyone wanting to visit the toads so off we went on our own toad finding mission.
Sylvia and I jumped on a train from West Yorkshire and travelled to Hull. I was at the time a single mother and hoping to find my own prince one day. They say if you kiss a toad or frog he may just turn into a prince and so we went on a mother and daughter adventure pretending the toads would change if we gave them a hug or cuddle.
I was on my own with Sylvia so I did my usual trick and asked passers by to take photos of us together and then took some images of Sylvia on my own. We did a few pictures “pretending to kiss the toads” which turned out quite well in my opinion.
Sylvia wore my favourite froggy dress which she often wore at that age. I loved that dress and I still have it to this day. She travelled a lot in the frog dress and it was for me a lucky dress that reminds me of our fun times together.
The Toads of Hull were really artistic and great to look at. They were fun to find and it really was a fun little adventure for Sylvia and I. She had such a fantastic day.
I miss my little girl being young and being well enough to go on adventures regular. I’m hoping in the future and in school holidays we can visit some new and interesting places.
It took 3 years after this visit to Hull to find my special prince. I married a Yorkshire man in 2013 and it was wonderful for John to join our little family.
It has been an amazing experience being married but also tough as I’ve been unwell a lot of the time and not able to do many of the things I love. I am working on it though doing my best to get as healthy as I can with Adrenal Insufficiency.
My favourite toad was the one outside the train station. He was a kind of strange gothic looking one with a nose pin and union jack coat. I liked his green tones. This toad had been damaged by the pubic but was getting mended. He was supposed to have a red Mohawk but it had been broken.
Our trip visiting the Toads of Hull was super fun and although the toads were removed I am aware of other sculptures which pop up from time to time in the UK and would love to take Sylvia on another Sculpture adventure at some point.
Have you ever been on a sculpture adventure? It really can be very fun.
About Angela Milnes
Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in Preschool and Kindergarten teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and is passionate about kids crafts and having fun as a family. Angela has also taught cooking skills and loves to share both family recipes and easy instant pot recipes here on The Inspiration Edit. Follow her on Pinterest!
I loved seeing these photos of you and baby Sylvia. Darling!! Yes, I’m looking forward to your future adventures with your family. I’ve never been on a sculpture adventure?
It was so so fun! I really want to go on another this year! 🙂
Ana De- Jesus says
I want the frog dress for myself its adorable, I have always wanted to go to Hull. What a fun adventure that you went on!
It is super cute! It’s home made!
Renee Franklin says
What a cutie your little one is! This sounds like a great memory. I think of the one’s pictures I like the tiger frog best.
Yes the tiger frog is pretty cool!
The toads look great. I love all the different designs of them
Thanks Hannah. They were fun to visit.
Jess Howliston says
What a great trail and it looks like you had lots of fun doing it. We had something similar with shaun the sheep statues that the kids loved to do. I think these trails are also a great way to see parts of the city/towns/places we may otherwise not have seen! x
It sure was fun. 🙂
Aw you two look so sweet together! I haven’t been on a sculpture adventure before! I will have to try and find out if there are any in my area.
Thanks Chloe. It was fun! I want to see what’s around these days too!
Planet Jodie says
I’ve not done it completely, but looks so much fun! Know they have done similar things in Southampton, Aberdeen and Dundee too. I know all projects benefited charity too x
Yes I heard about the one in Scotland!
Sarah Bailey says
What a fun adventure this must have been and you must love to look back at these photos and remember the special time you had with your little girl. I hope you are able to find another sculpture adventure to go on soon. I’ve not done one myself but I would definitely enjoy it!
It was really fun!
Oh I love the toads, I love them all not sure which would be my favourite one quite like the tiger toad x
It’s hard to decide which is the best. They are all so unique and different.
Oh look at baby Sylvia, so sweet. I loved viewing these photos and I also hope you can find some more adventures to do xo
She was so sweet as a baby. Still is but sometimes i miss my baby girl!
Joely Smith says
So sorry to hear you struggle with health issues. I do as well so I can relate. I love the frogs! What a grand adventure for you and Sylvia!
It’s been tough but yes we did have a fantastic time!
I’ve never seen anything like this where I live (U.S.). I wish we did have something like this. It would have made a grand adventure with my boys. I like your favorite toad the best.
We must both have good taste. There must be something unique and different in every country. I think at sculptures are becoming popular in the UK.
Lynne Harper says
Oh my goodness the toads are incredible, i need the NASA one lol. Fabulous pictures and what a great day out for you and Sylvia x
Yes the NASA one was really cool. That’s the first one we found it was outside the train station.
Rhian Westbury says
It’s nice that they decorated each one differently, it’s like the cows in Birmingham x
It really is a great celebration of art.
Stephanie Merry says
I visited a few of the Elephants and Cows when they were in London a few years ago x
That sounds really cool. I think it’s brilliant to be up to go and take photographs of the sculptures.
It looks like a fun day out with little Sylvia! How fun to go sculpture hunting with a little one. x
We had a lot of fun when she was a small and went on a lot of adventures.
I’ve seen similar sculpture ideas around my local town and I think they’re such a fun activity for kids to enjoy
They really are a fantastic activity and a great way to get kids involved with art.
The London Mum says
What a fun adventure, and you finally kissed enough toads to find that special prince at the end. bet it was so worth it! 😉 x
I sure did lol! I found the perfect prince too!
Oh what a fab time you had and the toads look amazing x
they sure do! It was fun! Great memories.
Milly Youngman says
These are so cool – I remember a similar ‘Shaun the Sheep’ project that happened, with sheep popping up all over the city. Sounds like a lovely adventure for Sylvia to enjoy 🙂
I heard of that one! I would have loved to visit the sheep ones!
I love different art work as well! The frogs look so beautiful and adorable! Looks like you all had fun exploring the colorful frogs!
The Frogs were adorable. I love seeing them all and I particularly love the tiger one.
oh we had something similar need us too actually!! We had different elephants and they were literally everywhere!!!
Yes I keep hearing about these elephant ones. I bet it was brilliant.
Harriet from Toby & Roo says
Oh I love seeing pictures of little Sylvia!
Thanks Harriet. She was such a cute little baby and toddler.
I love this! We had the Owls in Birmingham which were just lovely, and I know something else is on the way this summer.
I will look it up then maybe we can pop down to Birmingham in the summer. That would be cool.
That’s awesome – we had elephants just like that round London a few years ago and everyone was on a hunt to take photos with them all. Love the one that looks like a tiger! So cool!
I never knew about the elephants. The more I hear about other ones the more i want to go find more.
Awww how adorable! This looks like a lovely thing to do with the little ones.
Yes it was super fun.
Lubka Henry says
This is such a nice story and Sylvia looked so cute as she was little. I’m really happy you’ve found the prince for you too 🙂
Thanks Lubka. I am very blessed.
Charli Bruce says
Oh, baby Sylvia! Living in London every time they do something like this we go and search them out, my daughter loves it xx
Very cool. I’m going to be keeping an eye out for the next one!
You both are so adorable! There was a similar project here in Luxembourg, but with elefants!
i’m discovering new sculptures in different places from writing this post. We so have to go and do another soon.
Baby Isabella says
Awww its so cute seeing her little baby face! The toads are pretty impressive – we had something similar down in Southampton with Zany Zebras.
oh cool. I have not heard of the zebras!
Fashion and Style Police says
Love the cute photos. Would love to do this with my kids.
It can make for a fun day out.
These toads are too cool and creative and make for a great treasure hunt around a city.
They are very creative and I love that others helped to make them too!
This is cute, we had the same sort of thing this year in Sheffield , actually no last year I kept forgetting the year hahaha.
Very cool. I think sculptures make the world a more interesting place.
I currently live in Hull whilst at university and I know they have the moths now as part of the city of culture which are funny to spot! I didn’t know they had done toads before now though!
Oh how cool. I did not know about the moths!
Nayna Kanabar says
These toads are all so cute.I love the different designs of them.
Awww so cute it looked like a completely lovely day! L x
Thanks. We sure did have fun back then,