English Riviera Goes Ape over the Great Gorilla Trail

Torquay, Paignton and Brixham are playing host to 30 life sized gorilla sculptures plus an additional 20 smaller ones. The gorilla trail is a celebration of 90 years of Paignton zoo and is delighting residents and visitors alike.

Each of the larger sculptures have been decorated by local artists and have particular themes. Some have been sponsered by local firms and organisations. Some of the more way out gorillas include one dressed to look like Darth Vada from Star Wars whilst another cleverly combines the local connections with crime writer Agatha Chrisites to produce a Hercule Poirot gorilla.

hercule gorilla


Anyone who wants to trail all the gorillas across The English Riviera can register using a mobile device at  www.greatgorillastrail.org.uk. Then each time they encounter one of the apes they can scan in its qr code which can be found on it. Anyone scanning 28 or more will then be entered into a competition to win an up close and personal experience with the real thing. One gorilla sculpture called Lilo is a little sneaky and regularly moves location whilst all the others stay put.

dathvada gorilla


For anyone who can’t be bothered to trail around  after the full sized gorillas, a mini gorilla trail featuring scaled down versions of  all the larger sculptures is available at Babbacombe model village. Incidentally, the model village is itself celebrating 50 years this year.


For the even more lazy all of the larger gorillas can be seen online at http://www.greatgorillas.org.uk/gorillas

There is some suggestion that at the end of the trail in October, the gorillas will be auctioned off. Hopefully some will stay in and around the area to continue to delight those who encounter them. Incidentally, the arrival of the gorillas gave local paper, The Herald Express, one of the best headlines in a long time when it proclaimed ” Gorillas in our midst”



Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Famous Torquay People, Things to do on The English Riviera