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Your complete guide to the best Elmer-themed summer holiday day out ever

PUBLISHED: 07:47 21 July 2019 | UPDATED: 07:47 21 July 2019

Find out the best way to enjoy Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk this summer  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Find out the best way to enjoy Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk this summer Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

The summer holidays are right around the corner and many parents will be wracking their brains as to how to keep their little ones occupied during their time away from school.

Luke Harris, who has completed his Elmer sticker album, on the Elmer trail in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH HARRISLuke Harris, who has completed his Elmer sticker album, on the Elmer trail in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH HARRIS

The summer coincides perfectly with Ipswich's very own elephant trail, which has seen 139 beautifully painted statues make their way into the town for Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk.

With a range of routes which wind their way through the historic town, its Waterfront and Christchurch Park, it may seem difficult to plan the perfect day out. But don't worry - we are here to help.

Here is our ultimate guide to a summer holiday day out with Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk.

Elmer Armstrong can be found outside Ipswich School in Henley Road Picture: IPSWICH SCHOOLElmer Armstrong can be found outside Ipswich School in Henley Road Picture: IPSWICH SCHOOL

The routes

The organisers of Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk have helpfully sorted the elephant statues into four fun-filled routes.

The shortest route is the Town Route, located in the centre of the town.

There are 16 full-sized elephants and five herds of mini elephants along the route, many of them within metres of each other.

What a beauty! Elmer in Cromwell Square/St Nicholas Street, Ipswich. Picture: DAVID VINCENTWhat a beauty! Elmer in Cromwell Square/St Nicholas Street, Ipswich. Picture: DAVID VINCENT

Probably the most popular route, this trail will also give you the chance to visits a few shops in the town centre and even stop for a coffee.

The next shortest route is the Park Route, which sees elephants stood within the boundaries of the beautiful Christchurch Park and its surrounding streets.

There are 11 statues which are a little more spaced out but the route will provide you the opportunity to have a stroll through the park and maybe even an ice cream.

The final two routes are slightly more spread out - with the first, the Waterfront Route, stretching from the edge of the town centre all the way along the marina to Holywells Park.

Jasper Woods  enjoying the Elmer trail  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJasper Woods enjoying the Elmer trail Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The other route is the Business Route, which takes elephant spotters from the town centre, past Portman Road to the train station.

This could be the best option is you are visiting the town by train.

The best place for a picnic

Kia-Rose Hardwicke enjoying the Elmer trail  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNKia-Rose Hardwicke enjoying the Elmer trail Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

If you are planning to spend a day in Ipswich following the Elmers, there are a couple of places which would be perfectly picturesque for a picnic.

Firstly Christchurch Park, visited during the Park Route, will give you the perfect grassy spot to lay out your blanket and relax with a sandwich and a bag of crisps.

Alternatively, if you prefer a view over the marina, the Waterfront is the perfect spot to find a bench, chill out and recharge your batteries before hunting down a few more of Elmer's friends.

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Best place for an ice cream

Early weather forecasts appear to be good for the summer and with all that walking, you may fancy an ice cream.

There are loads of places to find a tasty ice cream in the town centre. Kaspa's Desserts, Creams gelato and Creams Cafe all could be good options.

If you choose to do the Park Route, there are several shops to pick up a tasty snack - either at Christchurch Mansion Cafe or at the park's ice cream vendor near the Westerfield Road entrance.

How to get more involved in Elmer's big parade

If you just cannot get enough, there are other ways to get involved in Elmer's Big Parade than just walking the routes.

Enthusiasts can buy the Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk sticker and activity book and try to collect all of the elephant stickers.

The book also contains a map which could help your way around all of the statues.

You can also download the art trail app, available on Google Play and the App Store for £1.99, which can help you navigate the statues. It also has loads of interesting and useful bits of information about the trail.

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