Saving the Spirit of Christmas

Christmas trail banner

This Winter, families in either Selby, Tadcaster and Sherburn in Elmet will be able to track down and bring the ‘Christmas Spirit’ to life on their smartphones.

Selby District Council have teamed up with QR code trail experts High Street Safari to create an interactive story-trail designed to encourage children to walk, have fun and get engaged.  

The trail is positioned around each of the town centres with 10 ‘Christmas Spirit’ characters and takes on average about 45 minutes to complete. It’s completely free for families to take part in and they win a heart-warming Christmas e-book at the end. At around 1.5 miles or 3,500 steps it should keep families fit and active before the Christmas feasts too!

The trail works by utilising contactless QR codes, without the need for families to download or sign up to anything. 10 jolly window characters, all specially created for the trail have been placed in each of Selby District’s towns, Selby, Tadcaster and Sherburn in Elmet, for families to hunt down.

The Christmas Spirit Trail revolves around a magical story that includes Albert Claus, the less famous brother of Father Christmas. His job is to maintain the Spirit of Christmas by spreading joy bubbles on Christmas day, but he's gone missing! By visiting the trail stops and speaking to each of the cheerful ‘Spirits of Christmas’, players will learn what has happened to Albert and, finally, be able to solve the mystery, save him and read the conclusion with the free e-book at the end.

Cllr David Buckle, Lead Executive Member for Communities and Economic Development said: “The Christmas experience is going to be a little different this year and families will be looking for fun activities that they can enjoy safely. The Christmas Spirit Trail is a free and fun activity that can be enjoyed in a safe, socially distanced and contactless way. It gives families the chance to get outside, discover their local high street and see the festive lights, whilst supporting local businesses. Our high streets are at the heart of our communities and the Christmas Trail is a great way for families to experience them this Christmas.”

When families in Selby, Tadcaster or Sherburn in Elmet scan each character’s unique QR code the character will burst to life with an animation on their smartphone and they’ll learn their names, stories and gather clues. Younger children will enjoy spotting the colourful characters in shop windows and older kids, and grown-up ones, will engage by hearing the stories.

Martin Blackwell, former CEO of ATCM and the Charity Retail Association, who is coordinating the project nationally, said, “We’ve run several of these “safaris on the high street” and have just been blown away at the response.  We had such wonderful feedback from families over the Summer and Halloween, we just had to create a new story. If something fun like this can help make families and kids feel good about going back out onto the high street in a safe way then we’ve done our job.”

To find out more about the trail, visit the website: