National Self Build & Renovation Centre Logo close Menu
Book Free Now

The Big Dog Art Trail (Swindon ’23)

We are so pleased to be part of the Big Dog Art Trail!

The Big Dog Art Trail will be unleashing more than 30 Swindogs across Swindon in 2023. Running from 15 July to 3 September 2023, these super-sized balloon sculptures will create a free family-friendly walking trail through some of Swindon’s most well-loved and historic parks, landmarks and streets.

We believe in helping people live in better, more sustainable, homes and we’ll be using our Swindog to help spread awareness of practical, affordable options to reduce energy bills for residents of Swindon.

Please click on the image below to open our 'Top Tips for an Energy Efficient Home'.

Click here to sign-up to our mailing list today.

Please select 'self build' or 'renovation' on our mailing list form to receive personalised emails from the Centre.


The NSBRC's Swindog has been designed by local art student, Alice Irvine, at New College in Swindon.

We particularly love the idea that families and friends will meet together, and get out and about, to find the different Swindogs around our community. The fact that our sponsorship helps support Julia’s House, and the astonishing work they do for children and their families, is the icing on the cake for us! We hope our swindog, named 'Sparky', will help spread a little bit of happiness!

About The Big Dog Art Trail

More than 30 uniquely decorated Swindogs will create the UK’s first-ever balloon dog sculpture art trail and will raise essential funds for the local children’s hospice charity, Julia’s House. Each of the sculptures will be sponsored by a local company and, in January 2023, sponsors will be able to select their favourite design. The trail will shine a light on art and culture in the heart of the town. As well as encouraging local residents to re-discover the town they love, the public art spectacle is expected to attract thousands of visitors from outside the town, providing a welcome boost for local businesses.

There will also be more than 30 Swinpups, just like the Swindog sculptures but smaller, forming part of the family-friendly art trail. Local schools, nurseries and youth groups will be able to adopt a Swinpup and create designs for their balloon dog sculptures.

The Big Dog Art Trail will end with a grand farewell finale where all of the two metre high Swindog sculptures will be brought together under one roof. The giant one-of-a-kind sculptures will then head off to their forever homes after being adopted at a special auction event to raise money for Julia’s House children’s hospice.

Click here to read the FAQs.

The Briefing:

The Design Process:

The Big Dog Art Trail is being brought to Swindon by children’s hospice charity Julia’s House and global public art producer Wild in Art.

Wild in Art has previously hosted trails in cities across the UK and worldwide, including the recent elephant parade in Worcester and Cows in Cambridge.

Find out more at



The National Self Build & Renovation Centre - Sustainability Pledge

Our Sustainability Pledge

We strive to help our visitors build better, more sustainable homes. In 2023, following the ongoing 'cost of living' and 'energy crisis', alongside the worsening climate challenge, it felt right to place ‘sustainability' at the heart of our activities as the beginning of an ongoing commitment.

We want to build upon our existing offering, whilst highlighting the good work we already do alongside our exhibiting partners, which is often under the radar. Read on to find out about our ongoing activities, and upcoming plans.

Action Net Zero

Easy, affordable action towards a net zero future.

Action Net Zero’s mission is to empower communities, people and businesses with easy, affordable actions to achieve a healthier and greener world. From energy-saving household upgrades to small daily habits that make a big difference, Action Net Zero has plenty of guides and resources to help you on your journey to greener living…

Advice for your self build journey

Around 13,000 people self build their own homes in the UK each year. Self built homes are typically bespoke, with layouts designed around your needs and lifestyle, and provide a high level of finish. With a focus on build quality, self builders enjoy houses that are energy efficient, often far exceeding building regulations. Discover how we can help you begin your own journey towards building a better home.