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Giant shell washes up in Leeds to offer a multi-sensory experience of the coast

Written by
Shaun Curnow

With the nearest beach approximately 60 miles and at least an hour in the car away, and cheap holidays abroad in abundance, it's easy to see why the number of people visiting Britain's coastline has dropped by 20% in the last decade.

So, in an attempt to encourage the people of Leeds (and several other cities) to get reconnected with the seaside, the National Trust is hoping that bringing a giant seashell to the city will help.

Of course, this is no ordinary shell: it's actually a multi-sensory installation that you can sit inside to get a feeling of being at the coast without leaving the city. This 4D experience will trigger your senses with the aromas of salty sea air, the sounds of the waves and seagulls and the promise of magical interior lighting. There will also be an interactive coastal photo booth on hand to capture your experience. 

Called the 'Shellsphere', you'll be able to find it in Briggate on Wednesday August 26, from 10am-4pm. This interactive encounter is free and is suitable for all ages. 

If you find yourself inspired, you could always head to the City Beach in Millennium Square (which will be around until August 31). Alternatively, the Trust is inviting members of the public to help one of Britain's most celebrated poets, Dr. John Cooper Clarke, to complete the 'Nation's Ode to the Coast' – a poem reminding people across the UK just what the coast can offer.

Poem contributions can take the form of words, pictures, social media posts or even sounds, with submissions made using the National Trust's #lovethecoast hashtag. 

Looking for more things to do with the family this summer? Here are nine suggestions

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