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Sundial trails competition 2012
entry regulations and guidance

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This competition for new sundial trails is promoted jointly by Internetworks Ltd, the webmasters of and the British Sundial Society. The closing date is 31st January 2013, and two prizes, of £250 and £100 are offered for the best entries submitted.

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"I had a lot of fun pulling the information together and hope it will be useful to sundial hunters visiting the area."

"I thoroughly enjoyed producing this trail of sundials, and, even if it does not win the competition, it has been well worth doing from my point of view. It has really grabbed my interest and I am now thinking of producing sine other sundial trails in Scotland. ...... So thank you very much for the idea of a competition in the first place. v It was that that has kicked me into action after several years just thinking about it!

Draft notes on writing sundial trails and entry requirements

The criteria used by the judges are:
  • That the trails should include some interesting sundials
  • That there should be clear description of how to find the start point, and then how to get from one sundial to another
  • And that the text should encourage anyone (whether interested in sundials or not) to spend a half-day or more doing the trail.
These notes are divided into mandatory requirements and suggestions you may find useful.

Mandatory requirements.

  1. You must submit your sundial trail by Email to before noon GMT on 31st January 2013.
  2. The entry must be in the form of a document in Microsoft Word, a document in a .txt file, an HTML document, or a pdf document
  3. Word or text files must indicate where pictures are to be inserted (e.g. picture 1 here). The picture itself may also be inserted in a Word file if you wish. We will recast Word and txt files as HTML documents which you can inspect and comment on before they become publicly available.
  4. Documents in HTML will be topped and tailed to incorporate the house style of
  5. A pdf document must incorporate a header and footer to make it clear that it belongs to the sundial trail family. If you intend to submit a document in this formation, you must notify us before 10 January 2011, and we will send you the necessary images to incorporate in your entry
  6. Except for entries to be submitted in pdf format, pictures must be in jpg format, and numbered consecutively with a title reflecting the name of the trail (e.g. nottingham01.jpg etc). Images should if possible be resized to 350 pixels wide (please ask if you need help doing this)
  7. Sundial trails must be complete in themselves. (I.e. They must not require reference to any other web page to convey the basic requirements of the trail) They may have links to other pages for such matters as maps, opening hours, additional information on the dials or places visited, and in the acknowledgment to the author)
  8. By submitting a trail, the author gives unlimited permission for to use the text and pictures in its web pages, subject to due acknowledgment to the author and to their copyright of the material
  9. Sundials must be accessible to visitors, though not necessarily at all times. For example, they may be accessible only during the opening hours of a museum, park, or other facility. If there is a charge for access, this should be stated (e.g. adult tickets 4 in 2010)
  10. Sundials, which can be easily vandalised or stolen, must not be included in sundial trails. (This applies, particularly and unfortunately, to horizontal sundials of historic interest.
  11. The prizes will be allocated by the judges in their absolute discretion. One or both of the prizes may be withheld if the entries do not attain a sufficient standard. The prizewinners will be notified as early as possible after the closing date, and their names posted on No correspondence will be entered into.
  12. Entries may be in any language, preferably in the language of the country where the trail is located. Entries in languages other than English should have an English translation. Both will be posted on


There is no standard format for sundial trails. Each one reflects the individuality of the author. We have no wish to diminish this in any way. We hope that these hints will make it easier for you to produce a really good sundial trail.
  1. Research your trail. If you live in the UK, the British Sundial Society register gives lists of all the sundials we know about, divided by county. (If you are not yet a member, it is worth joining, see If you are looking to do a trail elsewhere, there are some early trails in France and in England listed /here/ which are so far from current standards that a revision would be accepted as a valid entry in the competition.
  2. It is best not to have too few or too many sundials in a trail. Normally, between 4 and 12 is a good number. Depending on mode of travel and distance, these can usually be covered within a day. But some places, such as Tasmania, do not have as many as 4 dials, but it is still worth having a sundial trail for it, particularly since one of the dials is very unusual. If there are more than 12 dials on a trail, it is usually best to pick the best, and to refer very briefly to the others (e.g.. There is also a badly weathered vertical dial nearby on the church porch at......)
  3. Choose a sunny day and visit all of your sundials in order, taking several pictures of each, so that you can choose the best one. Also make careful notes of your route (street names, conspicuous buildings, road numbers, etc) as you go.
  4. Your text will be easier to follow if your descriptions of the sundials and places are separate from the route information. (Some people italicise the route information, which seems to work well)
  5. You do not have to include a map, though it may make your trail easier to follow if you do. If you have a map, the position of each of the sundials and any street names mentioned in the directions should be included in it. Also, it is best to number the sundials on the map and in the text, so that everything is absolutely clear.
  6. It is helpful to some readers to include some geographical information. Dials in the UK can have their Sundial Register numbers, National Grid references, and/or at and long details included. If you have a Santa, you may be able to save a track file for your sundial trail. If you are conversant with Gaggle Maps, you can create a track there and put the BURL address of the track in your trail. Another possibility is to create a waypoint for each sundial on This is a fast developing field; these aids to finding the sundials in your trail are not essential, but can make it easier for people following your trail

Contestants may find useful these notes written by the judges in a previous competition

The judges were impressed with the quality of all the entries in our competition for the year 2000; this did not make the judging easy!

We based our judgements on how useful we felt the trails would be to people planning an itinerary in that locality, and in particular: why are the dials interesting? how clear are the directions? how confident will I be that I can find all the dials? how long will it take

We did not take into account the number of dials, since a trail with 3 interesting dials in a locality which has no more may be quite as interesting as a trail with many more dials. And we did not take into account the number of illustrations, since good, clear, interesting trails can be produced with them.

Based on these criteria our judges unanimously considered the Guernsey sundial trail to be the winner.

One of our judges wrote
"A clear winner is the Guernsey trail. It gives a good overview, the total distance to be travelled, and practical advice for methods of transport and the time to be allocated. The locations for the dials are specified in no less than three 'notations' - a local map, the Guernsey grid, and lat/long to a precision that allows for a portable GPS receiver. In addition, the road directions are clear and unambiguous. 17 dials and most illustrated."

The other sundial trails were also rated very highly by the judges. The enthusiasm of the Finistere trail was infectious, and we enjoyed the insight into the sundials of Malta. The Cotswold trail would clearly make an interesting day out, and the Hampshire trail was particularly easy to find one's way around. So all of these were highly commended.

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