Unicorns might be mythical creatures from a fantasy world, but they’re everywhere in the real world at the moment.
The latest haunt of the magical winged creatures is Selfridges, which has transformed areas in their London, Manchester and Birmingham stores into glittery spaces dedicated to all things unicorn related.
But the beautiful flying beasts are by no means only stabled at Selfridges - their sparkling magic is rearing up all over the place, adored by little girls and a fair few of the older generation, who use a love of unicorns – and if not unicorns, then mermaids – as a harmless form of escapism.
So, if you love unicorns, here are some ways to bring their pretty rainbow hues into your life:
1. HM Frigate Unicorn
Scotland’s only surviving example of a wooden warship, HM Frigate Unicorn at Victoria Dock, Dundee, has a unicorn figurehead. The country’s only water-based unicorn, the ship is one of the six oldest in the world.
She was built for the Royal Navy and launched in 1824, and is now preserved as a historic ship and visitor attraction in Dundee, with four atmospheric decks to explore.
2. The Fairy Sanctuary
Go on an imaginary adventure riding on a unicorn at the Fairy Sanctuary in Saddleworth, Oldham, which boast a sit-and-ride white unicorn and a brightly patterned pink hobby horse for visitors to enjoy.
Sit beside walls decorated with an array or unicorn wall hangings and play with a range of unicorn toys, including a selection of cuddly unicorns, plus winged ponies to groom. There’s also a unicorn wishing globe to shake and make a wish upon, and a host of unicorn crafts for little ones to get stuck into – if they’re not distracted by all the fairies that flit around the sanctuary.
3. Stirling Castle, Scotland
Many of Scotland’s most important historic buildings still bear heraldry and images of the country’s national animal, the unicorn. At Stirling Castle you can see a unicorn atop the Great Hall, and find the beautiful Mystic Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries too.
The intricate tapestries are a recreation of some of the lost tapestries of James V and were recreated by a team of 18 weavers over 14 years, and finished in 2015. The tapestries are closely based on the Hunt of the Unicorn series which was made in the early 1500s and displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
4. Eat at the Unicorn Cafe, Bangkok, Thailand
It’s a long way away, but this pink and glittery cafe is a mecca for unicorn fans far and wide. The magical little cafe in Soi Sathorn, Bangkok, features all things unicorn – from unicorn wallpaper, unicorn toys hanging from the roof and scattered elsewhere, rainbow-coloured furniture, a multi-coloured carpet, and, of course, unicorn-themed colourful food.
There’s dishes including rainbow-coloured spaghetti carbonara, unicorn horns stuffed with bacon and mozzarella, sickly-sweet creamy desserts and multi-coloured drinks. And if your little ones (or even you) really want to be a unicorn, there are unicorn onesies to wear!
5. Canadian Parliament
There’s a big, beautiful unicorn at the entrance to the centre block of the Gothic revival-style buildings of the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, Ontario.