If you follow me on Twitter then you may have wondered what the hell this tweet was all about. Don't worry, I'm not imagining things, or going insane. I was actually doing a walking treasure trail in my home town! 'What is that?' I hear you cry, well, it's basically a little booklet, that leads you on a walk around your chosen area, to search for clues, to solve a mystery!
A friend of mine introduced me to these, during my Graduation week, when we all went on a treasure trail around Aberystwyth. It was so much fun, it took a couple of hours, and we all got to spot things that we wouldn't have necessarily seen otherwise!
You can go onto the Treasure Trails website, and pick a location in the UK, and get a booklet for it. You have three choices when buying the trail. The cheapest option is paying for the PDF file which you print out yourself, or you can pay to have it delivered to you by post. The final option which is more expensive, it to personalise the story with your own/your friends names. The best thing is, that they each have different stories, and reference locations within the area!
This was the story for the Newbury one: 'Tired of hearing the exuberant cries of people enjoying themselves on Newbury's waterways, local resident, Ivor Grudge, has decided to take drastic action. He has developed a device that will release a foul-smelling substance into the canals to contaminate the water and jam the locks - effectively bringing all canal activity to an end. What a tragedy this would be for pretty Newbury! Can you foil Ivor's wicked plot by locating the de-activation code?'
Here is what the little booklets look like when they are put together correctly! (I kind of cheated because my dad works at a printing company and put these together professionally)
This is what the inside looks like. It gives you precise directions to follow, and the green boxes are the clues that you need to solve. It also throws in some interesting facts about the town! Also to help you out, you get three free texts to give you answers to clues, so using them wisely is imperative!
This was where we had to fill in our answers, but not every treasure trail follows this format, for example the last one I played had a list of suspects and weapons that we eliminated with each clue we solved.
I think the best thing about this was learning some things that I didn't always know about the town. I've lived near Newbury my whole life, and I've been to town countless times, and yet I've never once noticed some of the things that the treasure trail pointed out to me! My home town certainly is beautiful!
The clue for the above photo was pretty funny, we were supposed to look for a memorial and the nickname was our clue. We all found it hilarious that the nickname was 'Hippo Granny'!
The picture above didn't come out as well as I had hoped. It's actually a painting of a Stag or 'White Hart' and it was one of the clues. I had literally NEVER seen this before, and I don't know how I missed it because it's so obvious. Although I'm glad that I've now opened my eyes!
After we found all the answers we settled down for lunch, and attempted to work out the deactivation code. Unfortunately we couldn't work it out, and we gave up. I wouldn't say that it spoiled it though, because we still had an amazing time searching for all the clues!
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves mysteries, and anyone who wants to learn more about where they live. It may seem kind of nerdy, but I really loved it, and I will certainly be doing another one very soon!
If you fancy it be sure to check out the website here!