Recently a few people have recommended Treasure Trails so I thought it was time to give it a go! I went to the Treasure Trails website and ordered The Secrets of St Albans Spy Mission Treasure Trail in the “printed by us” format. The trail booklet arrived a couple of days later in the post and one sunny morning we set out to follow the trail, solve the clues and discover parts of St Albans that we hadn’t discovered before.
Eldest (8 years old) is in charge and reads the clues and directions in the booklet. There isn’t a map, the directions are written fairly clearly and we only get a tiny bit lost once. The trail takes us down some unfamiliar roads, as well as past sights like the Abbey Gatehouse, St Albans Cathedral and the Verdun Tree. It’s a great way to keep the children engaged on a walk around the city and we find the clues challenging, yet not impossible.
Along Sopwell Lane we are distracted by a man getting his classic car out of a garage and we miss Clue 10 and Clue 11 completely. After some reading and re-reading of the directions we text for help with the missing clues (you can text Treasure Trails for help with a clue three times on the walk, so only use them if necessary).
Along Victoria Street we discover the Quaker Burial Ground that I’ve walked past countless times and never actually ‘seen,’ as well as faces in the walls. The Treasure Trail gives us the opportunity to look at a familiar place with fresh eyes and although there is the obligatory complaining from smaller family members, the discovery of each clue gives us renewed energy to push on to the next and then the next.
The Treasure Trail provides just about the right amount of challenge. Some of the clues are cryptic and we need to re-trace our steps to find the answer. It’s certainly value for money as our £6.99 + £1.49 for postage and packaging provides us with 2½ hours of entertainment on a great 2.5 mile walk.
With hoots of delight from the children, we find the last two clues, which means that they can now have the ice creams that were duly promised as a bribe around Clue 14, when they declared that they were ‘going to die’. Despite the intermittent whingeing that we have come to expect during any family activity which mainly involves the act of putting one foot in front of the other, we make it to Clue 20 and then sit down together to crack a code, which we can enter on the Treasure Trails website in order to qualify for a downloadable certificate as well as entry into a monthly prize draw where we could win £100!
All in all I found it very easy to order the trail booklet, which arrived quickly in the post, we had a fun morning in the sunshine and we all agreed that we would like to do it again. That counts as a success!
There are Treasure Trails all over the country and two trails that cover St Albans, so we’ll have to try out the Old St Albans Trail next and I love the sound of the Haunted Hitchin Trail or the Murder Mystery Trail in Hertford for the October half term holidays!
No disclosure needed. We paid for the Treasure Trails booklet and enjoyed the experience, so I’m sharing my thoughts with you.