In all my internet and list making geekiness I somehow stumbled across something that looked like it might be fun.
There is a site called Treasure Trails which can set you up with a treasure hunting walk in most regions of the UK.
Walking, sight seeing, clue finding and the possibility of a prize at the end? Count me in.
I paid my £5.99 (about US$9.35), printed our directions and headed out to Pittencrieff Park in Dunfermline.
The clue package gave us driving directions and told us exactly where to start, and sent us on hunts for clues all over town. The clues were very explicit, telling us which way to turn, to go uphill or down, and even which side of the street we should be on. I was a little worried at first that it would be too easy for us, since the whole thing seemed very kid friendly, but when it took us ten minutes to find the first answer while we climbed all around the first stop, even back tracking to make sure we didn’t miss it, we realized it wouldn’t be as easy as we thought.
I’m not sure if that’s because the clues were that well chosen, or because we’ve got the brains of eight year olds.
We had already spent a week walking all over the historic center of town and I was hoping we’d see more than we had already found. The directions took us to locations we hadn’t seen before and wouldn’t have found on our own. I’m always up for surprises, and love going obscure places, especially if they have some great history behind them and they’re tucked away in a hidden neighborhood.
We had to find hidden plaques, do some math, unscramble some words and search some odd sculptures for specific things. Each clue gave us an answer which allowed us to eliminate a suspect or a murder weapon. Did I mention we were on a murder mystery hunt?
We poked around at the Carnegie Library, the Alhambra Theatre, a WWII monument, the Abbey House, the monastery and more.
We had to look for names, initials, pictures, dates and identify building styles.
The directions mentioned that the hunt would take about two hours, and it was right on. For an hour and fifty minutes we strolled up and down streets and through old neighborhoods.
The trail took us past the Dunfermline Abbey church building, this time from the opposite side. I still haven’t had a chance to see the inside, but I’ll get there some day!
We started and finished in Pittencrieff park. On the way back, still looking for the final clues, we came in to a back entrance and were immediately mobbed by squirrels. They were everywhere!
They were adorable, and came right up to us hoping for some food. Next time I’ll know to bring a few bits of toast for them, I felt bad for being empty handed. I couldn’t help it, big brown squirrel eyes are hard to say no to.
The park is huge, and beautiful! I wish we had more time to explore. Honestly, it’s one of the main reasons I now want to live in Dunfermline. It’s a beautiful town, just big enough to have every convenience, full of history, easy to walk around and just a twenty minute ride in to Edinburgh across the water.
Look at these trails and steps just begging to be explored!
Even a perfect little gazebo for a picnic lunch in the rain. I can just picture it and will someday pack a hamper full of cheese, crackers, fruit and a bottle of wine for us so we can sit right there and enjoy the scenery (and the squirrels) for a couple of hours.
In our nearly two hours we managed to find all but one of the clues. I figured that one out later while we were at home, and we stopped by again two days later to get the letters we needed from the symbol. When you have your suspect and your murder weapon figured out you can submit it to the website. If you’re right your name will be entered in a drawing for £1000 at the end of each year. (We were right)
£1000? I don’t know about you, but that’s a nice little chunk of traveling money for me. The money we paid to participate seemed a little expensive when we decided to do it, but I figured it was worth a try. Now that I’ve done it, I think it’s worth it. I’ll most definitely do more, and there are hundreds to choose from, each for a different area. Edinburgh alone has four different hunts, and now I can’t wait to try them!
We’re not affiliated with Treasure Trails, and they didn’t pay me to write about this. (Maybe they should, ha. Anybody from TT want to throw some cash our way?)
On the map: Click here to see this location on our Google Map.