We tried a Treasure Trail and found how to have fun doing a self-guided trail in your local town


Travel News

News alerts

Sign me up for news alerts


Angela Cole


Read all comments |

Published: 06:00, 24 March 2021

You may think you know the area you live in, but you'd be surprised what you can learn when you see it from a different perspective.

We went on a Treasure Trail - which takes you on a detective-style mission looking for clues around various Kent towns - to find out more.

A Dickens Mystery may involve Eastgate House

I've been to Rochester dozens - maybe even hundreds - of times, admittedly, mostly for socialising or shopping.

I've also written about its history for work hundreds of times too, so how much could I learn about it from a two-hour trail looking for 'clues' with my two daughters?

It turns out, quite a bit.

Treasure Trails set you a scenario, and, a little like Cluedo, you must tick off the clues you find out and about to narrow down your suspects for the end result.

We managed this after a schoolgirl error it has to be said - be advised, if you print out the trail with its clues, make sure to turn over the final page so you have the clues you are crossing off! For the first half hour we were pretty stumped until we realised this.

Restoration House at Rochester

The trail asks you to examine history that you may have walked past to get to a cafe or Wetherspoons any time, but not noticed before. Our was A Dickens Mystery, with clues all related in some way to the town's famous literary legend.

This may be a subject I am interested in, but for my two daughters, not so much - but it's fair to say they were even probably more motivated to complete it than I was. So much so, they even skipped a clue as they were so keen to get to the end.

There was a certain vintage to some of the clues and, once we realised this, it became easier to find the clues we were searching for and to cross them off.

It involved us scouring historic buildings and sites throughout the town centre, and also taking us to areas close by which I've never felt the need to venture to before. There were a number of times, one of us said "I would never have known this was here," as though it had been written for us.

A Treasure Trail through Rochester - checking the clues

It also ticked off one of the lockdown musts - we did almost 10,000 steps, though if we'd been quicker finding the clues, it may have been a bit less.

If you take on a Treasure Trail you could find yourself on a detective mystery, a treasure hunt, or a spy mission.

Were it not for lockdown, many of us might not consider doing something like this. After all, they tick boxes we might not normally need - a self-guided outdoor walking trail, while staying local - but we all got something out of it.

And so did Rochester, as it was a chilly day, and we were keen to pick up a warming hot chocolate from one of the many busy venues doing takeaway.

A Treasure Trail through Rochester - you may visit The Vines

* Of the 1,200 Treasure Trails across the UK, there are 10 to try in Kent, so you should be able to find one near you. Book Treasure Trails online at treasuretrails.co.uk costing £9.99, and can be downloaded as a printable PDF or posted to you as a printed booklet.

For more days out ideas across Kent click here.

Days Out Human Interest Medway Reviews What's On What's On News Angela Cole