Having enjoyed two previous treasure trails around Wantage and Chalfont St Peter, I thought we’d try another in Petersfield, the town where I grew up. This trail was a Spy Trail – the answers to each of the clues would give us one or two letters to cross off a grid and lead us to the deactivation code to avert the (fictional) disaster that was about to be unleashed.
It was interesting doing a trail in an area that I knew so well – I wondered at first if I’d be able to solve the clues without even doing the trail but a quick glance at them made me realise that this was not going to be the case at all. In fact, we had to send to ask for the answer to one of the clues (up to three texts allowed per trail) as we couldn’t find the answer on our travels.
We started off outside the Festival Hall where the answer to the first clue was located – a nice easy one to start us off (and the only one that I could have answered without doing the trail). Our walk took us down to the Heath, an area of natural heathland (apparently quite rare in Europe which is something I never appreciated when I lived in the area although it was a beautiful place to go for walks). We solved the clues found here and then took some time out to enjoy the playground, feed the ducks and have some ice-cream (a very important part of a day out!)
Our walk then took us towards the town centre, past the building that used to be the pub that my dad was landlord of when I was a very small child (it’s now a restaurant) and into the churchyard where my dad’s ashes are interred. We took a moment there to stop and remember my dad (despite my nieces being quite small when my dad passed away, they have lots of lovely memories of him which I’m glad about). It made me sad though that my children will never know their lovely granddad.
Moving on, our walk took us through the main Square in the town and solving a clue found on the statue of William III (one of only five statues of William III outside Northern Ireland – another fact I never knew until recently). We then headed towards The Spain which the trail informed us was the second square of the town and when I really stopped to look, I saw that it was indeed another square – another thing that I had never noticed before!
We walked around the outskirts of the town centre, past the Methodist Church that I used to attend in the summer when I was home from university and into the town where my mum met us for the last couple of clues on the walk. The walk was about two miles long in total and the map suggests that it should take around two hours to complete although we took quite a lot longer than this with stopping at the playground and in the churchyard (and allowing for Jessica’s little legs!). There was one set of steps on the walk which would have made it very difficult with the buggy – this was one moment though that being familiar with the area was an advantage – I knew an alternative route which avoided the steps completely.
My nieces found this trail a little easier than the previous one – although still needed adult help with finding a few of the answers and enjoyed their afternoon out. Once solved, the answer can be submitted online and correct answers are entered into a annual prize draw to win £1000.
There are lots of different trails available on the Treasure Trails website and it costs £6.99 to purchase a trail which can be downloaded or sent via post. We printed out a copy each for the girls but each purchased trail has a unique reference number which is entered when you submit the answer online so we could only enter once into the prize draw. It’s a reasonable price for an afternoon out and I found it very interesting even in an area that I was familiar with as I still discovered lots of things I’d never noticed before.
Disclaimer: I purchased a copy of the Treasure Trail for this area. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Linking in with Coombe Mill for Country Kids: