We have done a couple of these, this is a bit of fun for the family… it’s a bit like geocaching, but with a twist. Each trail has a theme for example, a spy mission or a murder mystery. With a background story on the inner page, and the clues spread out with walking instructions, and on the rear cover objects/people that relate to the answers to the clues.
This is understood better by my mature members, so for the younger participants, they need a but of leading, as some of the information is quite cryptic. But it can most definitely be made into a fun family event. To make it more fun, if it’s a murder mystery trail – well that’s all we have done so far – we each choose a character on the back to be “us” so the plot line thickens and adds even more suspense.
So far we have done 3 trails, which I will speak about below. And I shall amend this post to add any further ones here.
Edge of the Forest
Murder Mystery trail which was part drive, part walk. By this I mean it was set across 3 locations in the Forest of Dean (Clearwell, St Braivels & Symonds Yat), which you walked around, but required driving between locations.
We found this trail to be realtively easy-going, and actually as it was set across the three locations enabled us to have shorter chunks of time “trailing” with the kids. I think this made it a little more accessible; we had 3 kids with us aged 9, 8 and 5, so attention span, walking lots etc. can be a big ask. But we managed to complete this one quite easily (though there was a clue at Symonds Yat which we found quite tricky – the one about the name hidden on the well). It came to us eventually, but we had to rely on a photo we had taken and look later; we could have used one of our text clues, but Bruce is stubborn so no… we aren’t allowed assistance like that “it’s cheating”.
Overall, it was a good way to see, and learn, about these three places, that we probably wouldn’t even consider going to if it wasn’t for something like this.
On a side note, turns out I was the murderer. Cue evil laughter…
The Ross-on-Wye trail was our first whole walking trail, all of the clues were in a circular walk and it takes a couple of hours to complete. Again, it is a murder mystery trail. Due to the length of the walk, around mid-way you are in the centre of town, and so we stopped for respite at the Globetrotter Café (a family-friendly, cash-only, world themed café with sandwiches, loose leafed teas, fresh coffee and scrumptious cupcakes). This got everyone’s energy and motivation back up and off we trotted. The instructions and clues were easy enough to follow. And having spent a lot of time in Ross-on-Wye, it was nice to see lots of little bits of historical information/buildings I hadn’t even noticed before.
We only managed to complete half of this before we got fat on a Sunday lunch and couldn’t finish the trail. The intention had been to go back and finish it on another day. But from what we could see and experienced it truly was quite a comprehensive walk of the sights of St Agnes. Which is a beautiful village.