I’ve posted a couple of times about escape rooms here on the blog, but you see, they can get pretty pricey. For an hour you are talking around £25 each and they can be a pain to book. When I was picking Christmas presents this year, I really wanted to get some escape rooms as gifts, but after too much faff, I eventually stumbled upon Hidden City. Essentially a treasure hunt right in your city, and they don’t only do London, they cover Manchester, York and Brighton too!
The whole premise is that you are sent off on a bit of a hunt around London, a cryptic clue is texted to your phone then you have to use your surrounds to figure it out. It does involve a fair bit of movement, we started on Southbank then ended in central London to give you an idea.
So after buying one of these vouchers for my bestie Sam, we finally got around to finding a date and headed into London to start! They have a heap of routes throughout the centre, which are usually around £25 each, and can be done with a group of around 5. Each route has it’s own start times, but most run everyday, they just begin at different times. We went for the Bright Lights Evening Trail which we started at 2pm. When you are ready to begin, you simply text ‘start’ to the number given and the clues will start arriving!
We had met by the National Theatre when we sent off for our first clue. It took us a little while to get into the swing of things, to start thinking in the way it needed, but it did end up in us running up a load of stairs and wandering around looking for various things. Once you think you have the answer, you send it back in a text and if you get it right then the next clue pops up! If you get it wrong then you do get a time penalty which is added onto your overall time, more on that later. If you do get really stuck, then you can also text for a hint to help speed you along – but luckily we managed to figure them all out!
We continued to bang out some clues, when luckily, they build in a couple of pub stops! This means the clock stops and you are ready for a break. This was perfect as it meant that you still had time to catch up and discuss throughout the trail. There were a couple of these built in and it ended near a pub so you can definitely turn it into an afternoon. I think all in all, we were hunting for about 3-4 hours.
Once you have finished, you do get sent your time and you can then look on the leaderboard to see where you came. This is a good idea if you’re doing it in a team against someone else, but to be honest, we quite enjoyed taking our time – grabbing some drinks and walking leisurely rather than sprinting through the streets! It was also a really good way to explore a new part of the city, despite living here for almost 3 years now, there are some bits of London which I’ve either never been to, or just not paid attention too! There are now a heap more places on my list to go and explore some more. Ideal if you are new to the city or want some inspiration!
Overall, it was a really awesome afternoon and I really want to go back and do one of the other trails. They have a few day and evening tours, I want to try one in one of the areas which I’m not totally familiar with, like East London. It would also be awesome to do one in Manchester, as despite being originally from there, I do not know enough about the city!
Have you ever done a city treasure hunt?
PS This isn’t sponsored, just had an awesome day out! Also all the snaps are just my generic London snaps, so as to not give away any of the clues – need to figure those out for yourself!!