Spooky Trails for fearless families

With spooky storylines featuring vampires, ghosts, werewolves, witches and wizards, these 13 self-guided Treasure Trails will take you on a ghoulish adventure as you crack cryptic codes en route to unlock scary stories from the past and solve the mystery at the end.

1. Pendle Witches, Lancashire

The assembly at the Pendle School of Witchcraft was spellbound when it was announced that Miss Sabrina, the enchanting Head of Spelling, had been found slumped in the broom cupboard. But which witch wished this wicked wish? Clues to the murder have been scattered like stardust around the Pendle hills. Solve the crime, and you may be rewarded!

Avoid becoming bewitched on a driving Trail visiting the quiet lanes surrounding Pendle and solve the detective mystery surrounding the Pendle Witches.

2. Whitby - Curse of the Vampire, North Yorkshire

For 100 years and more, the undead Ivan Tsukyablud has been under the curse of the evil Witch Cackle. Cold, pale and blood-thirsty, this Whitby Vampire is destined to plague the town for eternity. Fortunately, local French chef Monsieur Gordon Bleu, tired of a constant garlic shortage, has unearthed a treasure map and clues pointing to where the witch's spellbook is buried. Can YOU track it down?

Trailers will need to sink their teeth into this treasure hunt and help the local chef put a stop to the cursed vampire rampaging through the town!

3. Spooky Newquay, Cornwall

Local witch Wanda Waving had really been looking forward to celebrating her 249th birthday with all of her friends. But the morning after rolled around, and to Wanda's dismay, her famous spell book had been stolen! For the last 50 years, the book thief has been casting evil spells over Newquay - but enough is enough! Can you solve the sneaky clues and retrieve Wanda's spell book?

Brave explorers will sneak around the spooky sites in Newquay, from the Barrowfields to Trenance Gardens, exploring hidden gems on this magical treasure hunt Trail.

4. Portland - Pirates' Graveyard, Dorset

In 1762, a ferocious storm destroyed a Cornish ship, washing her crew into the sea and scattering her cargo, leaving it to drift with the tide into Portland. The Kings Men were ready to gather it up, but when they pulled it ashore, all that was left were empty crates. According to rumour, Portland smugglers had got there first and stashed it somewhere in Portland. Can you track down the missing contraband without catching the attention of the nasty smugglers?

This treasure hunt explores the secluded Pirate’s Graveyard and the ancient ruin of St Andrew’s Church. Lift up your patch and keep an eye out for skulls and crossbones on some of the gravestones…

5. Haunted Hitchin, Hertfordshire

Image: By Early timber-framed buildings, Bridge Street, Hitchin by Jim Osley, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=107791844 - cropped

The phantom cavalier, Roy Allist, has lost his head! Well, that actually happened about 400 years ago, but on his latest trip around Hitchin for some ghostly visits, he put it down. Now he can't find it anywhere!  Celebrated clairvoyant Buster 'Para' Normall has been summoned to investigate. With help from Roy, he's drawn up a rough map along with clues to its whereabouts. They need YOU to head up this strange expedition through the wilds of Hitchin to track it down.

Your supernatural treasure hunt explores Hitchin's spooky side, with clues to crack around the riverside and marketplace and tales of the town's ghostly residents to discover.

6. Staithes - The Mermaid's Curse, North Yorkshire

Years ago, a malcontent mermaid, Molly Minnow, put a curse on Staithes. She got stuck between a rock and a hard plaice and was left floundering while fishermen, perched on the quay, watched on. To lift the curse, YOU must locate a solid gold fish and return it to the sea. For-tuna-tely, local lad John Dory, tired of herring people carping on about the curse, trawled through the archives to unearth a treasure map and a set of clues to help you...

Explore this seaside village on a treasure hunt where you’ll uncover what first inspired Captain James Cook’s love of the sea and learnt the secret behind the Mermaid’s Curse.

7. Haunted Prestbury, Gloucestershire

Image: By Prestbury Church by Philip Halling, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=105537507 - cropped

The well-known ghost hunter, Professor S. P. Ectre, of Prestbury village, is rumoured to have discovered the secrets of Prestbury's ghosts! But, sadly, he has been lost in the Amazon Rain Forest, seeking further spirits. While his heirs inherited his bravery, they don't have the treasure-seeking skills to track down the inheritance Professor Ectre buried before his expedition. That's where YOU come in! Can you crack the clues on this curious quest?

Go on a ghost-spotting adventure with a treasure hunt Trail. Take in the high street, pass St Mary’s Church and the war memorial on this route around the Cotswolds town.

8. The Ghost of Dick Whittington, London

Deciding that he'd like his old job back, the ghost of Richard Whittington awoke to cause mischief. Dick imposed a ghostly curse on the doors of the old City Hall, locking them to prevent the Mayor of London from leaving and moving to the new City Hall in Royal Docks. While the mayor managed to escape, many council members are still imprisoned inside. TOP agents are needed to sneak around the area and decipher the code that will lift the curse.

Your top-secret spy mission takes you from Dick Whittington's resting place to City Hall, tiptoeing alongside the Thames, past the Tower of London and over Tower Bridge as you hunt for the clues.

9. Wicked Wizard of Alnwick, Northumberland

Rumours are rife among local witches and wizards after the news of the passing of Joy Merryman under mysterious (and magical) circumstances. The Bureau of Bad Magic has launched an immediate investigation, and Detective Inspector Hocus-Pocus needs help conjuring up the right culprit.

This circular detective mystery Trail leads muggles on an adventure around the old market town of Alnwick, stopping off at the castle which features in the Harry Potter films.

10. The Wizard's Spellbook, Manchester

The wicked witch, Abby Cadabra, has cast a terrible curse, promising years of never-ending rainfall across Manchester. Famous adventurer, Hugo First, was certain he could put a stop to it after discovering a map and book of clues leading to Abby's spellbook... but he ran at the first sign of peril! So, we're counting on YOU to track down the spellbook, break the curse and finally bring the sun back to the city.

You'll be spellbound by Manchester's vibrant Spinningfields area as you hunt high and low for the sneaky clues on this treasure hunt.

11. Winchester City South Ghost Trail, Hampshire

Local media personality and psychic Claire Voyant has been discovered near the river not far from Winchester College. An amateur ghostbuster, she spent many evenings investigating reported hauntings in the city and was about to publish a book of stories about her supernatural experiences. This wasn't the work of some evil spirit, though - can YOU crack the clues to reveal 'whodunnit'?

You'll need to be brave and keep your wits about you as you investigate the spookier side of the former capital on this detective mystery.

12. Chester - Ghosts Galore, Cheshire

The ghosts of Chester have been groaning, moaning and making nuisances of themselves for the last 250 years, waiting for the day that the demise of one of their own - Poll De-Gyste - would finally be solved. Is your squad brave enough to follow the clues and reveal whodunnit so the spirits can finally rest in peace?

Daring detectives - prepare yourselves for a ghoulish trip around Chester's spookiest spots on this mystery Trail.

13. Burley - Village of Witches, Hampshire

Image: By ITookSomePhotos - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=123820329 - cropped

The Bureau of Bad Magic has launched an immediate investigation after fun-lover Shia Deelite was struck down by a spell that was only meant to dampen his day but ended up causing his demise. All sorcerers are under suspicion, and Chief Inspector Abby Kerdabra needs you to enter the magical realm of Burley and help her to conjure up the right culprit. Good luck!

Uncover fascinating stories of witches and smugglers (and even a dragon) as you tackle this spellbinding detective mystery Trail in the heart of the New Forest.

BONUS: Spooky Virtual Trail

Super Spook Bella has lost her boo!

Ghost Agent Bella Boo needs your help to get her Boo back so she can get back to the serious business of scaring enemy agents into revealing their secrets! Take on this just-for-fun spooky Virtual Trail, covertly searching each location (with help from Google Maps) to solve the clues and crack the code that will release Bella's Boo.

Collect supernatural badges

There are 100s of Special Badges to collect when you complete your next Treasure Trail. But remember, you won't know which badge your Trail will unlock until you've submitted your answer.

Here's a hint, though - six of the Trails listed above will earn you the Spooky badge, while four will nab you the Wizards and Witches badge.

PLUS, if you complete any Treasure Trail and submit your answer on 31st October, you'll be rewarded with the Halloween Club badge!

You can find out more about our Trail Blazer Badges and Footsteps Rewards here.