Top 10 detective mysteries

Are you ready to go on a thrilling investigation, unearthing fascinating facts and cracking vital clues along the way?

Detective mystery Trails are the perfect challenge for wannabe super sleuths. You'll head out on patrol to conduct your inquiries, examining evidence and whittling down your suspect list to reveal 'whodunnit'. But, stay alert - the crafty crook could be hiding around every corner, and you'll need all of your detective skills to get them behind bars.

Not sure which case to accept first? Check out our top 10 for exploration inspiration.

1. Covent Garden

Colourful windows at Neal's Yard in Covent Garden

Your self-guided mystery Trail around Covent Garden will have you hunting down the captivating clues around the famous sights of Seven Dials and St Paul's church. Discover hidden gems - like the tucked-away Neal's Yard - and unlock part of the city's fascinating history as you advance.

There's more than sightseeing at stake in this case. Tragedy has struck the area with the unexpected passing of famous detective novelist Lotta Twist! Circumstances surrounding her loss are baffling police until the arrival of an anonymous letter, filled with clues pointing to the guilty party! Can you solve the sneaky clues and discover 'whodunnit' before they strike again?

2. Norwich - Cathedral Close

Houses by he river in Norwich, with the cathedral in the background

We need your help on this investigation, super sleuths! You'll begin your inquiries at St Andrew's Hall. The mind-twisting clues will soon have you exploring Norwich's historical Cathedral district, featuring St Andrews Street, Elm Hill, the Cathedral grounds and Tombland. But there's more to this than a scenic stroll...

Criminal mastermind Robin Banks is at it again! He's used his crafty connections to hire a thief who has stolen a priceless statue from Norwich Cathedral grounds. The problem is, Robin Banks is refusing to talk, and we need to track down the crook before they sell the statue! We need a top detective to solve the clues and reveal their identity.

3. Tenby 

Tenby Harbour

Something fishy is going on in Tenby (Dinbych-y-pysgod), and TOP inspectors are needed! Local fisherman Olly Oyster has been found tangled in his nets! With stories of Olly's murky past rising to the surface, this was clearly not an accident! Can you solve the sneaky clues and reveal the dastardly villain before they cover up their tracks?

Search for clues alongside the medieval city wall, up the spectacular Castle Hill and through the winding cobbled streets to uncover fascinating stories about this bustling seaside retreat!

4. York - Chocolate and Sweets

York Minster

Listen up, sweet-toothed detectives! There's a case to crack around the UK's home of chocolate. You'll explore the picturesque 'chocolate-box streets'. Dive into the famous sweet museum, and unwrap amazing stories behind Terry's, Rowntree and other kings of confectionery as you hunt out the answers to the sneaky clues.

You'll need more than just your taste buds - you'll also need a nose for solving mysteries! Last night, the body of renowned chocolatier Lotta Smartys was found next to an open safe - and her secret Minty Melt chocolate recipe is now missing. We need you to put the criminal behind bars (not chocolate ones!) and save the recipe from falling into evil hands.

5. Portsmouth

Portsmouth Waterfront and Spinnaker Tower

Residents of Portsmouth weren't surprised that local Press Gang boss Rob Yutoo met his demise in suspicious circumstances. They're denying all knowledge and refusing to help, despite the pleas from the police. Chief Inspector Nick Ewall is convinced it must be the work of a rival gang and has received a taunting message from the culprit. He needs super sleuths to tap into their skills and track down 'whodunnit'.

Hunt down the captivating clues around the historic sites of the city. Explore through the cobbled streets and absorb the incredible Anglican Cathedral, the Gunwharf Quays and Spice Island as you search for the evidence.

6. Belfast - City Centre

Belfast City Hall

Your investigation takes you through the heart of Belfast (Béal Feirste/Bilfawst). From the imposing City Hall and along the riverfront, you'll hunt high and low through Belfast's historic streets, uncovering the city's story as you go.

The city is in shock after cafe owner Phil Eirish, elected King of the Ulster Fry, was found slumped, sunny side up, amongst his prize sausages. Was this an unfortunate accident or the actions of a jealous rival? Chief Inspector Evan Acklew's mind is fried, and he can't tell which suspects are telling porkies and which are innocent. He needs top detectives to follow the clues to reveal the culprit. Good luck!

7. Pendle

Pendle Hill

The morning assembly at the Pendle School of Witchcraft was spellbound by the loss of Miss Sabrina's after she was found slumped in the broom closet. Was this an unfortunate accident or the action of a jealous rival? Her spellbook may give some clues, while other evidence has been scattered like stardust around the Pendle Hills. We need YOU - our top detectives - to work your magic, break the spell and conjure up the villain.

You'll need access to a squad car to crack this magical mystery! Begin your investigation at the Pendle Heritage Centre in Barrowford, then travel along quiet lanes with fantastic views. You'll explore the beautiful villages of Downham and Newchurch-in-Pendle before finishing in the village of Barley. You'll conjure up some stunning views and unlock fascinating facts about the area's witch trail past as you go.

8. Edinburgh - Royal Mile

Edinburgh's Royal Mile

Trouble is brewing in Edinburgh (Dùn Èideann), and super sleuths will need to hop to it! You'll be examining the evidence in the city's historic heart, unearthing its culture and heritage along the way. From the ancient cobbled high street to the towering castle, you'll uncover twisting tales as you inspect the ancient city.

Festival-goers have been left in shock at the discovery of brewing entrepreneur, Maltby Hopper, during the Fringe commotion. With his last reported words being "Ale always love you", could be a crime of passion or is a jealous rival responsible for this despicable act? Chief Superintendent Ivanta Crackadicase has asked for you - our best detective - to help. Can you help solve the sneaky clues and reveal the crafty criminal?

9. Chelmsford - Cathedral and Park

Chelmsford Shire Hall

Image: By Stuart Axe - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Have you heard of billionaire Rich Spondulicks, inventor of the rubber ducky floating radio? Well, he was discovered by his loyal butler, Arthur Sixpence, floating in his giant-sized bubble-filled bathtub the other day. Suspiciously, a number of lucky people have been named in his will - was one of them a little overeager to get their hands on Rich's riches? Follow the clues to solve this mystery so we can pull the plug on the villain's criminal master plan!

You'll need to examine evidence scattered across the city, patrolling from the towering cathedral to the rippling riverside and through Central Park. Follow up on the witness report and case file images, then chase down the crook so we can finally get them behind bars!

10. Liverpool - City Landmarks

Statues of The Beatles in Liverpool

You'll never walk alone on this magical detective mystery tour, which twists and turns around the historic streets of Liverpool. You'll see iconic landmarks frequented by The Beatles, uncover the city's musical heritage and walk past spooky haunts as you use your sleuthing skills to crack this case.

It's going to be A Hard Day's Night after the sad demise of famous music mogul Maxwell Edison. Police are hoping that the evidence will Come Together and need a street-smart detective to drum up new leads and raise the tempo of the investigation. Can you narrow down the list of suspects and make sure the criminal is brought in to face the music? 

Become the ultimate super sleuth

If you head out on an adventure on National Detective Day, make sure you submit your answer to unlock the National Detective Day club badge in your account!

Any answer - right or wrong - submitted through the website at any time on the 24th July will count, and the Trail can be any theme (although you'll get brownie points if you pick a detective mystery!).

Don't worry if you haven't planned ahead - with the Print at Home download Trails and Treasure Trails app, you can get instant access to adventure.

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

Trail Blazer badges: National Detective Day club

Even more detective mystery adventures!

If you can't get to one of our top 10 locations, don't worry - there are over 400 detective mystery Treasure Trails across the UK! And it's super easy to discover mysteries in your local area.

In the menu, click on 'Buy a Trail' and select the region you'd like to explore, or enter a place into the search bar to see all Trails within 30 miles. Then, click on 'Filter' just above the map. An advanced filter menu will pop out on the left-hand side of the page.

If you tick 'Detective Mystery' and submit filters, you'll be able to see all detective-themed Trails in that region. You can even narrow it down to Trail length, type and accessibility too. Then, simply pick the case you and your squad of super sleuths would like to try!

Family fun on a detective mystery Trail