York Trail Mail

Welcome to your last Trail Mail challenge! It's almost Christmas, so we're headed to York, with its chocolate and Christmas market, for a tasty treat and three more sneaky clues.

This is the final instalment of the 2023 Trail Mail Challenge. For information on the prizes, the leaderboard and past puzzles, visit the main page here.

Your challenge

There are three clues set on the following image - one easy peasy, one mind twister and one brain buster. How many can you solve?

Top tip: Open the image in a new tab or save it to your device so you can zoom in.

Image: Courtesy of York Museums Trust, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40044340

Easy Peasy

How many different colours can be seen on the flags? Add this to the number of lions on the coat of arms. Subtract that total from the year. What are you left with?

Mind Twister

Which of the following words can’t be seen in the image?


Brain Buster

Line 1 = 0 dots, 1 dash

Line 2 = 4 dots, 6 dashes

Line 3 = 4 dots, 6 dashes

Line 7 = ? dots, ? dashes

Hint – something on this page will help…

York Trail Mail answers

The closing date for York Trail Mail entries was Friday 5th January 2024.

You can find the answers for the York Trail Mail challenge by clicking the button below.

🔦 Spotlight location: York

Clifford's Tower in York

From Romans, Vikings, the Harrying of the North, revolts, battles, raids, the Civil War, Guy Fawkes and Dick Turpin to...chocolate?! The historical significance of York definitely can't be denied! This ancient city, with its walls, iconic minster and the River Ouse running through its heart, is a must-see location for anyone exploring Yorkshire. You'll need more than a couple of days if you want to get the full experience of its heritage, culture and attractions, though!

There are eight Trails to tackle across the city. The York Chocolate and Sweet detective mystery Trail will take you on a tour of the spots in the city linked to its chocolate industry. You'll investigate around a number of key sites and landmarks, including Coppergate, The Shambles and the Minster Area.

Fab facts and twisting tales

York has a rich history of chocolate production dating back to the 18th century, with iconic brands like Rowntree's and Terry's founded here. These companies played a significant role in the development of the chocolate industry, creating beloved treats like Kit Kat and Terry's Chocolate Orange. York's chocolate legacy continues to be celebrated through attractions like York's Chocolate Story, preserving its sweet history for future generations to enjoy.

In 1899, Queen Victoria sent a gift of Rowntree's chocolate to soldiers fighting the Boer War to boost morale. Then, 15 years later, Rowntree's chocolate was sent to soldiers again, this time as a Christmas present to soldiers from York fighting in WWI. The tin from today's clue was used to protect the chocolate when it was sent, and is part of a collection at York Castle Museum