So, you’ve joined us on the City leg of The Great TT Staycation Tour, and you’re now itching to get out and explore a city for real! Well, fear not, we have some hot tips to make your next city mission, quest or investigation a success! Plus, if you’re struggling to decide which adventure to choose, click here to take a look at our top city picks for this summer!
How to be…
…a top city detective!
With all the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s easy to overlook vital evidence and lose track of suspects as they slip into the crowds. To be a top city detective, you really need to remember your sleuthing training and keep your eyes peeled at all times!
The best way to ensure you don’t get distracted and miss out on vital information? Take your time and fully observe your surroundings, making notes of any suspicious activity that could be linked to your curious case.
Your case files will include all the information you need to set off on your investigation, including case background, a suspect list, evidence gallery and a series of clues to solve in order to whittle them down and solve the case.
…a bold city explorer!
You may think your quest will be a walk in the park (sometimes literally), but booby traps come in all shapes and sizes. While you trek through the city, you’ll need to be extra vigilant and avoid stepping on cracks in the pavement or touching iron railings. Do you hear that noise? It sounds like a giant boulder rolling towards you… Run!
Of course, it’s not just booby traps that you’ll need to stay alert for during your expedition. Can you see footprints in the grass? Is someone following you down the street? You could have a rival treasure seeker hot on your tail! Keep your important Trail notes close, and don’t let them see the answer.
Your quest documents will include all the details of the treasure you seek. You’ll find a treasure map, with possible locations marked, and a series of clues, each of which will eliminate one location until you are left with the final spot.
…a super-secret city spy!
When on a top-secret mission in the city, you have to use your location to your advantage. There are more doors and windows for enemy agents to hide behind and more CCTV cameras for the evil geniuses to tap into. BUT, there are also more alleys for you to duck into to avoid detection and more reflective shop windows for you to use for slyly monitoring the area.
To avoid jeopardising your mission, you’ll need to blend into the crowd by going undercover. Wear plain clothes and avoid drawing attention to yourselves – sunglasses and big hats are perfect for the summer months. Subtly scan around every corner before advancing, and stick to the shadows.
Your super-secret spy documents include vital intel on your mission, with a set of clues that you’ll need to solve in order to complete your answer grid. Plus, there’s a combination box which, once you’ve solved every clue, will enable you to unlock the code and save the day!
What type of adventurer are you?
Every Treasure Trail turns you into an intrepid explorer, a super-secret agent or a dazzling detective, depending on which theme you choose. You’ll be locating lost artefacts, saving the day on a secret mission, or searching for vital evidence to crack the case.
If you want to find out what kind of Trail adventure you might be best at this summer, we’ve created a quiz to help you find out!
If you already know which cities you’re going to explore on your staycation, head to the website and choose your Treasure Trail! There’s no need to book a day or time slot; the Trails are completely self-guided, and you can do them any time. All you need is your Trail booklet, a pen, your top team of treasure seekers and a sense of adventure. So, where will you visit first?
Remember, you only have until 31st July to submit the City Tour puzzle answer if you want to be in with the chance to win the Jigraphy jigsaw prize! If you haven’t cracked it yet, check out The Great TT Staycation Tour and solve the sneaky clues on the first leg of the journey. We’ve got our fingers crossed for you. 🤞
So, you’ve joined us on our City Tour, and you’re now itching to get out and explore a city for real! City adventures can be a real eye-opener, with more real estate meaning more hidden gems and surprises around every corner! If you’re struggling to decide which adventure to choose, scroll down to take a look at our top picks for this summer!
Best for keeping your cool
If you feel like you’re getting hot under the collar with all that clue-solving, you’re going to want to find a way to cool off. Ice cream is one way, or on a scorching day, running through a fountain is sure to cool even the most hot-headed off!
Sound good? Try tackling the Bradford detective mystery Trail. The mirror pool outside City Hall has the highest urban fountain in the UK (you’ll know how high this is if you’ve completed the City Tour puzzle!). What’s more, it has 100 water spouts, some of which will get you wetter than others if you’re not quick on your toes! Don’t worry, you can skirt around the pool if you don’t fancy a soaking!
Down in London, take on the top-secret Waterloo and South Bank Trail and tiptoe up the steps to the outdoor upper level of the festival hall to cool off in the Appearing Rooms water feature! Or, over in South Wales, the Cardiff Bay and the Wetlands mission will take you past the rather cool (and cooling) water feature outside the Millennium Centre.
Cities are full of alleyways, passages and yards ideal for sneaky shortcuts, escaping unseen and searching for evidence. All our city Trails will take you off the beaten track as well as packing in the main sights, but here are our top picks for ducking under cover…
Up in Edinburgh, lurking behind the main streets that make up the Royal Mile are a series of narrow lanes, passageways and linked courtyards that require your inspection in order to crack the case.
In York, your investigations on the York Minster mystery will require you to patrol the shortest street in York and bravely sneak through Coffee Yard, guarded by a devil!
If you’re in or heading to the capital, London, Trafalgar Square is a must-visit iconic spot. But delve deeper into the area on the Trafalgar Square Trail on your quest for the treasure, and you’ll soon know all the backstreets like the back of your hand!
Best for amazing street art
Cities mean lots of buildings, which mean lots of blank canvases for some incredible street art! You’re likely to come across something special in most cities, but here are some guaranteed spots for you…
There is so much street art in Shoreditch, you won’t know where to look first! But, if you’re out exploring on the Shoreditch and Columbia Road Trail, you’ll have to make sure it doesn’t distract you from cracking the code! Of course, when it comes to street art, you can’t miss out on Bristol – home of Banksy. With six Trails to choose from in the Bristol area, there are tonnes of chances to see stunning masterpieces by the city’s talented artists.
Heading up north and away from your typical street art, Chester has some superb historical artwork to take a peek at. Set out on the Eastgate Clock quest to discover some Roman scenes and shenanigans on marvellous murals. Even further north, as you trek through Dundee, you won’t see your standard statues of historical men – the sculptures here are super quirky! From pop culture to penguins, there are plenty of awesome structures to inspect – just don’t let those feathery fiends figure out where the treasure is!
Best for giving your feet a rest
If you’re on a city Treasure Trail, you’re usually exploring on foot, but sometimes special agents, top detectives or intrepid explorers need to deploy alternative methods of getting from A to B to get those clues solved…
Test your sea legs on the Bristol Harbourside Trail as you jump aboard the cross-harbour ferry for a quick jaunt over to the next set of clues on your quest.
In London, take to the skies on The Cable Car Mission to solve the clues on either side of the river (it’s better than swimming across!). Or venture underground on The Green Run London Tube Trail, utilising the District Line to whisk you from station to station to get those clues solved.
Best for sweet treats
All good adventurers need to stock up on snacks from time to time to help fuel both body and brain – you’ll need both to finish your Trail! You’ll be spoilt for choice whichever city you choose to explore, but here are our top picks for making the most of your location…
The York Chocolate and Sweet Trail does exactly what it says on the tin. On this detective mystery, you’ll be delving into the world of confectionary that York is famed for, with both Terry’s and Rowntree starting up here. Your investigation follows a route full of ‘chocolate box’ buildings like those on The Shambles, as well as leading you past a whole host of choccie and sweetie shops – you just have to choose which one to stop at for your treats!
Head out to the suburbs of Birmingham, and you’ll discover another chocolatey treat. Home to Cadburys, Bourneville was built up around the original factory to house the workers; as you explore on your quest, you’re bound to build up an appetite for sweet treats!
The City of London – Pudding Lane Trail is our final top pick. You’ll be assisting Chief of Police Patty Cakes on the case to find out what happened to poor Chuck Doughball. You’ll also discover the original meaning of ‘pudding’ whilst out on patrol; as hardy detectives, you should try not to let this put you off seeking out a celebratory ice cream before heading home.
Best for awe-inspiring architecture
There’s nothing like a massive building to make you feel super small and go ‘wow’!
As avid staycationers who’ve completed our City Tour, you’ll already be itching to get to Aberdeen and admire all the granite on show. It’s the Aberdeen – West End Trail you want for some granite-tastic sightseeing!
Best for four-legged friends
Ok, so cities may not instantly spring to mind when you’re picturing your pooch running through open fields as fast as their little doggy legs can carry them. However, if you want to combine taking Rover for a walk with a city adventure, there are certainly some great open spaces to be found…
If you’re a lover of Victorian parks, you’ll love Saltwell Park in Gateshead. Keep Agent K9 on a lead for most of the mission, but let them run free in the special dog pen – a large fenced off area designed especially for pooches to let off steam.
In Scotland, doggy detectives will love sleuthing around Stirling to help you sniff out the evidence you need. Just make sure those paws are up for a few cobbles and some steep hills – well worth it for the views!
Gloucestershire Park and Quays is an excellent compromise for satisfying both human and canine city needs. You’re investigations require you to take a peek at the docks, then head to the park for a run around before returning to the quays area to finish snooping around.
Best for sneaking along canals
Move over, Venice; there are some new canal kings in town! Up and down the UK, our city canals have been getting some serious makeovers in recent years, turning once murky waterways into the ideal stomping ground for city adventurers.
For a real inner-city oasis, get yourselves to Manchester Castlefield. You’ll be treading the towpaths and sneaking across narrow bridges to access wharves and gather all the vital intel you need to complete your mission.
If admiring narrowboats is your thing, you can’t go far wrong on the Oxford Jericho and Canal Trail. After a bit of bold city exploring, your quest will take you canalside for your final clues.
For the UK city with the most canals, head over to Birmingham – Venice of the North! With more miles of canals than Venice, the ‘Spaghetti Junction’ of the canal system is the scene for your quest for the legendary Golden Gondolier!
Over in Belfast, you’ll know from the Great TT Staycation City Tour that there are lots of seahorses dotted about the city in all sorts of disguises! See how many you can spot during your investigations on the Belfast Detective Mystery.
Plan your city adventure
Feeling inspired? Grab your city adventure via any of the links above, or type the name of any UK city into the search box at the top of the page to see which adventures await. Before you head off for a day of exploration, make sure you’re up to scratch with your city sleuthing, sneaking and unearthing skills with our handy guide to being a TT City Slicker…
PS – don’t forget to complete the City Leg puzzle on the Staycation Tour! Get your answer in before the end of July for your chance to win the puzzle. Get it in anytime before the end of September, along with the other two puzzles to be in the draw for the holiday!