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St George was a Treasure Trailer!

The patron saint of England is St George and today is Saint George’s Day!

For many people in England, today is an ordinary working day, although this year with it being so close to Easter, some people may still be on holiday. The 23rd April is the traditionally accepted date of St George’s death in AD303. His parents were Greek Christians and his father was an officer in the Roman army. George also became an officer in the Roman army and although he is the patron saint of England, he wasn’t English and there is no hard evidence to suggest that he ever came to England.

Crusaders were early Trailers!

St George was a Treasure Trailer!When the first crusaders set off (calling themselves ‘pilgrims’), they wore large red cloth crosses, hence the subsequent naming of ‘crusade’, originally derived from the latin word ‘crux’. As pilgrims, the original crusaders saw themselves as undertaking an armed mission or pilgrimage, and the ‘taking of the crux’ all the way to Jerusalem symbolised their vows that would only be fulfilled upon reaching their destination. The first crusade was 1096 to 1099 and the popularity of St George seems to rise with the Crusades. He was reported to have appeared during the battle of Antioch in 1098, although the first church in England to be dedicated to him was earlier than this, in Doncaster, in 1061.

King Richard I (the Lionheart) of England adopted St George during the Third Crusade (1191-2) and he became the patron saint of England during the late Middle Ages. In 1415 Henry V used him to rally his troops before the battle of Agincourt and in the 15th Century St George’s Day was as popular as Christmas!

So where did he do his Trailing?

As well as England, St George is also the patron saint of umpteen other places and whilst it is hard to identify exactly where he travelled to he is associated with various countries including Aragon, Catalonia, Ethiopia, George, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal and Russia. Interestingly he is also the patron saint of several cities – Amersfoort, Beirut, Bteghrine, Caceres, Ferrara, Freiburg, Genoa, Ljubljana, Gozo, Pomorie, Qormi, Lod and Moscow. This isn’t a definitive list as there are other places included in different sources.

Scouts, soldiers, archers, cavalry and chivalry, farmers and field workers, riders and saddlers amongst many others all also claim him as their patron saint. With thanks to Project Britain for the information!

He is always depicted as a knight carrying a shield with a red cross (or a banner with a red cross), generally sitting on a horse and always killing a dragon!

St George was a Treasure Trailer! - Brinsop ChurchRemember St George when you are out and about this weekend.

English Heritage has a whole list of events associated with St George happening this weekend. Or you could make your own entertainment, by going out on a Trail dressed as St George and carrying your sword in case you meet any dragons along the way!

Upload your St George’s Day photos onto our facebook site – we’d love to see them.

Sources: Wikipedia, Project Britain, Britannia

23rd April 2014

Posted In: Did you know


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Trains, Boats and Buses

Whilst walking is always going to be the best way to see the sights, sometimes it can be fun to see the sights in other ways!  We have a selection of Trails to share with you that use different ways to get from A to B (and back again).  And yes they involve trains and boats and buses too!


There is nothing more evocative of days gone by than travelling by steam train and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Trail provides that experience. Our partners in Yorkshire had enormous fun creating a Trail that involves buying a day rover ticket and travelling by steam train to solve clues at different stations.

Trains, Boats and Buses - North Yorkshire Moors Railway
North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Jane said ““It was a real treat to ride on the NYMR through the beautiful North York Moors National Park, especially watching the shadow of the steam plume along the embankments and getting up close to the steam engines! We loved the individual charms of the stations too, from setting clues on some of the wonderful railway memorabilia at Pickering, imagining what Goathland station looked like transformed into Hogsmeade Station for the Harry Potter films, and exploring the village of Grosmont, including walking through a very long tunnel to look around the engine sheds. And then of course, we got to enjoy the return train journey at the end of the day!”

Talking of days gone by, funicular railways were all the rage in the Victorian era and we feature two Trails that both have the option of using the one to avoid walking up the steep paths to the top! In Scarborough the Central Tramway will cost 80p and in Bridgnorth the Cliff Railway return ticket is £1.10 and both are worth the trip!

Move along please and mind the gap!  Head underground to try out the Green Run Trail. Kathy our London Trail Partner explained “we wanted to write a Trail for families and adults to do on a rainy or cold day and where better than underground.”


When the weather is fine, then you know it’s a sign for messing about on the river. Combine that with searching for clues and you have found a winning formula to entertain the family. Our partner in East Anglia who has created Trails across the region has included nine different boating Trails for the catalogue.

Trains, Boats and Buses - Norfolk Broads
Norfolk Broads

Dave explained “The Norfolk Broads are a great place to explore by boat but there is much more to see on dry land as well! Our spy themed Broads 1 Trail is aimed at those who are staying on the Broads for a couple of days or more – covering 28 miles on water, and 3 miles on land, it encompasses the villages of Potter Heigham, Ludham, Ranworth, Salhouse Broad and the Hoveton Great Broad Nature Trail (and can be completed in either direction). For those just visiting for a shorter period hire a day boat and try our Murder Mystery Broads 4 Trail. Starting and finishing at Wroxham, this Trail incorporates Horning and Salhouse Broad, covering 9 miles on the water (so is suitable as a canoe Trail as well!) and 2 miles on land.”

The Bristol Harbourside Trail incorporates something for everyone too including fascinating facts about the history and development of the waterside area from the modern vibrant Millennium Square to Brunel’s SS Great Britain.  Our partner for the area Rachel, commented “there is even a chance to play pirates yourself for a brief spell as you hop on the ferry to cross the harbour en route back from 1845 to modern day.”

A little further up from Bristol at Symonds Yat another ferry is incorporated into a Trail experience. This time it is an old fashioned hand ferry.  The Trail writer, David said “this is one of our most rural Trails and crosses the River Wye twice, once on the ferry and then on the foot suspension bridge.”


What about a hop on hop off experience down on the south coast?  We have two Trails in Bournemouth that use their Yellow Buses. Both Trails use the 1a Yellow bus. Bournemouth Town centre to Christchurch is on Bus 1 Trail and Christchurch back to Bournemouth is on the Bus 2 Trail. Trailers need to stop the bus, hop off solve the clues and hop back on the next bus. Buses run every 10 minutes and there is lots to see along the route.

Have you done a Trail that involved a form of transport other than Shank’s Pony? If you have we’d love to hear from you.  Trains, Boats and BusesLook for this photo on Facebook and tell us about your experience.  Funniest will get a free Trail of your choice.

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15th January 2014

Posted In: Did you know

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