Black Cat Treasure Hunts `On the Road`. Examples of making your venue work. Posted on: 14/07/2023
Black Cat Treasure Hunts is a Sussex based treasure hunt company, as you may already know. However, in the last few months I have been `on the road` in Kent and Norfolk with a booking in Worcestershire lined up for later in the year. To bring back a bit of balance to Sussex, I also set up a `Cluedo` themed treasure hunt around the showground in Ardingly (West Sussex). Taking a breath now after three out of the four have been completed, I decided to compare the styles and target groups so that you can see exactly what can be on offer when you contact Black Cat Treasure Hunts.
First up was a hen party in Canterbury
. This had originally been planned to take part in Chichester. Unfortunately, the group had been let down by their accommodation providers and a desperate search began for a new venue to suit everyone. Black Cat Treasure Hunts decided to follow them as a one off and went from one cathedral city to another. Canterbury has plenty of treasure hunt worthy clues and the combination of historical and art based (the bride to be was into art) questions was a winner. There was an impressive sculpture of Chaucer, art galleries, Tudor influences, a river, the Marlow theatre and of course the dominating cathedral. Dickens too was not forgotten, and neither was Rupert the Bear, who`s creator went to art school in Canterbury. A circular route packed in the questions and fun challenges, finishing at the restaurant of choice for the hen party. Here is the Trip Advisor review.
Jun 2023 • Friends
I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you, the treasure hunt went down a storm and my sister (hen) absolutely loved it! We all did. We had such a great time and the hunt was so well put together I was absolutely blown away. We have some great pics and videos of the challenges and lots of memories that will last forever.
I have honestly never been so impressed with a service like this - fantastic from start to finish and Tim was so helpful throughout the process, even when we had to change cities from Chichester to Canterbury last minute.
A truly fabulous experience, I would recommend this to anyone.
Buoyed by this review it was on to Norfolk. This has not been a county on my treasure hunt list before, but with 140 adults/children attending for a birthday/anniversary celebration of epic proportions it seemed rude not to accept this booking. The venue was in West Lexham, a tiny village in the middle of nowhere. I stayed at the bustling market town of nearby Swaffham and Kings Lynn is not too far away. The fact that the venue was a bit remote was kind of the point. It was a beautiful location serving as a yoga retreat but with a lake, wind chimes, treehouses, cabins in a wood and a kitchen garden that provided the vegetables for the cafe. I have not even mentioned the Japanese Zen Garden and pagoda.
I think by now you are getting the idea, but for me there was still one big challenge. It was not a town or city with regular clues...It was time to think outside the box. As it turned out I started to think inside the box!! I took a selection of `mystery boxes` and ribbons and created special challenges to suit all the different ages in addition to questions that related to the site itself. I think the mystery box idea will work well...I mean which other treasure hunt combines an Hawaiian lei, a chick, a poppy, the Brandenburg Gate, a banana and a peg! The idea of using transportable clues via the method of the mystery box was an idea that I was going to go back to much sooner than I thought the following month.
At short notice I took on a booking at Ardingly`s Showground. I`m ashamed to say I had never been there before to see The South of England Show. I thought the place would be fun and the booking was a referral. Happy days all round. The only thing is there is a good reason this place is brilliant for huge shows of this nature...it has lots of space and open areas. There are large open buildings too, ideal for accommodating people or items in a show. Not in theory ideal for a treasure hunt.
On the plus side the enthusiasm of the people booking me was infectious and the day before visiting the site to create the treasure hunt, I produced a light bulb moment! As a big fan of playing Cluedo at Christmas I knew that all I needed were good places to hide pictures of suspects, rooms and murder implements. Ardingly had those type of places in abundance. With five days until the event though I knew I needed a secure way to leave the clues in place. "Ah I know!"...similar to the mystery boxes I cable tied plastic wallets around the place with Professor Plum, the candlestick and the conservatory (plus all the others) inside waiting to be found. I included some murder/mystery challenges involving taking photos and video clips and the scene was set. Here is some instant feedback about it.
"Thank you for all your time in putting this together. Everyone had a great time, and we were so grateful for ALL of the time effort and energy you dedicated to our event."
Three down and Worcestershire in October. Whereas the Ardingly treasure hunt was aimed at a teambuilding day for a corporate team, this event is on a smaller scale and is a 60th birthday celebration. The couple who have booked me to organise this for them and some friends are staying in a hotel in a beautiful village. To the South is Worcester and to the East is Droitwich Spa. Although I intend this to be a more traditional style of treasure hunt in that it will follow the regularly advertised format of a personalised treasure hunt, there were still decisions to make.
The first was to make it a slightly split venue treasure hunt between the village and Droitwich Spa. I have chosen Droitwich over Worcester as it is more compact, although I haven`t been to either before!
I wanted the participants to get a feel for the village they were staying at(not enough clues there to sustain a whole treasure hunt), before driving (more questions on route) to Droitwich to complete the bulk of the challenges and questions. I am hopeful it will work well. By all accounts Droitwich is a delightful place and, indeed, if you are reading this and you live there then feel free to suggest some `must see` highlights from the town.
In summary, I am always open to new places and/or new styles of treasure hunt when appropriate. If you like the idea of a murder/mystery and are hiring a contained, but relatively large venue then I definitely want to hear from you. Need something to entertain 100 people meeting up to celebrate your birthday in London or maybe beyond then get in touch. If you have an activity specification that you think might benefit from the creativity of Black Cat Treasure Hunts then... email@example.com is the best place to start.