The Top Treasure Hunts of 2023. The Black Cat Treasure Hunts Awards.

The Top Treasure Hunts of 2023. The Black Cat Treasure Hunts Awards.

Posted on: 24/11/2023

By Tim Carter (Owner of Black Cat Treasure Hunts)

By incredible co-incidence Black Cat Treasure Hunts has decided that today would be the perfect opportunity for my treasure hunt awards to be announced for the best treasure hunts during 2023. A co-incidence because without checking I made them on the same day last year!
As is becoming traditional there are four categories of treasure hunt award. Two of these will be based in Sussex, for team building treasure hunts and hen party treasure hunts. The third for birthday (and celebration) treasure hunts was open to Sussex and outside (open category) whilst the fourth category was for treasure hunts outside Sussex only. The purpose of these awards is to give you some inspiration as to why you might like to choose a Black Cat treasure hunt for 2024, and what to expect once you have.

Best Team Building Treasure Hunt
The team building treasure hunts this year were notable for the intricate and elevated level of specification put forward. The runner-up involved 150-200 people from EF on a Sunday morning in Brighton. This is the largest number Black Cat Treasure Hunts has managed on a single treasure hunt and, as such, led to a zoning of Brighton to allow for a number of teams to set off at the same time. Throw in the use of WhatsApp to cut down on the marking time afterwards and the fact that the participants were from all over the country and the continent, and you can imagine how exciting this treasure hunt was. Cars, trains and planes full of treasure hunters waited tensely as the results were sent out by team texts.

The winner though was 1st Central, an insurance company. This team of around 50 people chose the Ardingly showground for their venue. Initially I was a bit concerned as to whether there would be enough clues for a good treasure hunt in this large but privately enclosed area. Suddenly though a Cluedo theme was adopted, and everything fell into place. Teams were suddenly imitating Poirot, Sherlock Holmes and Kojak amongst others and colour coded teams were seeking out whether Colonel Mustard really did use the lead piping in the conservatory by working out clues to locate the correct suspect, murder weapon and place around the site. Much hilarity ensued as the inevitable rounding up followed at the end. When was the last time you won an Agatha Christie book on your team building event? (and that wasn`t even for the winners!)

Best Hen Party Treasure Hunt
This was a difficult decision as there have been a lot of hen party treasure hunts to choose from. Apart from all the treasure hunts in Brighton there was a fun one in Rye and a real contender from Canterbury (until I remembered that was in Kent!)
In the end I managed to get it down to two. The first of which was a treasure hunt loosely based around a murder/mystery about Dippy the Dinosaur! The teams definitely had a lot of fun working out who the culprit was! The winner, however, was a Brighton treasure hunt that not only incorporated a pirates theme but, more to the point, also had a Maid of Honour (a sister as far as I can remember), who clearly knew the bride to be really well. She sent lots of good photos and info in the planning stage including one of the bride acting as Mother Goose on stage when she was about 10. This performance was reprised, ironically, by one of the hens in the middle of Brighton as she flapped her arms and squawked!! Although I did not attend this treasure hunt the group sent me a video clip afterwards which has convinced me they were worthy winners.

Best Birthday Treasure Hunt
This was an open category in terms of where the treasure hunts were set as I travelled around quite a bit for these. A yoga style retreat in Norfolk was the furthest away and, indeed, is the furthest Black Cat Treasure Hunts has ventured away from Sussex. 140 family and friends were obviously going to be in the running for this category.
Birthdays in Eastbourne, Brighton and up to Shoreditch (twice) were also amusing treasure hunts, but the winner was one where I was asked to attend and organise and mark on the day. The starting point was in the middle of East Grinstead which only goes to show that every town has plenty of intriguing and fun questions and things to do when Black Cat Treasure Hunts gets hold of it. I met the family members (and friends) in a car park as they would need their car to get to the end later on. This was for a 50th and featured a nice range of age groups. Brilliant burgers and mobile bar greeted the teams (and me!) when they arrived in a rural setting. Plenty of banter was to be had as I announced the results and handed out the dubious quality prizes! I stayed a lot longer than I had intended thanks to their hospitality and a great event concluded. 

Best Treasure Hunt Outside Sussex.
I have already mentioned the hen party treasure hunt in Canterbury. This city leant itself perfectly to the ideal treasure hunt. A compact route, great architecture, sculptures and interesting sights were excellent for a variety of questions. I would like to go back there one day.
Unfortunately for this one it was up against a real humdinger of a treasure hunt in London. The company based in Camden had arranged an off-site social in Stratford, but still wanted to start at their offices. After a visit up to London to meet their office manager and social event organiser I decided to write half the treasure hunt in Camden, a quarter on the train to Stratford and the final quarter in Stratford itself. I was able to do live `remote marking` of their photos and video clips via WhatsApp at home in Sussex. So many funny photos and clips were sent including `Rocky` climbing the steps (like in Philadelphia, but next to Stratford station) and finely choreographed Mexican waves on the Camden to Stratford trains. This company had booked Roof East in Stratford which meant they were eating, listening to music and generally having a laid back time as I sent through their results. If you are in London then and want to get the full Black Cat experience please do not hesitate to get in touch.

I hope I have given you some ideas for an entertaining and original activity to enhance your day. For further information or to begin a booking, contact me (Tim) on   or call me on 01323 655346.

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