We had heard of an upcoming event in London – An interesting puzzle/treasure hunt all centered around the City. So being that we enjoy things like that we thought why not? So we went and here is what we thought.
There were many events happening all at once on Saturday the 15th October all around the City of London all within the square mile. Due to times etc we had to pick what events we wanted to participate in – we could have gone to the Fair’s at Guildhall, St Paul’s or London Wall. But the promise of puzzles and adventure sounded more appealing we had to decide between ‘The Maze of Adventures’ or “The Hunt”.
We decided to go with The Hunt as the concept seemed more challenging and interesting so we aimed with absolutely no knowledge of the start point – Instead we joined at Bank where one of the allocated Phone Boxes.
We wandered around a little bit trying to find this phone box (a strange place normally filled with drunks, urine or prostitute cards but this time looked almost clean) Inside was the clue as we saw a key on one of the doors – so we entered and found a sign on the roof – stating
So we texted the number
So we headed towards Tower Bridge – we of course stopped for Coffee and then on we went whilst thinking of jokes. We saw one of the doors under the Gherkin which would have been part of the other challenge.
With a joke in mind we approached two men in red Bowler hats who after hearing the joke showed us a drawing of a door with a word on the top
So on we went in search of the Tiger (A Silver Tiger) We wandered round and round passed a white neon tiger (as clearly the clue says) We eventually realized that it was the Neon Tiger after all, we did see a number of people saying the same things as us. We even went into the Skyline Hotel with a couple of other hunters and asked what we were supposed to be looking for much to the dismay and annoyance of the staff (it seems this had been happening all day)
We eventually through trial and error found the word that needed to be texted and received our next clue.
Onwards we went to All Hallows next to the Tower Church with a Shielded Dragon guarding a Red Phone Box. There was a huge queue as with all things British (foreshadowing) so instead we texted ‘Engaged’ So our phone rang and a voice told us to find a clock – slightly after that we were texted a picture and a postcode.
This lead us to the old House of Fraser building on the north side of London Bridge. This is where the clues went really peculiar and started going on about meeting friends ‘Serendipitously’ and ‘Marking a spot’
Then stated walk 1 to 5 steps. Then we were told ‘Orange and Lemons said the bells of St Clement’s’ which is where we were but then we were given a photo of a stained glass window that we needed to find.
After hunting around we found that the ‘St Clement’s” clue was just waffle and had nothing to do with progressing the Hunt. The clues then started going on about lost rivers and friendships and walls and crumbles. We eventually skipped this step to find our way to Mansion House (pretty much where we started the day)
There was a word on a sign in between columns (Serendipity) we texted that and then the clues waffled on about Dick Whittington and stories etc.
This again had nothing to do with anything. After a long spiel about nothing the clue stated we had to make a guess about where the ‘New Heart of London was” We had no idea where we supposed to make this guess? It was only by looking around we once again found a huge Queue and asked a member of staff for Mansion House what this queue was for. He stated it was something to do with the Key Quest and to join – he stated the doors were closed for an hour – the reason being was ….. no one knew! It seemed the staff just didn’t want to deal with people. We were told there was a map somewhere inside that would help us configure where the New Heart was.
We waited for over an hour – whilst people skipped the queue, rude staff ignored us and went an hid inside so as not to deal with disgruntled queuers and strange cameramen were being pretentious and once again rude. As with most things the queue kept going and going – until eventually a matronly woman from the PR company appeared at the door with the code word for the location of the ceremony. If you accepted this you voided your chance at entering the ceremony as a participant thus loosing out on the prize. She went down the queue telling people this but without notifying them that the doors would shut in just under 15mins with over 100 people still queueing and each group taking 5 mins to go through this ‘magical door’
Thankfully we were right at the front and managed to get in – Waiting inside was a really strange woman who unnervingly stared at us whilst droning that we must choose co-ordinates of the New Heart and to hurry up! In our rush we guessed St Pauls Cathedral (You will see the reason why Climbing Moss thinks this next year) We were rushed out after being shown the codeword.
The final ceremony was to be held at The Old Bailey at 6pm Sharp – as it was 5.20pm we made our way there. Via some random detour as Ash got the location completely wrong. When we eventually got to The Old Bailey we found ………. A massive queue! YAY! The staff were once again rude! like really Really rude!
We were still queuing at 6.30pm – when eventually we were ushered in and had to go through some of the strictest security (think airport on steroids) through metal detectors, baggage scanners, empty pockets and body scans and pat downs.
Eventually we were shoved in a hallway filled with people (nothing like social distancing and not one person wearing a mask) after 10 mins a random woman slowly descended the stairs and mumbled/shouted into the echoing marble chamber (Good idea!) We couldn’t understand what an earth she was going on about and instead we marveled at being able to see inside this impressive building.
She awarded the keys to some kids (surprise surprise) but we were unable to hear where they had guessed so we left early because there was nothing there. Apparently after the fact we were told that the heart was where you met your ‘friend’ who the hell knows?
No magical performances, no fire-breathers, no magicians or music – literally one woman.
Overall the treasure hunt was pretty good, if a little glitchy/spotty and vague but the whole idea was brilliant. The actual delivery was a bit of a flop though and the ending ruined almost the whole thing.
We did see a random sight though ….