During the summer, we want to make the most of the (often short lived) weeks of sunshine and spend as many of our days out and about as possible.
Treasure hunts in London combine a competitive, team building element, with the chance to spend time outdoors, exploring less familiar areas of the city with friends. The perfect summer activity!
My family love any type of board game, escape room or chance to solve a puzzle, so I’ve completed several treasure hunts over the years. They have always lead me to areas of London that were brand new to me, so it’s a guaranteed way see something new!
This list of outdoor scavenger hunts caters to all budgets, and I’ve thrown a few free options in there, too.
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3 Immersive London Treasure Hunts to try this Summer
1. Clued Upp
Clued Upp is an outdoor escape room experience, where your team is tasked to crack the codes and solve the puzzles via your phone to solve the mystery. It’s a virtual reality gaming event, designed to turn your city into a playground.
Each treasure hunt is themed; choose from Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland and even Smurf themed games! The newest maze is called ‘Witchcraft and Wizardry’, so get your wands at the ready for a magical afternoon of puzzle solving.
Clued Upp also encourage dressing to impress! If that’s your vibe, go all out and get your crew together to plan your outfits, as there’s a prize for the best dressed team up for grabs…
The Clued Upp experiences are phone based within a dedicated app, so ensure your phone is fully charged and the app is downloaded before you set off. Clued Upp’s treasure hunts are not just based in London. There are events running in over 1500 locations worldwide! Each event takes around 2-3 hours to complete on average, and the hunt can be completed at your own pace.
Clued Upp is one of the cheaper treasure hunt options in London. Just one ticket is required for a team of up to 6 adults, with any additional children under 16 able to join in for free. Clued Upp are currently offering a 50% off promotion, so you can book your first experience for just £15!
If you are an immersive treasure hunt newbie looking to participate for your first game, or are looking for a family day out with a difference, this could be the perfect choice.
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2. Hidden City
Hidden city offer three immersive treasure hunts to choose from; Moriarty’s game (perfect for Sherlock fans), The hunt for the Cheshire Cat, and The Enchanted Mirror (a snow white inspired experience).
Receive your clues via text message, following a trail around London and compete to complete your hunt in the quickest time. The puzzles are primarily phone based, but sometimes involve interacting with people or heading into shops or pubs to say code words to receive your next clue.
I’ve completed two treasure hunts by Hidden City, and have loved both! The puzzles are challenging enough to take a little time to complete, but are not ridiculously tricky. A truly immersive experience with lots of laughs and surprises!
Hidden City treasure hunts take around 3-4 hours to complete, and cost £25 per person.
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Gourmaze is a unique treasure hunt experience, combining a London treasure hunt experience with a food tasting tour. Perfect for foodies who love to explore! Enjoy delicious treats while you spend an afternoon solving riddles sent straight to your phone.
Gourmaze currently run two different experiences to choose from; ‘The Talisman Treats’ serving up asian street food, and ‘The Sweet Escapes’, focusing on tasty desserts.
The treasure hunt experiences take around 2-3 hours to complete, and participants will receive 3 snacks per maze,
Gourmaze tickets are priced at £27.99 for The Sweet Escapes, and £39.99 for The Talisman Treats. Considering these mazes include an afternoon’s entertainment plus food, I think that’s good value.
A Gourmaze experience would make a really fun date night activity, or the best birthday day out with friends! Avoid spoilers on social media if you can, so that the snacks are a surprise.
Free Treasure Hunts in London
Geocaching is known as the world’s largest treasure hunting game, and it’s completely free to join in. Players use GPS-enabled devices, such as smartphones, to find hidden waterproof containers called geocaches.
Simply set up an account, and use the app to navigate your way to your nearest geocache. Extra clues and hints can be found on the geocaching website to help players locate them.
Players can also hide their own geocaches for others to find! Often small trinkets, toys or handmade items are left in the containers for the next group to find, so it’s a great chance to get creative with your family.
For more information head to the geocaching website.
Printable bingo card
If you have smaller children, a game involving a printable is a great idea. Search for items on your walk, and tick them off as you spot them.
There are lots of free printables online, or you can have a go at making your own. Include London specific sights, or go for more general items if you aren’t planning to head to the main sight seeing spots.
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Final thoughts: Top London Treasure Hunts to try this Summer
A treasure hunt in London is a fantastic way to get moving and exploring the outdoors. Immersive experiences and escape rooms are becoming increasingly popular, so this is a great way to combine the two and enjoy an unusual day out!
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