Welcome to London Discovery Tours

London Treasure Hunts

Below you will find descriptions of fourteen London Treasure Hunts that have proved extremely popular over the years.

Each Treasure Hunt consists of a series of cryptic clues; a sheet of observation questions; a photo challenge, for which the teams must find items and street furnishings that have been photographed from, to say the least, confusing and misleading angles; and a list of items that the teams must bring back at the end of the Treasure Hunt as part of the scavenger challenge.

You can also add our popular “London Posers” quest to any of our Treasure Hunts. The teams are given an instant camera with which to photograph their colleagues in some creative(occasionally outrageous) poses. The Treasure Hunt can finish in either a private room or reserved area at a pub or restaurant where participants can unwind with a drink or two and a buffet or meal.

THE BAKER STREET TREASURE HUNT

The great Holmes himself would be hard pushed to pick his way through the fiendishly diabolical clues awaiting you on this treasure hunt. The tucked away mews through which we wend our way (one of them was even where the Profumo scandal erupted!), are dotted with a variety of facades on which a host of tantalising clues can be observed by the intrepid searcher. You will be given an envelope that contains some rather strange items, all of which fit into the overall plan of the hunt. But what is the connection between them? Well, that’s for you to find out! A magnifying glass is explainable but what could an old woollen sock and the 6 inch piece of string possibly be for.

THE OLD CITY HISTORIC LONDON QUEST

This eventful journey cuts a fascinating swathe through the historic heart of the old City of London. It snakes its mystifying way through a warren of ancient alleyways, hidden away courtyards, narrow thoroughfares and even elusive churchyards. Each place is cobwebbed by time, and each place has some wonderfully tucked away items that you must seek out in order to solve the clues and get ahead of the game. Those cryptic conundrums are cunningly disguised in a variety of evocative locations that will prove an absolute joy to discover. Fun, bafflement, fascination and true discovery await you on a delightful quest into London’s eventful past.

THE RIVERSIDE TREASURE HUNT

A complex series of mind-jarring clues await you as your team races along the banks of the Thames, ducking into dimly lit tunnels, disappearing into forgotten alleyways and venturing into places that are so hidden that even those who work close-by do not know they are there! Scattered along the route you will uncover a sequence of significant clues that can be physical and visual. But can you find them? Since this is the area where Shakespeare once trod the boards, the clues are carefully constructed and peppered with the distinct flavour of the Bard. It isn’t too hard though. All you need is a keen eye, a logical mind which, together with reasonable powers of deduction, will enable you to soon work out why your pack includes a dirty old shoe and a rusty old key.

THE MOTHER OF ALL TREASURE HUNTS

This has to rate as one of the most testing of our regular Treasure Hunts. Not least because you will travel all over London in search of the answers to our cryptic conundrums. The clues focus upon the strangest of places, and a veritable variety of intriguing characters are waiting out “there” to help you on your way. You must collect several important articles as you go; find the “man in the pub” who holds a vital clue, not to mention the “lady in black” whose inheritance meant nothing to her but which could mean a great deal to your team. Beware the red herrings though, for they could easily send you tearing off in the wrong direction. Imagine the indignity of ending up in Southend instead of South Kensington, Oxford as opposed to Oxford Street, Liverpool rather than Liverpool Street and Stratford as opposed to Stratford (sic!). The great thing about this Treasure Hunt is that since it lasts for a full day the teams have time to become involved in a genuine piece of carefully crafted street theatre. It’s like one of those old detective movies where the good guys invariably turn out to be the bad guys. But remember that the good guys always manage to win in the end…don’t they?

THE WESTMINSTER TREASURE HUNT

Westminster is of course home to the Mother of all Parliaments, and our Treasure hunt around its historic streets is tinged with political intrigue.  You’ll be surprised at some of the places you will visit in the course of the challenge. Secret courtyards, hidden thoroughfares and old, old buildings abound. You’ll be dipping in and out of these amazing places as you attempt to hunt down the clues that keep you moving around the route. The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Downing Street and; New Scotland Yard have all been skilfully woven into the clues and challenges that will ensure your team, and not that one trying to overtake, will be them overall winners.

THE ROYAL LONDON TREASURE HUNT

Exclusive and historic – the village of St James’s is London’s Royal quarter. A veritable labyrinth of old alleyways twist their way in front of and behind of some of the capital’s most exclusive homes, shops and buildings. The flavour of this noble quarter is eccentric, class riddled and somewhat heady. But you won’t need a plum in your mouth to discover the places where a sequence of cryptic clues disguise themselves as innocent looking pieces of street furniture, nondescript blue plaques or dull statues of forgotten heroes. Of course one of the delights of the area is the guards that stand innocently outside St James’s Palace, the official residence of the monarch. Since they stand boldly on public display, their bright red jackets resplendent with shining buttons, we just had to find away of including them in the quest. And include them we do, although just how we do it… well, you’ll have to wait to find out!! Great fun, excellent team building and true fascination on an eventful journey in the course of which you may even get to meet the “odd” aristocrat and maybe even a Prince or two.

THE COVENT GARDEN TREASURE HUNT

A journey through the secret side of one of London’s most boisterous neighbourhoods. Let our cunning clues take you beneath the streets and into an underground world that was once a sordid metropolis of crime and grime. You will resurface to gaze upon a monument that is 4,000 years old where you must decipher a code hidden in its ancient inscription. Once the code is uncovered you are off through narrow and twisting alleys to find information from famous theatres and historic pubs as your team attempt to pull ahead of the game and leave all the others standing. If you follow the instructions to the letter you should easily find yourself turning the key that unlocks the battered old door the stepping through of which leads your team to championship status. But don’t forget… the others are on your trail and they may just find that last tantalising enigma that could pip you to the post!!

THE CHELSEA VILLAGE QUEST

Chelsea with its Bohemian ambience and secret streets has long proved a popular village for our London Quests. You can either get their via underground or hire a boat and sail up the Thames from the heart of the old City to step of the boat alongside the Albert Bridge. Whichever your chosen means of arrival, the Treasure Hunt that twists and turns through the streets, alleyways and mews of this delightful quarter will prove fascinating. The cast of characters woven into our wicked little wander include the likes of Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Mick Jagger. There is also bound to be a Chelsea Pensioner or two, not to mention the occasional traffic warden and unwitting Bobby on the beat. All in all it’s a fun-packed few hours,, and some of the places you discover will be just like stepping back in time. And it won’t be long before you’ve worked out what to do with the Abba wig and the balaclava that you’ve been given!

THE INNS OF COURT AND FLEET STREET CONUNDRUM

Little changed since the days when Dickens wrote about them, the Inns of Court offer a secret world against which a truly historic Treasure Hunt can unfold. This is the area where they filmed Rumpole of the Bailey and Kavanagh QC, and, of course, The Davinci Code, so it’s as historic a quarter of London as you could ever wish to discover. There are also some great pubs dotted about the neighbourhood, some of them being so historic that we just had to include them!! So your teams set out in search of conundrums, controversies and confusion. We’ve managed to scatter our clues into some enchanting places. Imagine visiting an old church built by the Knights Templar in 1185 and trying to locate a clue on the shield of a crusader. Picture your team stepping into London’s oldest domestic dwelling (c1610) and trying to decipher a cryptic message included in the diary of Samuel Pepys. Even the demon barber Sweeney Todd makes a guest appearance in our Fleet Street Treasure Hunt.

THE CLERKENWELL TREASURE HUNT

The village of Clerkenwell has to be seen to be believed. It is an area where the past has never really died. Scratch its surface, and you could easily be wandering through a warren of atmospheric old alleyways in the company of either Shakespeare or Dickens. It is a quirky little village that sits on a hill overlooking the valley of the River Fleet. It was around here that Dickens set much of the narrative of Oliver Twist, and the clues that we have devised for you artfully dodge their way into places that are true time capsules. There is the old Clerks Well for example, the foundation that gave its name to the village. In its depths we have managed to include a mind- jarring clue that might keep you guessing for a long, long time. Then there is London’s only surviving medieval gate that dates back to the latter 14th century and which spans a quiet back street. Janet Street Porters House is also included on this journey where the clues can be buried beneath layers of bramble, displayed high up on furtive corners of forgotten buildings or can be so obvious that you may well miss them! All in all fun and fascination are the order of the day on this fascinating quest.

THE MARITIME GREENWICH TREASURE TRAIL

From the banks of the river Thames (as with the Chelsea Treasure Hunt we can arrange for you to be taken to Greenwich by riverboat) the heady aroma of the seafaring community hangs over this delightful Treasure Hunt. Greenwich Park, from the lofty heights of which you can enjoy some stunning views over London, is a delightful inclusion. From the buildings of the Royal Naval College (now Greenwich University) to the Stuart splendour of the Queen’s House this fascinating challenge has some truly wonderful places in which to search for the solutions to our cryptic clues.

THE HISTORIC LONDON PUBS CHALLENGE

Needless to say this has proved one of our most popular offerings since we first staggered around the route in 1986. Since then we have honed it to perfection and feel confident that you will find this a truly inspiring and fascinating Treasure Hunt. The premise is simple. You set off armed with your cryptic clues and other challenges and you have to find your way around four of London’s oldest and (in one case at least) most hidden pubs. In each pub vital information is to be found on old prints, maps and advertisements. Of course, if you wish you can enjoy a drink in each pub, although it should be stressed that the purpose of the quest is not to get you blind drunk. Between the pubs you must also seek out blue plaques, statues, street furnishings from the inscriptions on which you can piece together the clues that will lead you to the next historic watering hole.  Bon Voyage!

THE DOCKLANDS QUEST:-PIRATES AND MARINERS

Shiver me timbers me hearties we’re off to the riverside village of Wapping to pick our way through alleyways that, even today, have a slightly sinister feel about them. But don’t worry, you’re in good company. This was once the place where ships from all over the world turned the Thames into a vast forest of creaking masts and billowing sails. Our Docklands quest sets out to capture the flavour of that long ago era and your teams can, if you wish, be dressed in pirate or sailors outfits! Part of the quest will involve clambering down onto the shoreline of the Thames and scavenging about for unique souvenirs of London’s past. Imagine going home with a little piece of old London, a fragment of 17th century pottery for example, or even a little piece of an old sailing vessel. Of course the whole point is to find only those items that will help your team get ahead of the game and you can only do that by figuring out how each battered fragment fits into the overall scheme of things. The clues that lead you round the route are hidden down sinister riverside alleyways or else tucked away inside some evocative old pubs that include London’s oldest riverside tavern. Keep a keen eye peeled though because it is very easy to miss some of our cunningly concealed clues.

THE HAMPSTEAD TREASURE HUNT. HIGHWAYMEN AND VAMPIRES

Bracing is the only word that can adequately describe this delightful challenge that ventures through the backstreets of Hampstead village before striking out onto the wilder reaches of Hampstead Heath in search of the elusive Highwayman Dick Turpin. Beware though that he does not turn the tables on your team and rob you of some valuable clues. Of course if your team wants to they can all be dressed as Highwaymen themselves. The nice thing about this Treasure Hunt is that you never know who you might bump into. Boy George, Jonathon Ross and Michael Palin are just a few of the celebrities to whom this most village- like of London’s villages is home. You might end up with a snap of you standing with any one of them! Of course the whole purpose of the Hampstead quest is for you to solve a sequence of cryptic clues that will lead you round the route and we’ve managed to include them in a host of hidden away places. How about a little hidden cottage where a grief stricken Charles Dickens came to mourn in 1837, or the house where Peter Cook used to entertain the likes of Keith Richard’s in the 1960′s. They all feature in a Treasure Hunt through a charming village that seems far removed from the bustle of modern London.