Through the Looking-Glass at the National Gallery

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A small but determined group of treasure hunters embarked on the quest to explore the National Gallery on Friday evening. 

The treasure hunt followed Alice’s journey Through the Looking-Glass, with clues to solve and questions to answer on the theme of things not being what they seemed.

Apollo and Neptune disguised themselves as mortals and helped build the city of Troy.
Apollo and Neptune disguised themselves as mortals and helped build the city of Troy.

The adventure began by meeting The Red Queen at the Sainsbury wing. 

The Red Queen at the National Gallery
The Red Queen at the National Gallery

 

After the hunt the teams met in the National Cafe for drinks, scoring and prize giving. Unfortunately, photos are banned in the National Cafe, so this one is from their webpage.

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The School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

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Have you dreamt of receiving a letter telling you you’re really a witch or wizard and you’ve just been admitted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?

As Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the primary setting for the first six books in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, is a fictional British school of magic this remains a dream.

Or does it?

Huffington Post reported in 2014 that you could attend Hogwarts online.

However, for those who want a more hands on approach, Enigma Quests in London offer you the chance to graduate from the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. All it takes is passing the challenges in 60 minutes. Your team has to face obstacles and tests requiring cooperation and more than a little bravery. On your quest to becoming a witch or wizard, you’ll need all your skills to pass the exams and defeat the dark forces.

An escape room with a difference. Are you ready for the challenge?

 

Graduating from the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Graduating from the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

 

 

 

Discovering London’s countryside and urban heritage

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Chingford is a suburb of London on the London/Essex border and sits on the edge of Epping Forest.

Chingford Green and SS Peter and Paul Church by Juliamaud

Chingford Countryside

Originally the whole parish of Chingford lay within the ancient Forest of Essex. The Domesday figures for swine-pastures show that Chingford was well-wooded in the 11th century, although the parish had a considerable amount of arable land, which was increased by subsequent forest clearance. Chingford’s woodland is still similar in size to its area of woodland in the 1640’s.

Epping Forest and Chingford Plain became popular with day-trippers in Victorian times. As London’s largest open space, Epping Forest is a registered charity managed by the City of London.

Chingford Town

The town of Chingford began as a scattered farming community. Comprising of three forest hamlets, the inhabitants of Chingford had the ancient right to pasture cattle, branded with their mark, a crowned ‘G’, within the forest.

There has been a parish church in Chingford since Norman times. The present Old Church building dates from the late 13th century. However the church building had to be abandoned in the 1840’s as it was in such a bad state of repair. The Reverend Robert Boothby Heathcote decided to build, at his own expense, a new church on Chingford Green. The new Church on the Green, designed by Lewis Vulliamy, was built  in 1844 and established the prominence of the Chingford Green hamlet .

During Victorian times nearby Walthamstow and Leyton experienced a surge in urbanisation, but Chingford remained an agricultural parish until the arrival of the Great Eastern Railway.

The Chingford Green conservation area includes a variety of interesting buildings showing Chingford’s development over two hundred years from a small rural community to a suburb of modern London. Details of these buildings can be found in the leaflet written and illustrated by Guy Osborne for the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

The Chingford Treasure Hunt

Discover the history of the area combined with a trip to the Epping Forest countryside. Starting at Chingford Station this adventure combines a treasure hunt around the “urban” part of Chingford (including the conservation area). Although not part of the hunt, players can then visit some listed buildings on the edge of Epping Forest, as well as spend time in “The View” learning the story and history of the forest.

As well as being available for private hire, this hunt will soon be available as a self-guided hunt on the ClueKeeper platform

 

Hunting Scottish Connections

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The latest treasure hunt organised by Treasure hunts in London took place at the V&A Museum.

Discovering the V&A Museum

This museum was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. It is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects.

This year the V&A was awarded the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2016 prize. Stephen Deuchar, Art Fund director and chair of the judges, is quoted on the V&A website as saying:

‘The V&A experience is an unforgettable one. Its recent exhibitions from Alexander McQueen to The Fabric of India, and the opening of its new Europe 1600-1815 galleries, were all exceptional accomplishments – at once entertaining and challenging, rooted in contemporary scholarship, and designed to reach and affect the lives of a large and diverse national audience. It was already one of the best-loved museums in the country: this year it has indisputably become one of the best museums in the world.’

Exploring the V&A Museum – The Scottish Hunt

Teams set off to explore the museum  and find objects with a Scottish connection. After the hunt everyone met for a well earned glass of wine.

The prizes for winning included some British Shortbread. While shortbread-like biscuits have been made all over Britain for centuries, it is usually associated with Scotland. The first printed recipe appears to be by Mrs McLintock in 1736.

The winning team by Juliamaud
The winning team

 

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Escape from Standfast Prison

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Jail Break is a new escape game by Clue Cracker that has just opened in Dreamland, Margate.

It appears you have committed a heinous crime and your punishment is life imprisonment without parole. Consequently, you have been transferred to Standfast Jail, Margate.

Prisoner being told the rules by Prison Guard. Photo by Juliamaud
Prisoner being told the rules by Prison Guard. Photo by Juliamaud

With no chance of parole, your only hope for freedom is escape…….and it just so happens that 30 years ago, another prisoner also attempted to escape. Terrance Swift was held in the prison for five years and, during that time,created an elaborate escape plan which he executed in 1986. Unfortunately he was caught red handed attempting to steal the Warden’s keys. Will you be any luckier?

Unlike some other games, the Games Masters are in costume. As the story revolves around an escape from jail, all the Games Masters are in prison guard uniforms. Players, being the prisoners, are required to wear stylish orange jump suits.

The prison guards brief you on the cell you are about to enter and who used to occupy it. As luck would have it, you have been allocated Terrance Swift’s cell and he has left a trail of intricate clues and codes to help lead you to freedom.

Once you are locked in you have 45 minutes to escape from Standfast Prison. To do this you must crack codes,  find keys, unscramble words and complete puzzle tasks.

For further information including how to book visit www.cluecracker.co.uk

Photos by Visit Thanet
Photos by Visit Thanet

 

 

 

How does a Treasure Hunts In London hunt work?

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Treasure Hunts In London logo
Treasure Hunts In London

Is it like a guided walk through the museum?

No , this is a Treasure Hunt, not a guided walk. You will be required to HUNT for the TREASURE (which is the collection held within the V & A Museum).

  • You will have to solve the cryptic clue or puzzle to determine the object you are hunting.
  • Then you have to find the objects location within this top London museum.
  • Once you’ve found the object you can answer the question about it to win the points.  

What happens after the hunt?

We rendezvous so that Treasure hunts in London staff can mark the answer sheets, announce the results and award prizes to the winning team.

Depending on the hunt, this can be sharing drinks at a wine bar, or indulging in cream tea or having a celebratory meal.

Where can I join a hunt?

You can hire us for a private hunt or join one of our hunts.

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Can I join one of your hunts?

Yes, just book in advance and buy your tickets. Tickets are available from our website, YPlan and Eventbrite.

Where are you going next?

On 30th July we are running a hunt at the V&A Museum looking for all things Scottish. Working in teams of 2 to 4 players you’ll get to discover art and artefacts from north of the border.  A chance to solve clues and puzzles, and win prizes. This hunt ends with wine.

Where can I get tickets?

From Treasure Hunts in London Treasure Hunt Exploring The V&A Museum

Also available from YPlan  and Eventbrite

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Touch and Go with Ri Lates

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A chance to play with the latest technologies and discover science at The Royal Institution

 

 

This “adults-only” event allowed us to explore aspects of touch. Until this event I had not heard of Haptic technologies. Haptic comes from the Greek “haptesthai,” meaning to touch. Scientists have been studying haptics for decades. They know what kind of receptors are in the skin and how nerves shuttle information back and forth between the central nervous system and the point of contact. Now haptic technologies are recreating the sense of touch and have revolutionised everything from robotics to medical training.

A team of psychologists from University College London were on hand with experiments exploring touch. The evening included talks and activities from neuroscience and perception to virtual reality.

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Lectures

Hiroyuki Kajimoto showed how whole-body haptics enrich reality, affect the feeling of presence and emotion, and induce feelings related to motion.

Then consultant neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan  took us on a journey through the world of psychosomatic illness.