Treasure Hunt York

Have fun and see York a different way

You’re going to York and you want to have some fun. York is bursting with beautiful, interesting spots, it's hard to find it all.

It’s no fun wandering aimlessly. Feeling like you’re missing the cool areas or the lesser known sites. You don’t want to spend all your time looking at your phone, not actually seeing anything. With your other half getting bored and hungry.

What about planning your own route and hoping for the best? Sounds like a lot of work trawling blog posts and reading reviews. And you’ll probably miss the hidden gems as all the blogs just list the same attractions.

Will you take it all in or will you just spend the afternoon bouncing from one tea-room to the next?

You know York has lovely streets, amazing architecture and thousands of years of history. It’s just a question of having fun seeing it all.

Treasure Hunt York

Pore over treasure maps and ponder cryptic clues.

Scour York's ancient streets to find the answers.

A dotted path where X marks the spot
The narrow buildings on the Shambles

Follow a carefully designed route around York. Stroll through Museum Gardens, sneak through snickelways, discover the Shambles and wind your way through alleys and squares. Take the lesser known path but still see the Minster and the other main sights.

Spot things other people don't notice like the tiny figure peering down on Ogleforth.

Learn some fun facts and stories like how "mad Alice" got her name. Nothing too heavy, you're here to have fun!

A group of friends looking for a clue from a bridge

Go at your own pace. Relax in a cafe if it takes your fancy. No rush.

A dotted path where X marks the spot

Don't take our word for it: we're rated ★★★★★ on Tripadvisor with 156 reviews.

Are you organising a special occasion? 🎉

Treasure Hunt York will take you on a fab route around the city, spotting clues and following treasure maps, all at your own pace.

Already played
Gardens and Guildhalls?

Find out about our second game, Walk the Walls

A group of friends exploring tourist attractions by playing {{< param

Fab experience

We thought the clues were pitched at the correct level, not too easy and made you look very closely at your surroundings, without being impossible to solve.
We had a fun day exploring York with a few pit stops for refreshement between clues.

Grendel46, Tripadvisor

Brilliant way to see York

My partner and I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in this treasure hunt in York and would 100% recommend it. We had never been to York before and so it was the perfect way to see all the major sights (like York Minster) and some of the lesser known areas as well! The questions were just the right level of difficulty, which was perfect, you had to think carefully to get the right to answer!

Andy W, Tripadvisor

It works like a WhatsApp
group chat

You don’t need to download or print anything and it doesn’t need any permissions.

Plus, you get to start when you want.

1. Follow maps 🧭

Bess sends you a series of treasure maps, leading you around York.

The clues and maps are a lot of fun.
This is a great way to see the city!”

Captain Bess Now for a change of scene, let's head down by the river...

2. Search for answers 🔎

Bess sends you a series of clues and you have to search the city for answers.

Good banter from Captain Bess who sends you the clues!”

Captain Bess A family firm,
who slowly became
Forgotten and faded,
what was their name?

Black Beard Beth Jones?

Captain Bess Nay, yer askin' to be walkin' the plank!

Long Joe Silver Wills?

Captain Bess Aye! That's it!

3. Learn some facts 🎓

Along the way, Bess will tell you a few interesting facts and stories about the things you're spotting in York!”

We learnt new things and actually appreciated the beautiful scenery as we went around the city.

Captain Bess It's a fire insurance mark, to show the firemen ye've paid yer dues! If not, they'd stand by 'n' watch yer house burn, imagine that!

4. Play together 👨‍👩‍👦

Captain Bess will invite you all to join the hunt!

We had such a laugh and a great day out!

Captain Bess Ahoy there! Ye must be the one they're talking about. Lookin' to join me ship, the Rising Pearl?

Buccaneer Beth Yes!

Captain Bess Ye'll be needin' help, have ye a crew?

Lianne Pinkbeard joined the game.

Parrot Pete 🦜 joined the game.

Parrot Pete Arrrrrrr!

Lianne Pinkbeard I'm ready to set sail! ⚓️

Reserve your game

... for FREE!

A different way to see York

A treasure hunt is more like a game than a traditional tour. You have to follow treasure maps, solve cryptic clues and keep your eyes peeled to find the answers.

You’ll have some banter with our friendly pirate Captain Bess. She’ll put you in your place if you get too many answers wrong!

Take your time, go at your own pace

You can start when you like, there’s no fixed start time. You can even finish the next day if you get stuck in a nice pub!

Fancy relaxing in Museum Gardens? Enjoy! Take it at your own pace. Look out for pretty cafes and tea-rooms along the route.

Play on your own terms. It's just you and your team, like a private tour.

Brilliant way to explore York

There are also lots of moments where you can stop to eat/drink/explore the shops and take it at your own pace and we really appreciated that 😊

Amba M, Tripadvisor

Start playing in 60 seconds

It’s all on your phones, there’s nothing to print or collect.

Book online and you’ll get a link to start your game straight away.

You can rearrange or cancel

We’re flexible. If you change your mind, or if you can't make it to York, play another day or cancel for free.

Fun or your money back

We think you're going love Treasure Hunt York!

If you don't have fun, we promise to give your money back. We'll ask for a quick chat on the phone to understand what went wrong.

See more than just the Minster

No spoilers... You'll see the main sights like York Minster but the real fun is solving the clues and spotting interesting details right there in the street.

Amazing day

We really enjoyed this activity, it was nice to see parts of York that we had normally overlooked. Great activity would highly recommend

Natalie E, Tripadvisor

Museum Gardens - home to medieval abbey ruins and a gorgeous green space.

The historic Abbey Ruins in Museum Gardens in York

Bootham Bar - a 11th century city gate and originally part of the Roman fortress.

York Minster - one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals, it speaks for itself!

The stunning York Minster in the sunshine

Holy Trinity Church - a glimpse of the medieval world, hidden in a small leafy churchyard!

Dean’s Park - a peaceful garden in the shadow of the Minster and home to the Cathedral Library.

Trees in Dean’s Park, behind the minster

Barley Hall - you’ll discover a fine snickelway called Coffee Yard, passing this beautiful medieval hall.

The Shambles - a medieval street with timber-framed buildings so close together you could pass things across!

The narrow buildings on the shambles

Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate - one of the smallest streets in York!

Merchant Adventurers’ Hall - a stunning medieval Guildhall.

Fossgate - you’ll end your adventure in the trendiest area, with decent coffee, vegan baking of course some fine pubs.

By the end, you'll have seen the nicest parts of York's centre. You'll have a good idea of where you'd like to go back to.

What if it rains? 

If it's patchy rain, you can pop into a pub along the route: the treasure hunt is flexible.

If it's really bad and you'd like to switch days, that's fine. Or you can split it over two days if you like.

If it's really pouring or the Ouse has burst its banks, we’ll give your money back, even if you've started the game.

Will it be too difficult?

Don't worry! The treasure hunt has some tricky clues, but if you get stuck you can ask for a hint.

We make sure you don't get completely stuck, lost in a labyrinth of medieval snickelways...

Will I have fun if I'm from York?

Yes! You already know the city, but we bet you'll notice things you've walked past a hundred times before.

We've worked hard to find the less-obvious stuff - beyond the typical blue plaques - and some interesting stories and anecdotes. You're going to have a great time!

Is it suitable for kids?

The game is designed for adults and curious kids aged 8 and up.

A family perched on a sculpture playing Treasure Hunt Liverpool

Younger ones are welcome though you may have to help by interpreting the clues and Captain Bess' pirate speak.

The whole route is pushchair friendly, avoiding steps or showing step-free alternative routes.

We’re a family of four with a 13 year old and a 11 year old. Mum was map reader, dad reminded kids about clues, and kids were hunting for clues.”

—Lexie, Tripadvisor

Great adventure... a bit lost though, hahaha, was made brilliantly, great reason to get your kids out of the house! This interactive adventure really got us moving! Great idea and highly recommend it for a good family day out!

Simon H, Tripadvisor

Will it be too physical?

It's 2 miles walking but there are nice cafes and pubs you can rest along the route.

Ready for a different way to see York?

  • Follow a carefully designed route around York.
  • See the famous sights of York and spot a few hidden gems too.
  • Start whenever you like, take it at your own pace.
  • 1½–2½ hours of fun outdoors.

How does it work?
Play the demo 📱 (win a prize!)

Getting organised?
Plan your day 📋

Have questions?
Email us 💌
or text us
07380 309380

“We thought the clues were pitched at the correct level, not too easy and made you look very closely at your surroundings, without being impossible to solve.
We had a fun day exploring York with a few pit stops for refreshement between clues.”

—Grendel46, Tripadvisor

Telephone: 01904 500 868
Text us: 07380 309380

Gardens and Guildhalls starts from:
York Observatory, Museum Gardens, York, YO30 7BH

Play our second game in York: Walk the Walls