Like many people across the UK, my husband and I took up online quizzing during the early period of the pandemic. We missed our family and friends during lockdown and it was a great way to stay in contact with our loved ones and have some fun too. This interest in quizzing and puzzle solving only grew as the country opened up last May and we started trying escape rooms in Canterbury city centre. You can probably imagine my joy when a local Kent business got in contact a few weeks ago about some puzzle solving walks or ‘Quiz Trails’ that they had created across the county.
About Quiz Trail
Quiz Trail was founded in 2019 by mother-daughter team Liz, Becky and Laura. The women were inspired by family days out when the girls were young. Although they had a wonderful time exploring, upon leaving their destination they found that they had not learnt anything about the history of the place. It was this void that led them to create the quiz trail walks in the future, starting with Rochester and expanding the portfolio from there. An affordable sightseeing activity for all ages, the quiz trails are 1-2 hours in length and retail at £4.00-£6.00. Full of scavenger hunt style clues, anagrams and word games, the booklets aim to provide families, couples, groups and individuals with a fun activity for their next day out.
Reviewing the quiz trails
The Quiz Trail team very kindly sent me six town trails* to try: Canterbury, Whitstable, Faversham, Sandwich, Folkestone and Ramsgate. Over the bank holiday weekend we trialled the Ramsgate and Whitstable trails: seaside towns that are incredibly different, but both fun to visit for different reasons. With the extremely warm summer that we have been having, it was the perfect opportunity to head to the seaside for the day.
This past weekend we also completed the Canterbury edition. Focusing on the historic buildings of the high street and city centre, it definitely encouraged us to see our home in a different light and experience the historic city centre through a tourist’s perspective. As part of my review, I will break down each of the routes individually, detailing each experience.
Ramsgate is full of history, with its Georgian houses and connections to the summer holidays of the past. Today the town is thriving with a bustling seafront, busy marina and independent restaurants. The trail starts adjacent to the beach at the Royal Victoria Pavilion and the walk comes in two versions: with and without steps. Quiz Trail aims to make the routes accessible to everyone, but Ramsgate has its limitations with the steep cliffs. The team decided to create a separate step-free version as a result, not leaving anyone out.
We completed the trail that includes the cliff steps and over the course of ninety minutes we experienced panoramic sea views, stopped outside Van Gogh’s former home and sauntered through some of the town’s historic squares. It was well thought out for first-timers to the area, providing a walking route along the spectacular cliffs and looping back through the marina. I was taken aback by how pleasant the town is during the summer and really enjoyed our visit.
Whitstable is a vibrant and creative town that is known for its smuggler’s history. The quiz trail route covers a section of the beach, the high street and the smuggler alleyways, which allowed us to visit some different streets away from the touristy centre.
Parking a short stroll away from the entrance to the harbour and the starting point, I was immediately surprised by the limited amount of time we spent on the beach. Focusing on the bustling high street and the alleys perpendicular to it, completing the trail was the first time that I really noticed these narrow smuggler pathways. When you visit Whitstable, it can be easy to forget about the location’s past with all of the boutique shops, themed cafes and colourful beach huts. The clues definitely made us see beyond this and picture life in the maritime town many years ago.
Naturally we found the Canterbury trail the easiest to complete, finishing it in about an hour. Even though we live here and know the streets of town very well, the clues were a lot easier to work out than both Ramsgate and Whitstable, meaning we flew around the trail.
However, a lot of the city centre is surrounded by scaffolding at the moment, which made it a little difficult to see some of the clues. We had to skip one challenge because it was near enough impossible to find amongst the building work. It was a shame as the team at Quiz Trail had spent a lot of time putting a route together. Canterbury is undergoing an awful lot of renovation and restoration work at the moment! Despite the obstacles, it was great to follow the sightseeing route through the centre and appreciate the historic buildings which have now been turned into shops and restaurants.
Would I recommend Quiz Trail?
The answer is absolutely yes! Escape rooms cost about £20-25 per head and when you think that you can purchase a trail for an entire group for only £4.00-6.00, they are a far more affordable problem solving activity. Admittedly they do not have the special effects and drama of an escape room, but you get to spend time outside and enjoy a walk in the process, which is a welcome treat.
Ultimately we had the most fun at Ramsgate, as it was somewhere new that we hadn’t visited before. With Whitstable and Canterbury, we know both places inside out and it made the clues easier to figure out. We like a challenge and if you are the same, I would recommend purchasing a trail for somewhere new. You could use a trail as a foundation for a day out and extend your trip with some lunch, a cup of coffee or more sightseeing. At 1-2 hours in length, you would have plenty of time to explore the new location independently afterwards.
Quiz trails can be purchased from the company’s website, covering Kent, Surrey and beyond. Have a wonderful time exploring!
Thanks for reading my blog today.
Love Kat xxxx
*The six quiz trails were gifted in exchange for a review of our experiences.