There’s more to Camden than its famous market. This discovery walk was created by Secret City Trails’ co-founders, Kristina & Wendy, for you to experience its buzz and authentic charm by yourself. Fun location-based riddles will guide your exploration of the gorgeous Regent’s Canal and streets lined with brightly coloured houses.
Completion Time: 2 – 3 hours
Date Played: 21st November 2020
Party Size: 2
Recommended For: Families, Couples, People who want a lovely day out (go on a weekend!)
So, I’ve had itchy feet lately. London is pretty much locked down entirely at the moment, meaning we’re all back indoors baking banana bread, picking up Animal Crossing again, or just twiddling our thumbs staring into the middle distance. So finding out that Secret City Trails still had a whole host of trails that are open was a welcome breath of fresh air (literally!).
This Saturday myself and Player 2 picked the London’s Camden and Primrose Hill trail – a walking route around 2 hours long that takes you through some of the prettiest parts of Camden and Primrose Hill, along the Regents Canal, past some filming locations of Paddington and to (a surprisingly quite bustling) marketplace to end your trip.
Yes, we did the trail in November. The weather wasn’t perfect, but the walk more than made up for it. It’s packed with history and facts and the puzzles are accessible enough that everyone in the whole family would enjoy playing along.
Secret City Trails is founded by all female team Kristina & Wendy back in 2016. Now, they accept user submissions from all over the world but this route is special as it was one of their originals and written by themselves. For that reason alone it deserves a double shout out!
The concept of playing a Secret City Trail is fairly simple. You receive your starting location and a link in an email. This opens into a mobile web browser where you’ll receive your riddle. This can only be solved by using something in your surroundings – so you’ll have to read it carefully and look closely. Once correct, you get a ‘Story’ about the area.
As I say, although none of the puzzles were particularly challenging – the whole route came as a surprisingly fun day out! We’re unfamiliar with this area of London and discovered more than a few surprising little nooks and crannies along the way.
We did skip a couple of questions – we weren’t particularly worried about our end time and, although the app gives you optional breaks, we stopped for a coffee whenever we fancied it. In my opinion, this is a much better way to play any walking treasure trail – entirely at your leisure! One of the skips was down to a puzzle being inaccessible, which was understandable – some parts of the Camden lock were roped off due to lockdown. The other was the very very final one, as we could see the end goal in sight, but chose instead to wait in line for some takeaway pancakes and sat on a bench a little way away. Which again, I think is justified! Haha!
Overall, this game is particularly good fun for families and couples. I literally cannot wait until I can see my own family again, and I’ve got a wishlist of other London trails picked out to share with them. But, lockdown or no lockdown, this one was really special. The perfect way to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon, whoever you’re with!
As a final note, the folks at Secret City Trails have been kind enough to provide me with a free London game I can give away to one lucky reader of The Escape Roomer. You can enter that competition over on Instagram! T&Cs Apply: The promo code is valid for one free city discovery game in London (apart from the Mystery Game). It has to be claimed on secretcitytrails.com by the end of the year. The game can be played up to 12 months after the ‘purchase’.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief of The Escape Roomer and writes about news, and reviews covering London and UK south.