Reviewed by Janine Rumble
If you are looking for an exciting, alternative and unique way to discover parts of our nations’ capital you may not have seen before, then Foxtrail London is the day out for you.
It is billed as ‘a fantastic mix of scavenger hunt, sight-seeing and escape game’ and is ‘fabulous fun for family, friends and colleagues’.
When signing up on the website www.foxtrail.co.uk you are asked to ‘join the amazing urban treasure-trail that’s taking the world by storm’ and ‘explore the city in a way that’s exciting, fun and utterly unique’. Following escape room style clues, the ‘Lancelot’ walking tour, took us around the Southbank as far as Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. It was an amazing and unusual experience and my friends and I loved every second of it. Currently there is only one trail around London, with Foxtrail London planning two more by the end of the year and I for one cannot wait, as I will be straight on the train to London to experience them.
Foxtrail is suitable for adults, families and colleagues and is regularly used for team building exercises, as teamwork is key to solving the clues to find your way around London. Via the website you can book for groups of up to 18 people, with a maximum of 7 people in each team, larger groups and school parties can be also be accommodated too. You can choose the date of your visit and the time of your visit too. We chose a Saturday afternoon at lunchtime.
Once you have booked your tickets, you receive a booking confirmation and your starting documents, which make little sense on their own; you need print off and take both of these with you. On your booking confirmation, you are given an address to go to start the Foxtrail. This was slightly confusing as it stated it was at the Visitor Information Centre in St. Paul’s Churchyard, to which we ended up wandering around St. Paul’s trying to find it, only to have to google it and found it was in fact across the road in Carter Lane. The pack we picked up from the information centre had a helpful map on the back. This would have been useful to have on the booking confirmation that was emailed to us.
Once we found the information centre, we discovered there was no sign or way to identify that the Foxtrail began here. We had to ask the helpful people behind the desk. The people gave us feedback from other people who had undertaken the Foxtrail previously, all feedback received was positive. We were then each given a lime green Foxtrail lanyard to wear and an information pack containing the clues, which we had already received via email and a helpful pencil.
To begin the trail, we had to text a message to a number to start our trail. We were sent a video of a fox leading us to the first clue; it was upon receiving this that the excitement really began. From then on solving each clue and working out what we needed to do to solve the next clue became all consuming. The clues, hidden messages and secret codes to that need cracking are ingenious. They are challenging at times and cause you to think. You have to make sure that you read each of the clues carefully and follow all of the steps. You may also need to get a little wet at one point and you will have many people looking at you wherever you go. The lime green lanyards really stand out and people are curious, especially when they see you trying to work out how to solve a clue in a crowded place. I really do not want to give too much away about the actual trail, other than that it was a brilliant, fun and entertaining experience and one that I would highly recommend. At the end you will find yourself back at St Paul’s, where you complete the trail and have your photograph taken with St Paul’s as your backdrop, this is then swiftly emailed to you. The only negative I would give is that although I walked around a lot of London, I do not think I learned much about the area or the buildings that I saw. I know the trail does not focus on learning about the area, but it might be a nice feature to include a few snippets of information about the various areas on the clue sheets so visitors learn more about our amazing capital city.
The ‘Lancelot’ route is roughly 4 miles long on foot and takes between 2½ and 4 hours. We took it slowly and finished it in around 4 hours. There is a lot of walking involved and some steps, which might be difficult for people with disabilities to manage, but I am sure if you speak to the people at Foxtrail, they would be able to provide you with an alternative route to enable you to take part. If not, this is something Foxtrail need to consider in the future.
If you find a clue difficult or tricky, then you can contact Foxtrail via text message and they will send you further help.
Prices for this experience are what I would consider expensive, with adult tickets priced at £30, children tickets are £17 per child, £80 for a family ticket of 2 adults and 2 children, with £12 for each additional child. Nevertheless, the experience is worth it and the price includes a boat ride as well (you will find out about this on the trail).
Overall, it was an amazing experience from start to finish and I highly recommend you take part on your next visit to London.
Tickets cost £17 (child) / £30 (Adult) / £80 (Family – 2 adults and 2 children)
For more information or to make a booking visit www.foxtrail.co.uk.