Reviewed by Judith Holliday
After waiting for the good weather to settle into summer sunshine we had a fun afternoon out exploring Harrogate’s Valley Gardens with the Harrogate for Kids Treasure Trail. It was a lovely way of spending time in Valley Gardens and kept the children entertained and enthusiastic about venturing round. We had been able to park for free on the street alongside the gardens and found that the location is very easy to find and fairly central in Harrogate. The practical information in the trail booklet was very helpful, setting out not only the location and postcode but also parking details and length of the route.
The booklet clearly explained the starting point of the trail and once we had decided on our pirate names we were on our way to discover where the pirate treasure was buried. The trail was excellent for young primary school aged children because all the clues were in picture or counting form and therefore easy for them to spot themselves. They were well paced throughout the garden without too much ground to cover between one clue and the next one. I was also relieved to see that there was an option to text for help – I could imagine an impossible question causing lots of tears – but luckily we didn’t need to use this. The theme of the trail was to look for pirate treasure and this was maintained all the way round with constant reference to the treasure map once each clue had been solved.
The suggested time for this 1.2 mile trail was 1.5 hours and I would suggest that taking longer would be preferable to allow time to linger in some areas – the playground or cafe for example. The trail also gives the option for a scenic longer way round one of the clues and we found we wouldn’t have been able to do this within the 1.5 hours – or perhaps we walk too slowly! We had a pushchair with us and it was great that the whole route was suitable for this.
I would definitely recommend the trail and would be keen to use them in other places, making sure that I allowed additional time for exploring, just in case. I imagine this would vary depending on what distractions there are on route. The trail was excellent for holding the children’s attention and covering all the main areas of Valley Gardens so we did feel that we’d had a thorough look round. Another time I think I would pack a little prize to give out at the end of the trail – a chocolate coin would have been ideal here!
By the end of the trail the small paper booklet was looking a bit tatty, it had been torn due to excited grabbing at it during the afternoon and lots of turning backwards to look at the treasure map but this wasn’t a big concern as it is designed to only be used once.
I would happily recommend this for others, particularly primary school aged children and look forward to completing more trails in the future.
Map Price: £6.99 (download or post) or £12.99 for a personalised map.
For more information or to buy a map visit
Valley Drive, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 2TA