Treasure Hunt Oxford

Turn your day into a family adventure

Find hidden historical treasures and see new stuff, even if you've lived here your whole life. It's something a bit different and fun for you and the family.

Follow treasure maps and solve clues that'll even keep your teenagers engaged! They're tricky enough for the adults to make it exciting, but just on the right side of challenging for younger ones to get involved.

Introducing
Treasure Hunt Oxford

Solve cryptic clues and follow treasure maps.

A dotted path where X marks the spot
The stunning Radcliffe Camera in the morning sun

Take a carefully designed route through the streets of Oxford. You'll sneak past colleges, explore hidden alleyways and pass the main sights like the Radcliffe Camera and the Bridge of Sighs.

See the famous bits like the Bodleian library and the Radcliffe Camera, and also spot things hidden in plain sight like the mythical creature that's part swan, part eagle.

Learn interesting stories like the lovestruck daughter who murdered her father with a poisoned "love potion".

A family walking through the streets of Oxford

Go at your own pace. If you're tempted by a cafe or fancy popping into a medieval tavern, that's fine, there's no hurry.

Play in your own bubble. It's private and self-guided so you can avoid other people.

Suitable for kids age 8+ | Adult help required

Treasure Hunt Oxford will keep you and your family entertained, leading you on a beautiful walk and giving you quality time together.

A family inspecting a piece of machinery on a treasure hunt

As featured in

Recommended with tweens”

Great to explore Oxford and spot unexpected details. With 11 and 12 year olds, the clues were engaging and a great way to motivate a walk.

Storyteller672300, Tripadvisor

Great way to have fun during the pandemic”

We thoroughly enjoyed the Treasure Hunt. It was a good length and the clues both made us think and showed us parts of Oxford we'd never noticed before, and we're local! The brief pieces of educational information were interesting and informative in equal measure, and all were accessible despite Covid restrictions. It was a fun way to spend a pandemic birthday!

1diane2016, Tripadvisor

It works like WhatsApp,
so it’s easy to use

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 the city.

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!”

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 Oxford

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 stopping to climb the University Church tower? That's fine, take it at your own pace. Enjoy the city and stop whenever you like.

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

Get to know Oxford the fun way!”

One of the best things was that you could go at your own pace and stop for a pint if you felt like it or found an interesting pub (of which there are many). Really great to see some of the quieter less known parts of the city as well as the famous ones.

Jo F, 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. Plans change - if you can't make it, or Oxford has new local restrictions, you can play on a different day or cancel for free.

Fun or your money back

We think you're going love Treasure Hunt Oxford!

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.

You'll see the best of Oxford 🧭

No spoilers... You'll see Oxford's main sights, but the real fun is spotting things you normally wouldn't, and taking the lesser-known alleys around the city.

Well designed and great fun”

The treasure hunt was very well designed and offered opportunities to see parts of the city that we might not have found by ourselves. It’s great to run through it at your own pace and take breaks as a when needed. Also offered up some very interesting bits of history as you are going around as well. Would recommend anyone to give this a go.

Lardo1975, Tripadvisor

Oxford Castle and Prison - a large, partly ruined Norman medieval castle

The round Debtors' Tower of Oxford Prison

Brasenose, Corpus Christi and Trinity College - just three of the prestigious colleges of the University of Oxford you'll discover on this tour

Radcliffe Camera - the beautiful circular dome of the Radcliffe Camera is one of Oxford's most distinctive landmarks

The stunning Radcliffe Camera in the morning sun

Turf Tavern - hidden away in a maze of back alleys this historic pub is full of character

St Michael at the North Gate - with its Saxon Tower, this church stands on the site of the north gate through the medieval city

Birds flying over St Michael at the North Gate's Saxon Tower

Divinity School - a masterpiece of gothic architecture this medieval building was built between 1427 and 1483

The Sheldonian Theatre - this majestic theatre was designed by Sir Christopher Wren host concerts, talks and lectures

The ornate stained glass window of St Mary's Church

Bodleian Library - the main research library of the University of Oxford and one of the oldest libraries in Europe

Carfax Tower - situated in the centre of Oxford this landmark belltower dates back to the 12th century!

The magnificent Carfax Tower

"Bridge of Sighs" - Because of its similarity to the famous bridge in Venice, Hertford bridge is often referred to as the Bridge of Sighs!

The iconic covered Bridge of Sighs

By the end, you'll have a good feel for the city and you'll have ideas of what to go back and see again.

What if it rains? 

If it's stop and start rain, you can pop into a cafe or tavern along the route. There's no time limit.

If it's raining harder you can play another day, or even play over two days if you like.

If it's really heavy rain and you don't fancy wading through the streets, we'll give you free cancellation, even if you've started the game.

Coronavirus: Staying safe

Treasure Hunt Oxford is all outdoors in public spaces. The route is designed so you can avoid other people and everyone can play on their own phones.

Read our full guidance for playing.

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'll make sure you don't get completely stuck, lost in the city's ancient alleyways...

Will I have fun if I'm from Oxford?

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!

Suitable for ages 8+

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

Recommended with tweens”

Great to explore Oxford and spot unexpected details. With 11 and 12 year olds, the clues were engaging and a great way to motivate a walk.

Storyteller672300, Tripadvisor

Will it be too physical?

It's 2½ miles walking but there are nice cafes and pubs to rest along the way.

Ready for a different way to see Oxford?

  • Just £9.99 per person and 15 and under go free!
  • 1½-2½ hours of quality outdoor family fun.
  • Enjoy a pushchair friendly, beautiful route.
  • See the best of Oxford!

Have questions?
Email us 💌
or text us
07380 309380

We thoroughly enjoyed the Treasure Hunt. It was a good length and the clues both made us think and showed us parts of Oxford we'd never noticed before, and we're local! The brief pieces of educational information were interesting and informative in equal measure, and all were accessible despite Covid restrictions. It was a fun way to spend a pandemic birthday!

—1diane2016, Tripadvisor

ahoy@treasurehuntoxford.com

Telephone: 01865 920 885
Text us: 07380 309380

Towers and Taverns starts from:
Oxford Castle, Oxford, OX1 1AZ