About the game
Oxford’s historic city center is full of magnificent architecture and this game is going to show you the best of it!
Starting in the Castle and Prison, you’ll make your way into the city. Uncover castle walls, saxon towers and ancient taverns, as well as the stories behind them.
By searching for clues across the city, you’ll discover hidden treasure you never knew existed!
What you’ll do
You’ll be led around the city by Captain Bess, a snarky pirate who’s testing out new recruits to join her ship!
Bess will send a series of maps, clues and directions. You follow the map and solve the clue by searching your
surroundings. When you get the right answer, you’ll move on to the next place.
Don’t worry, if you get stuck you can ask for a hint and Bess’ll get you on your way!
What you’ll see
Along the way you’ll see lots of sights and Bess will tell you some fun facts about some of them. It’s a perfect way
of discovering things you might want to come back to.
- Oxford Castle and Prison - a large, partly ruined Norman medieval castle.
- 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.
- University Church of St Mary the Virgin - a stunning church overlooking the Radcliffe Camera, with breath-taking views of the city
- 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.
- 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. It hosts concerts, talks and lectures.
- 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!
- "Bridge of Sighs" - because of its similarity to the famous bridge in Venice, Hertford bridge is often referred to as the Bridge of Sighs!
What else you should know
- Take your time—it’s more enjoyable to see everything at your own pace. There's a scheduled
break around half-way, but you can take your own breaks if you prefer.
- Aim to finish before sunset—it's near impossible to find clues in the dark! Check
the sunset time
- You can play in 2 parts—if it suits your plans, you can pause the game and come back after lunch
or even the next day.
- Bess will be scoring you! Your score is the number of clues you got right first time, without a
hint. The score is only for your satisfaction, so don’t struggle needlessly!
How the game works
The game works a bit like a WhatsApp group, but on a web page instead. You don’t need to download anything and it
doesn’t need any permissions.
Before you’re due to start, we’ll send you a link to the game. Open the link to join the game and share it with your
team so they can join too.
Once you’re ready, Captain Bess will tell you what to do next.
What to bring
- Smartphones with mobile data and full batteries. (It’s OK to share, but it works better if everyone has their own
- Shoes for walking 2½ miles.
- Waterproofs in case of bad weather.
- Wit, cunning and an adventurous spirit!
We've designed the game to be step-free around the whole route. The recommended
pubs at half-way and at the end of the game have step-free front access and an
However, we are currently looking for wheelchair users to play-test the game
before we call it "wheelchair friendly".
If you'd like to test the game, please get in touch!