A treasure trail in Wimbledon Village

by Jan

Everyone loves a treasure hunt.  So, when looking for a day out in the holidays suitable for adults and kids, a treasure trail in Wimbledon Village seemed an ideal solution.

The adults could chat, the kids could explore, and we could all have a good walk round the stylish town of Wimbledon.

Wimbledon is in South-West London, England and is most famous for its prestigious world tennis tournament.  However, we mustn’t forget its other claim to fame, the Wombles.  For those young enough not to know, the Wombles are a family of burrowing creatures who enjoyed collecting litter on Wimbledon Common.

I had been to Wimbledon as a child and spent many futile hours searching for Wombles on the common.  However, I’d not been back since and was looking forward to exploring Wimbledon Village.

Treasure Trails

Rose and Crown Pub, starting point for Treasure Trail, Wimbledon, London, UK

I had heard of Treasure Trails, but never tried one, so this seemed a perfect opportunity.  A treasure trail is a self-guided themed walk which helps you explore a new town.  You download your pack at home (currently £9.99), print it off and then you are ready to go.

All the treasure trails follow a different mission and have 20 clues to help you solve them.  The pack gives an outline of the mystery and then directions to follow to solve the clues.

The Wimbledon Village treasure trail is a murder mystery.  Our mission was to eliminate suspects and weapons throughout our walk, to unveil the identity of the crook.

The clues are usually on permanent features, such as plaques or inscriptions on walls.  Some are easier to find than others and some are quite cryptic.  It worked well having a mixture of adults and kids, so we could help each other.

If you have more than one child, print off more than one pack, so they each have a copy to hold.

All Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon

All England Tennis Club Wimbledon, London, England

The Wimbledon Village treasure trail started by the Rose and Crown pub, near Wimbledon High Street.  This is one of Wimbledon’s oldest pubs, which dates to the 17th Century.  We found our first clue here and then headed towards the All England Tennis Club, stopping for clues along the way.

By Clue 5, we’d arrived at the famous Wimbledon tennis club.  Having seen the championships many times on TV, it was great to see the prestigious club in real life.

The clue was on the gold post box, which had been painted by the Royal Mail in honour of Andy Murray winning a gold medal in the London 2012 Olympics.

Wimbledon Park

Wimbledon Park, Merton, Southwest London, UK

After the tennis club, we took a slight detour so we could eat a picnic in Wimbledon Park.  Unfortunately, we hadn’t taken the traditional strawberries and cream, so had to make do with sandwiches.

Wimbledon Park is immense with ornamental gardens, play areas, sports facilities, and a magnificent lake.

We could have spent a lot longer here, but we had a mystery to solve.

Cannizaro Park

Tea Pot Fountain, Cannizaro Park, Wimbledon, London, UK

After a stroll across the park, we got back on track with our treasure trail.  Our next stop was at St Mary’s Church, before returning to the High Street.  Clue 16 is at the entrance to Cannizaro Park.  Although the park is not part of the treasure trail, we couldn’t resist a peep!

Cannizaro is more of a formal garden than Wimbledon Park and has Grade II status because of some rare plants.  However, it is a public park and admission is free.

Cannizaro Park is themed by areas, which include a pretty Italian garden, a rose garden and small pond.  It also has one of the best collections of diverse and rare trees in Greater London.

Pet Cemetery, Cannizaro Park, Wimbledon, London, UK

It was all very picturesque, but quite honestly, I think the boys were more intrigued by the historic pet cemetery.

This spooky venue is hidden in one corner of the park and pays tribute to pets from nearly 100 years ago.

Who did it?

After our second detour, we completed the trail by heading to the golf club.  We really struggled with this last clue, but there is a “Stuck on a Clue” service you can use for help.

From the golf club, we skimmed the edge of Wimbledon Common to get back to our start in Wimbledon Village.

With all clues solved, we were now able to reveal the identity of the murderer. (Don’t worry, no spoilers here!)

Gold post box at Wimbledon, London, UK

What went well?

Boy looking at clues for Treasure Trail, Wimbledon, London, UK

Following a treasure trail in Wimbledon, led us to streets and areas we might not have otherwise found.  Although we knew we’d see Wimbledon Tennis Club, we got to see lots of fancy houses and some interesting statues too.  Plus, two parks.  In fact, I was really impressed with the amount of open green areas there is to explore in Wimbledon.

The children were enthusiastic and we walked a very long way, without anyone moaning.  The suggested trail time was 3 hours, but after our stops and detours, we walked for about five!

Furthermore, we worked together to solve the clues and the children happily spent a day with adults they barely know.

We all enjoyed our treasure train in Wimbledon, but still need to return to find Wombles!

Have you tried a Treasure Trail yet?  Please feel free to comment below.

A Treasure Trail in Wimbledon Village

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