Seven free mystery trails launched for seven Horsham towns

A series of new mystery trails are launching in seven towns and villages across Horsham District to encourage locals and visitors to head back to the high street following the pandemic. The project has been enabled with government funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Horsham District Council has worked with Horsham based business Whistlestop Arts to create the trails.

Each trail is free to get involved in and invites participants to follow clues around each town to solve a puzzle involving a cast of colourful characters specifically created for the project. The trails are located in Billingshurst, Henfield, Horsham, Pulborough, Southwater, Steyning and Storrington. They are designed to appeal to a wide range of people, including families (ages 8+), couples, retirees, groups of friends and work colleagues.

The main aim is to create an exciting experience that brings people together socially, connecting them to our stunning towns and villages across the Horsham District. This is especially pertinent after the impact of the pandemic on people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Those taking part will enjoy an immersive experience where they follow the story of different characters created specifically for this project. The Mystery Trails characters have set a series of puzzles for players to solve. The story’s main character is Answare Gladwish, assisted by seven others, including Adwin Inkwell, the writer from Horsham, Sybil, the Oracle of Southwater and Royd Ellwood, Storrington’s Woodland Gatekeeper amongst others.

To play the game which could be described as an outdoor ‘escape’ room, participants pick up a Mystery Trail map from the library in each town or village and follow the clues to solve the puzzle. The answers will help players solve the final mystery back at the library by looking into the character’s workspace window. Players can follow one trail or complete all seven to reveal the final chapter of the mystery.

Horsham District Council Leader and Cabinet Member for the Local Economy Cllr Jonathan Chowen said:

I am delighted that our Mystery Trails are launching across our towns and villages just in time for the Easter holidays.

My thanks go out to the local businesses who have signed up to take part in the trails and I am sure that they will play host to many visitors looking for clues and answers. It has been a tough couple of years for our businesses but I am proud of the way they are bouncing back and I’m sure that the trails will help them boost their businesses.

Do come out and enjoy the trails and the wealth of amazing shops, cafes and eateries we have in our District.

West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, Duncan Crow said: “We are delighted that all seven of our libraries in the District are supporting the Horsham District Mystery Trails. It’s a really great opportunity for people to get out and about again and immerse themselves in their local area, and the fact that it is open to all makes it a really fun way to spend quality time with friends and family.

We’re also really excited to be welcoming people back into all 36 of our libraries, so the trail, which starts and ends at one of our libraries, is a great way to remind people that we’re here in their community with friendly staff ready to help, whether that’s borrowing a book or a DVD to using computers to search the internet.

Good luck to everyone who takes part, and we hope to see many of you in your local library soon.

To take part, please visit the Whistlestop Arts website and download the maps, or go to the library of each town and ask for a map. To hear a special recorded message from Agent Meadows, one of the trail’s unique characters, call 0333 3660 256.