Free summer children’s adventures with seven mystery trails across Horsham District

Horsham District Council’s free outdoor Mystery Trail experiences have just been boosted by a special Summer Side Quest especially for children over the summer holidays.

The Summer Side Quest for younger adventurers inBillingshurst, Henfield, Horsham, Pulborough, Southwater, Steyning and Storrington is set to start on Friday 22 July.

The Mystery Trails series was launched in April of 2022 in seven towns and villages across Horsham District to encourage locals and visitors to head back to the high street .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 (Secret Seekers) 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. The new Summer Side Quest has been developed especially with school aged children in mind.

As the trails take place in and around our high streets there are plenty of opportunities to take a break in any one of the fabulous selection of tea rooms, cafes and eateries on route. Many serve locally produced food and beverages giving you a greater taste of what Sussex has to offer visitors.

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.

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

I am really pleased that our Mystery Trails have proved so successful since their launch at Easter and that we are now adapting them with a special summer quest for children throughout the holidays.

Having high quality, free activities, particularly during the school holidays, offers a fantastic opportunity for families to get active and enjoy the fresh air and all the facilities our towns and villages have on offer whilst having some family fun.

My thanks go out to all the local businesses who have signed up to take part in the trails, I am sure you are going to have lots of visitors looking for clues.

Cllr Jonathan Chowen, Cabinet Member for the Local Economy

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.

The Summer Side Quest is aimed at children aged 5 – 11 and links to the main story of the Mystery Trails.

Visit the town library to collect your Summer Side Quest sheet and enjoy discovering where the lost keys are hidden. Once you have completed the Quest revisit the library to receive your prize!

Luna Russell from Whistlestop Arts said “We’ve had a great response to the Horsham District Mystery Trails so far, with families, adults and groups getting involved and we wanted to introduce something for younger players. Having funding to ensure that this project is free to access is fantastic and we hope that along with the Summer Reading Challenge that the libraries run each year, children will be keen to pick up a Summer Side Quest sheet and explore the towns with their families and friends.”

In each town there is an alternative collection point for the Mystery Trails so that you can pick up your pack and play seven days a week, visit the Curator’s workspace in the library window for details or alternatively download the trails from the website.

Sign up for Answare’s newsletter and receive more puzzles and stories throughout the year. Visit the Mystery Trails website to find out more.

Follow us on social media: TikTok @hdmysterytrails – hashtags #mysterytrails, #secretseekers and #curatorsalliance