'Treasure Trails' give families the chance to discover hidden nooks and crannies in Sunderland and South Shields

A network of intricate trails meandering through towns, cities and villages across the region are helping people re-discover the best of Sunderland and South Shields now lockdown has eased.
Treasure TrailsTreasure Trails
Treasure Trails

Treasure Trails comprises 1,200 self-guided journeys through the UK's hidden nooks and crannies, including from Seaham and Seaburn to South Shields and Roker.

At the end of March the company had to pause the trails to comply with Government restrictions but now these have relaxed they have reopened just as more Brits than ever look to enjoy themselves outdoors.

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Treasure Trails sees groups of up to five family and friends crack a series of clues to follow routes peppered with interesting plaques, monuments, artworks and signs.

The trails include South TynesideThe trails include South Tyneside
The trails include South Tyneside

Along the way they are treated to interesting facts, compelling tales and historical titbits about their chosen location.

General Manager of Treasure Trails Aaron Hutchens said: "With travel discouraged this really is a fantastic way of exploring the hidden gems on our very doorsteps.

"We are lucky enough to live in a beautiful country, steeped in history, and our Treasure Trails take people on fascinating tours, drinking in lesser known sights.

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"We decided to close at the end of March to comply with Government restrictions. But since it was announced we are allowed to take unlimited exercise we have reopened.

"Ordinarily, customers download the trails when they go to a new place to visit people, or on holiday. But we're now seeing an increase in people using them to discover hidden gems in their local area."The trails really are a great way of obeying the rules while having a fun day out with family and friends. You do not have to touch anything or go inside any buildings - you are outdoors in the fresh air the whole time."It allows you to mix with other people, while easily managing to keep two metres apart. They are also fully immersive, allowing you to inhabit the character of a spy, detective or secret agent."We have seen a surge of people downloading our trails as they are enabling families to have fun safely while other attractions remain shut."The trails, which cost £9.99 from https://www.treasuretrails.co.uk and are regularly updated, cover around two miles and take a couple of hours to complete.Customers print off a list of clues, which centre around a murder, spy or treasure theme, and are then led on an intriguing adventure, travelling off the beaten track, while also taking in well-known sights.Jane Harvey, 44, and her partner Neil Jager, 50, are two of 18 Trail writers, based across the country. They undertake extensive research and always spend a day exploring the location before they start writing a new Trail.Among Treasure Trails' most popular locations are Covent Garden, Edinburgh, York, Whitby and Ambleside.Jane said: "It can be a fascinating job, and we both love what we do."Before we visit the location, we have a good old research of the area to see if there is any unusual history, artwork or other features.”

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