Explore the hidden gems of Ayrshire in a new light with exciting trails available to download and follow at your leisure.
Mhairi McCraw set up Treasure Trails Of The Unexpected in 2018, inspired by the joy of treasure hunts she set up for family and friends.
“I did quite a few for my son when he was much younger – for his birthday parties and other events,” Mhairi says. “More recently, I did one for a group of friends, which they really enjoyed and they encouraged me to turn it into a business.”
Now Treasure Trails Of The Unexpected has more than 10 Ayrshire-based trails available to download, using natural features in the landscape as clues.
There are trails to suit every ability, and some can be done on foot, some by bicycle or car. You can also choose the format – from following clues to solve a crime, or cracking riddles to get map co-ordinates.
“There are whodunnit ones, code-breaker ones and ‘Tintin Treasure Trails’ where you follow a map, and follow grid references,” she says. “They’re really good fun.
Some of the clues are visual for younger children, and some take a bit of problem solving – so check the details on the website before deciding which one is right for you. The trails are pre-written, so all would-be treasure seekers need to do is download one to gain directions, clues – and, most importantly – the answers.
“Creating them is a very lengthy process, because it’s just me, but once they’re done that’s them really. I’ve become a bit of a ‘clue nerd’ – I’m always looking for things that might be good clues on my walks – and then I compile them all together, and try to weave a story through it and let my imagination take over.
“I do check the routes every year to make sure the clues are still there!”
Although you won’t find real buried treasure at the end of the trails – replacing the prize for each treasure hunter would be a full-time job in itself – Mhairi has recently expanded into bespoke trails where she sets up treasure hunts, with hidden edible treats along the route.
“I love making the trails, so I’ve started doing bespoke versions for special occasions or team-building for businesses. Everyone loves a treasure hunt!”
If you’re looking to improve your culinary skills, then Home Cook School offers the perfect way to do so in Ayrshire.
Home Cook School offers classes for all ages and abilities at their Maybole HQ. And they are opening premises in Kirkoswald later this year.
Founder Lindsay Guidi said: “Our customers feel a sense of achievement and their confidence grows when they master a new dish.”
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