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Time for something totally different. Get rid of the Lockdown Lard with some fresh air, exercise without the gym bunny pain, and a healthy dose of fun.

A thrilling treasure hunt around Kingston offers friends, families and lovers a fantastical day or night out. Game of Stones, a start-up devised by Kingstonian author and artist Lyndsay Russell and web designer Michael Austin, offers a crazy-fun experience – a physical treasure hunt, with clues magically appearing on your mobile. It really is a great time!

“Our Covid-19 friendly trail follows clues and riddles through graveyards, alleyways and market squares on a magical journey across historic Kingston-upon-Thames,” explains Michael. So far, the Game of Stones experience has staggeringly won a blanket 24 five star reviews on the Tripadvisor website, and the creators are now spreading the experience to other towns.

Thinking outside the box for the safety of treasure hunters

When Coronavirus hit, Game of Stones decided to offer two versions of play in Kingston:

1) The original format of the Game, which takes in stops at pubs on the  journey, though this sometimes has to be put on hold due to government restrictions.

B) A Covid-safe version that allows mixed households to play the game alongside each other on their own phones and bypasses the clues inside the inns.

“With cinemas, theatres, bowling alleys and nightclubs shut, people are bored. We’re all looking for adventure, stimulation, and great fun,” Lyndsay says. And it seems this is the perfect local answer. The clues lead teams of participants from the start at Kingston Guildhall across a series of notable and some hidden sites in the borough with the promise of “magical” treasure at the conclusion of the hunt.

And while Covid-19 may have tweaked the dynamic of the hunt slightly, it hasn’t stopped participants sharing their glowing experiences online:

“We wanted a Covid-compliant fun office outing. Game of Stones didn’t disappoint!” One Tripadvisor review reads.

“Kingston is so pretty and you get to see historical parts you rarely take time to look at.

“I thoroughly recommend this adventure and am looking forward to new adventures being set up! The app is very user friendly.”

Teams between two and six people can get involved with Game Of Stones, with tickets priced at a low £25 per team of two, increasing to cover up to six players. The game allows multiple phones to be used on the hunt to allow teams to social distance if from multiple homes.

Come as you are: no advance booking needed!

The other joy is you can book and then set off and play immediately, day or night, weekday or weekend. This Christmas, you might just find it in your stocking, because, as Lyndsay says, “the Game is also appealing as a team-building experience to corporate companies like Tate and Lyle, and we hope to offer a Christmas package including dinner”.

Due to Game of Stones’ popularity, the innovative duo are now laying trails in Bridport, Windsor, Hastings, and Aylesbury, with plans to expand even further. “It’s so exciting to see how well it’s taken off, I get a genuine thrill every time we get feedback or a review knowing we’ve spread some fun in darker times,” smiles Lyndsay.

And if Christmas feel a little far away, a scarier Zombie Run game is in the cards for Halloween. Look out for it (literally).

To find out more and book a treasure hunt, go to gameofstonestreasurehunt.com or get in touch with contact@gameofstonestreasurehunt.com

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