Castlefield and Central Manchester

2–2½ hours

3 miles


About the game

Manchester is a city rich with history and variety, and this game is going to show you the best of it!

Starting near Canal street, you’ll explore the canals of Castlefield, passing some of the country’s finest public squares and civic buildings.

By searching for clues you’ll discover hidden treasures you never knew existed!

What you’ll do

You’ll be led around the city by Captain Bess, a snarky pirate who’s testing out new recruits to join her ship!

Bess will send a series of maps, clues and directions. You follow the map and solve the clue by searching your surroundings. When you get the right answer, you’ll move on to the next place.

Don’t worry, if you get stuck you can ask for a hint and Bess’ll get you on your way!

What you’ll see

Along the way you’ll see lots of sights and Bess will tell you some fun facts about some of them. It’s a perfect way of discovering things you might want to come back to.

  • Sackville Gardens - a peaceful garden close to the main stations, housing some curious artwork.
  • Canal street - the city’s vibrant gay district, it’s an amazing place to party.
  • Chinatown - The second largest Chinatown in the UK, complete with a glorious red and gold arch!
  • St Peter’s Square - a beautiful public square, home to the Central Library and back of the Town Hall.
  • Deansgate & Castlefield - a peaceful area by the canal, with nice waterside pubs. This is the site of the original Roman fortress.
  • St John’s Gardens - an oasis in the bustling city, it’s so well hidden you could easily miss it!
  • John Rylands Library - a spectacular library built by an eccentric Cuban widow.
  • Lincoln Square - A tranquil square in the city centre home to Manchester's peace garden.

What else you should know

  • Take your time—it’s more enjoyable to see everything at your own pace. There's a scheduled break around half-way, but you can take your own breaks if you prefer.
  • Aim to finish before sunset—it's near impossible to find clues in the dark! Check the sunset time
  • You can play in 2 parts—if it suits your plans, you can pause the game and come back after lunch or even the next day.
  • Bess will be scoring you! Your score is the number of clues you got right first time, without a hint. The score is only for your satisfaction, so don’t struggle needlessly!

How the game works

The game works a bit like a WhatsApp group, but on a web page instead. You don’t need to download anything and it doesn’t need any permissions.

Before you’re due to start, we’ll send you a link to the game. Open the link to join the game and share it with your team so they can join too.

Once you’re ready, Captain Bess will tell you what to do next.

What to bring

  • Smartphones with mobile data and full batteries. (It’s OK to share, but it works better if everyone has their own phone.)
  • Shoes for walking 3 miles.
  • Waterproofs in case of bad weather.
  • Wit, cunning and an adventurous spirit!


We've designed the game to be step-free around the whole route. The recommended pubs at half-way and at the end of the game have step-free front access and an accessible toilet.

We are currently looking for wheelchair users to play-test the game before we call it "wheelchair friendly".

If you'd like to test the game, please get in touch!