It’s an open treasure hunt with, you might say, something of a slight flaw – there’s no treasure at the end.
But, explains creator Edward Wiles, it does take in some of Sheffield’s best jewels.
A new smartphone app guides users to 20 of the best sites in the city and offers nuggets of little-known information about each one. But you only get the directions to every new landmark by solving a cryptic clue at the previous site.
And though there may be no prizes for completing the two hour trail – which begins at the War Memorial and ends at the Upper Chapel – it does come with its own rewards. Namely, says Edward, “the chance to learn a little more about the city while giving your brain and your legs a work-out”.
That’s why, today, The Diary is standing in Leopold Street looking blankly from mobile to surroundings, wondering how one even begins to go about answering “how many lions surround the castle?”
“What does that even mean?” we ask a knowledgeable-looking passer-by.
He shrugs. “I don’t even have a mobile, son.”
It refers, as it turns out, to a crest on the wall of All Bar One. Three lions on there circle a fort.
We type “three” into our mobile, receive our nugget of knowledge (did you know Leopold Street was built 1879? You do now) and get guided to our next destination (and clue), Cutlers Hall.
There’s 20 such mind-bogglers in all and – slight spoiler alert! – they take you everywhere from City Hall to Town Hall, Tudor Square to, er, The Brown Bear.
“That pub’s in there because it’s such an interesting building,” says Edward, 37.
He created the app – which also features gold coins and hunt guardians to appeal to kids – with brother Charles, 43, after they made a similar hunt around a garden for Charles’s children.
“They enjoyed it so much we thought it had potential as a family activity when you’re visiting a new place or even in your hometown,” says Edward. “So many people never properly look at the sites in their own city.”
The pair, from Hertfordshire, trailed the idea in London and have now created hunts in more than 20 cities.
“When I visited Sheffield for research, I was surprised by how beautiful it is,” says screenwriter Edward. “There’s some lovely buildings like the Winter Garden.”
What a charmer.
Still, the app can be downloaded at www.huntzz.com for £1.29.