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Dorset: Day 4 – 28.06.20………..No map required!

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

Morning all. This is DI Angey Cagney and DI Maicey Lacey reporting in for duty! Well, after last nights debacle of coming last in the quiz we’re hoping for a better outcome today, hoping to solve the Murder Mystery Treasure Trail within the allotted three and a half hour time frame, the two and a half mile walk and the fifteen miles in driving. A nice simple route that incorporates driving to and from each destination and according to the directions we don’t need a map and if we miss an answer we can retrace our steps. Couldn’t be simpler!

Having the car with us all day meant we could pack what we wanted, so we took a multitude of clothing just in case the weather got too cold, wet or windy. Fold up chairs packed – tick, fold up camping table packed – tick, cool box packed – tick, kabooms packed – tick, hats, scarves and jumpers packed – tick. Great, all packed up, we set off, me driving and Maice navigating us towards Abbotsbury.

We parked in the carpark and set off in hot pursuit of our first clue which happened to be located at the church of St Nicholas. However, instead of walking the two minutes to the church we walked into the village, believing the church to be there, only to find that what we thought was the church was in fact the village hall. We ‘retraced’ our steps and found the church next to the carpark where we’d parked the car and hey presto! we found our first clue. We had another five to collect but for some reason we were having trouble deciphering the clues so resorted to walking up and down the main street retracing our steps. It was during these retracings that we noticed three suspicious characters who also seemed to be retracing their steps. Two were carrying a camera and tripod up and down the main street, the third swaggerd down the street chewing gum in a very accentuated fashion then leant with attitude against the tearoom wall, taking photos on his phone. Everywhere we went, they were there. It was most odd.

We managed to crack all the clues except for one which totally flummoxed us. It was a riddle and we’re not very good at riddles which probably accounts for why we came last in the quiz last night, there being a section on riddles alone. We admitted defeat, popped into the newly opened café for a take-away cappuccino and made our way back to the car. Out came the camping chairs, we found a spot beneath the trees and drank our coffees, watching the sheep and goats frolicking in the field opposite and admiring the rain as it drifted past us in the wind!

We left Abbotsbury and made our way to the village of Portesham where it started to rain again, so donning our Kabooms, we set off in search of four clues which believe it or not we found quite easily. Okay, maybe not that easily, but at least we found them all. Hey, did you know that Thomas Masterman Hardy, captain of Nelson’s flagship the Victory at the time of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 lived in Portesham from the age of nine. See what interesting facts you can pick up when you’re out sleuthing!

Back in the car we set off to Langton Herring, a village neither of us have been to, let alone heard of before, but we found it without any deviation and set off through the village looking for the six clues that were hidden here. Clue 12…….’find the church and enter the grounds’. Well, we found a graveyard but could we find the church? It was nowhere to be seen. One would think the spire would give it away but we couldn’t see anything on the skyline so we wandered up and down, retraced our steps, re-read the clues until eventually we opted to walk along a bridleway in order to find a secluded bush! That coffee seemed to have gone straight through us! It was with relief that we eventually found the very small and quaint church, collected the clue and went in search of the others. We had just one clue to solve, number 15, but could we solve it? We thought long and hard, we re-read the clue numerous times hoping for a glimmer of inspiration but alas, none was forthcoming. I’m sure the locals must have thought we were casing the joint as we walked back and forth up and down the road, staring into houses, pointing at their windows and roofs. Time was ticking on…….we were almost at the three and a half hour mark and we were only on clue 15 and had another eight to find in two different locations…… and we needed to stop somewhere for lunch!

Admitting defeat we made our way back to the car and set off to the next destination, Buckland Ripers. Never heard of or been through this village either. It said to ‘park your car by the small post box and find Church Lane’. We found Church Lane and drove down it, eventually coming to a dead end. Another three point turn was required here, one of many so far, and we ended up back on the main road where we found a clue on the sign post. Clue 17 was……‘a double clue for you to do. Find the clue to eliminate who’ and there was a picture of a bird. Mmm, now what sort of bird was that? We tried to piece the clues together but seems our brains were in need of sustenance so we drove further along the road and found a small grassy verge and squeezed into it off the road. Well imagine our surprise to find a very small postbox stuck to the fence post. We’d been looking for a bright red postbox not a green one stuck to a fence! Happy that we’d actually found the parking place as stated in the directions we prepared lunch. It was far too windy to get the chairs out and sit by the side of the road so we put the bunting up inside the car and ate our picnic inside. We were parked opposite a field of bullocks who kept us entertained during lunch with their antics as they chased each other round and round the field, head butting each other as they went. They were most entertaining. Over lunch we read and re-read clue 17, but the more we read it, the more our brains failed us. We needed to call in reinforcements. A quick text to Jane and Steve should do it. They know their birds and they did win last nights quiz with all those riddles so surely they’d be able to crack the code. Alas, after thirty minutes, even they had to admit defeat.

Not to be deterred, we walked down Church Lane looking for the church. Like before in Langton Herring, the church was nowhere to be seen. We eventually came across it tucked away at the far end of the village, another quaint little church hidden behind the trees, found the clue, returned to the car and drove off to our next stop in Chickerell. There were three clues to collect here, the first one was fairly easy the second two taking much longer. Rather than walking round the area we hopped into the car and drove a few hundred yards to the Turks Head where we thought our next clue could be …..’in the area of the local place to eat, the date of 1769 is what you seek’. Yes, there it was, we’d found the clue. Feeling victorious, we hopped back in the car and drove to our final destination.

Following the directions to The Fleet we had to find a ‘gravel lay-by’ and then follow the signs to the coast path. We found the gravel lay-by, parked up and followed the signs to the coast path, collecting our penultimate clue on the way. Whether is was correct or not we weren’t too sure, we seemed to be in a bit of a muddle now with eliminating our suspects but we continued on until we came to where the final clue was. It was a lovely walk down to the coast, and although it was still very blustery the sun was out and it was quite warm. Imagine our excitement when, in the distance we saw a bird of prey just sitting on a fence post. We even managed to zoom in and get some photos of it. We’ll check out the photos later and see if we can identify what type of bird it is and report back. Continuing our walk we found the final clue which was shown on the information board overlooking the fleet. Bill Buttersweet could now be eliminated from our enquires, but hey, what’s this? He’s already been eliminated! Oh dear, it would appear we’ve got some clues completely wrong, eliminating the wrong suspects. An emergency regroup was required, questions were asked. Where and how did we go wrong? We still had two suspects unaccounted for, and now we couldn’t identify the murderer, but hey, lets look at the positives. At least we’ve been successful and found the murder weapon!

So DI’s Cagney and Lacey, alias M&A have failed in their quest to identify the suspect and solve the murder. The 3.5 hours it should have taken to complete the trail has taken us 6.5 hours. The 2.5 miles it should take to walk the trail turned into 6.4 miles and we’ve taken just over 14,500 steps in which to gather all the clues.

Despite our inabilities to solve the murder mystery, we’ve had another great staycation day out. We highly recommend these Murder Mystery Walking Trails to anyone who fancies becoming a sloth (sorry, predictive text, should be sleuth) for the day. They really are most enjoyable.

So this is Cagney and Lacey signing off for the evening. We’re not sure what we’re doing tomorrow as the walk we were going to do included Langton Herring and as we’ve already been there today we need to come up with another plan. We’ll regroup later over FaceTime and come up with Plan B. So whatever that is and wherever it will take us………stay safe x

M&A xx

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