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Take the kids on … a Treasure Trails self-guided walk: review

Get quizzical and physical on a treasure hunt around a corner of Britain you didn’t know – there are more than 1,000 fun walks to choose from

Every parent who has tried to cajole children into going on a “nice walk” knows this is about the lamest thing you could ask them to do. Walking is booooooring, as are ancient buildings and beautiful scenery. But Treasure Trails – a series of more than 1,000 self-guided treasure hunt-style walks in cities, villages and countryside across the UK – can change a trudge into a fun activity as, depending on the theme, kids solve clues, hunt hidden treasure or complete secret agent missions. The trails come as an A5 booklet – by post, or downloadable – with route, facts, and spaces to fill in answers – which form a 10-digit number that can be sent in for the chance to win a £100 monthly prize. There are also some driving and cycling trails.

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Eastern promise: contemporary art on the Norfolk coast

The county’s current open studios event is one of many reasons to tour coastal towns such as Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn, where affordable spaces and special light are attracting young artists

I’m not sure which is more remarkable, the sculptures or the way they have been positioned. I am considering two colossal works by Henry Moore at Houghton Hall in north Norfolk. Large Reclining Figure (1984) lies before the west front, its back to the house, demanding to be appreciated against the Palladian mansion. Three Piece Sculpture: Vertebrae (1968-69) stands in front of the east facade, framed by the landscape beyond. Both have been precision placed by the curator, Sebastiano Barassi, head of collections and exhibitions at the Henry Moore Foundation.

Six of the sculptor’s gigantic abstract observations of the human figure and other natural forms are on display this summer in the vast parkland of the 18th-century home of Britain’s first prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole. Yet Houghton Hall’s current owner, the Marquess of Cholmondeley, tells me the place to start a visit is with other smaller sculptures by Moore inside the hall. “They teach you how the artist thought and worked. Then you understand how the big pieces came about,” he says.

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