Southsea Treasure Hunt The Mystery of the Laughing Sailor

150 to 180 minutes
Free cancellation
1 - 15
Mobile ticket


The legendary Southsea mystery..
.. unsolved for 100 years..
Until now.

Join the adventure, and turn the streets of Southsea into a GIANT outdoor escape room!

✔️ Enjoy a one-of-a-kind adventure to treasure with your friends
✔️ Combine your skills to crack the clues & unravel the epic tale
✔️ Discover Southsea's amazing history & hidden gems

In 1910, Southsea's iconic laughing sailor became the victim of a terrible crime, after a mysterious figure smashed the machine and silenced his laugh forever.

Was it an act of revenge?
Nobody knew.

But the villain left a trail of clues..
And this is where you come in.

Your challenge is to track down hidden objects, decode symbols, and uncover hidden messages, as you eliminate suspects & gradually unravel the crime.

And an exciting twist awaits..

Make it to the end and you'll be struck by an amazing ‘wow’ moment when the case is solved and the villain is revealed before your eyes!

Don’t let the villain get away.. Your time to start is now!


  • 20% off lunch in The Queens Hotel (Mon-Thu)
  • 10% off food & drink in The Jolly Sailor pub
  • 10% off drink in The Phoenix pub
  • 40-page colour activity booklet containing all puzzles, clues, and maps

What to expect

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery, 1 Museum Road, Portsmouth PO1 2LJ England

Start your amazing adventure at Portsmouth's City Museum, where you will collect your activity booklet and begin your hunt for the mysterious Southsea vandal! Take a moment to enter the museum, and see the original Laughing Sailor machine at the heart of this legendary story, before setting off on your unique mystery adventure!

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Southsea Common, Clarence Esplanade Southsea, Portsmouth PO5 3PB England

After solving your first clue at the city museum, your route takes you down the beautiful and historic Castle Road, where you have the option of stopping for a drink in Southsea's CAMRA award-winning hidden gem of a pub, 'The Hole in the Wall'. This pub is just yards from where Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his very first Sherlock Holmes novels, making it the birthplace of the world famous detective!
You will then be guided towards Southsea Common, which is the central location of the Laughing Sailor mystery, and where the terrible act of vandalism took place. You will stroll among the beautiful trees and wide open green space in search of your next clue!

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: The D-Day Story, Clarence Esplanade, Portsmouth PO5 3NT England

A short walk from Southsea Common you will find your next clue, at the beautiful and historic Queens Hotel, where you can receive a 20% discount on lunch when showing the mystery adventure book to staff (Mon-Thu). From here, you will make your way towards the world-famous D-Day Story, where you can climb aboard an original landing craft from the Normandy invasion!

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Southsea Castle, Clarence Esplanade Southsea, Portsmouth PO5 3PA England

Your next clue is hidden at a Tudor Castle, which was built under the reign of Henry VIII and was the location where Henry himself watched in horror as his most treasured flagship the Mary Rose sank before his eyes. Enter the castle's historic gates and savour the view from its historic ramparts (free entry).

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Palmerston Road, Portsmouth PO5 3PT England

After Southsea Castle, it is time for another optional refreshment stop at the Jolly Sailor pub (10% off food & drink if you show the mystery booklet to the staff), where you can enjoy stunning views of Southsea Common from its beautiful raised terrace. Your route then continues towards the buzzing shopping & dining street of Palmerston Road, where you will find a wide range of local bars, restaurants and cafes.

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: The Kings Theatre, Albert Road Southsea, Portsmouth England

The final section of your mystery adventure takes you towards Southsea's famous Albert Road, where you will find a vast array of independent boutiques and hidden shopping gems. Nestled amongst the unique shops you will find the famous Kings Theatre, which is a beautiful stopping point for one of your final clues. The adventure comes to an end at a wonderful hidden gem of a pub, which concludes the story, and provides a 10% discount on drink when you show the staff your adventure booklet. You will enjoy raising a glass when you complete the mystery and get the 'wow' moment at the end when it all comes together!

Duration: 20 minutes

Additional information

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking

Ticket delivery

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.


For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start time of the experience.
Nigel T
October 2023

Having done the Southampton Mystery Guide, which was excellent. We thought that we would do the Southsea one. In all honesty the story (the Laughing Sailer) behind the treasure hunt wasn't quite as good as the Southampton (the missing Titanic millions) one, but it was very good. We loved doing it...

March 2023

Did the Portsmouth Mystery Guide and it was fun so we tried another. The Southsea guide took us to places we had never been and we’ve lived here for over 40 years. It was really interesting and a lot of fun. We’ve got the Winchester and Brighton guides. Bring on the summer!

March 2023

It’s great how they weave in actual historical information with the fictional story, though I’d recommend starting at midday so you can visit the pubs along the way properly.

February 2023

So much fun. Ideal for my teenagers and a great way to find out more about a city. Can’t wait to try out other experiences from these guys.

September 2022

Lots of fun and took us places we'd not seen before. Some easy clues, some required puzzling out or hunting around for the answer. Took us longer than the 3 hours because we stopped for lunch but highly recommend it.

September 2022

I got this as a gift from a family member. Had a thoroughly enjoyable day and got to explore parts of southsea off the beaten track.

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