The Mystery of the Sabotaged Balloon: Bristol History & Puzzle Adventure

Starting Point: Bristol Old Vic, King Street, Bristol, BS1 4ED

Tel: +44 (0)7754 151932

Mystery Guides


The perfect mix of Bristol, puzzles, and history!

Can you unravel the story and catch the villain behind the Mystery of the Sabotaged Balloon?!

According to local legend, on the 9th May 1812, Bristol’s most prominent merchants and businessmen gathered in Queen Square to witness an incredible historic moment; the maiden flight of Archie Russell's Amazing Flying Machine! Excited crowds marvelled as the huge balloon lifted from its platform, but the spectacle quickly turned to disaster when it veered violently and crashed into a tree below!

Climbing from the wreckage, Archie was shocked to discover that someone had tampered with his precious balloon moments before take-off and cut one of his steering ropes in a terrible act of sabotage! Why would someone want to destroy Archie's life’s work? Was it a personal grudge against him? Or did a competitor want to stifle the competition?

You must follow the route, eliminate suspects, and return to the scene of the crime to get to the bottom of this legendary Georgian mystery! On your journey you will be challenged with a range of cryptic clues including word games, maths puzzles, and hidden objects, as you unravel the crime and discover the best of Bristol's fascinating history.

Distance: 3.5km walk
Duration: 3+ hours
Difficulty: Medium (Adults + older children)
Players: 1-3 per booklet
Clues to solve: 16
Starting Point: Starts outside the Bristol Old Vic, King St, Bristol BS1 4ED

The perfect outdoor activity if you are looking for things to do in Bristol!

Click & Collect
No need to wait for postage - Mystery Guides now offer a click and collect service! The Bristol collection point is Cafe Revival (BS1 1JG). Simply book a time slot, show the staff your receipt, and your mystery can begin! Find out more.

Book Tickets

Opening Times

Open (1 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)

* For collection: 9.30am to 4.30pm Tuesday to Saturday
9.30am to 4pm Sunday and Monday.
Closed during bank holidays
For delivery: Anytime



TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

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    Recent Reviews:

    • jennysB6341EL
      Trip Type:
      Great fun exploring Bristol
      5 of 5 stars
      Saturday, 15th January 2022
      We did the Georgian Bristol Mystery Adventure: The Amazing Flying Machine today as a team of three - 1 adult (me) and two 12 year olds, who rated it as "good" and "great". They solved all the puzzles... Read full review
    • fhelseam
      5 of 5 stars
      Tuesday, 17th May 2022
      Amazing book. If your visiting Portsmouth would highly recommend doing so much history in the area to find Read full review
    • troodaki
      Portsmouth, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Fabulous cannot recommend enough
      5 of 5 stars
      Wednesday, 18th May 2022
      We have completed most of the guides and did Winchester yesterday , amazing fun a real experience and unusual way to walk through a city ,, if you love walks ,mysteries,or just looking at a city in... Read full review

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