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: Bristol Old Vic, King St, Bristol BS1 4ED

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

Book Tickets

Opening Times

Open (1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2021)

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

The above times should be used as an indicator during the recovery phase from the global pandemic.

Please double-check details by visiting the website via the link above before you visit



TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

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    Recent Reviews:

    • Sperenzo
      Trip Type:
      An amazing Brighton adventure!
      5 of 5 stars
      Tuesday, 6th July 2021
      Truly was an amazing Brighton adventure! Loved exploring the city and learning new things! Highly recommend! Read full review
    • 235Alan
      Portsmouth, United Kingdom
      Trip Type:
      Great SOUTHSEA Experience
      5 of 5 stars
      Saturday, 7th August 2021
      A really interesting, fun and informative treasure-hunt. We did the SOUTHSEA Adventure (new for summer 2021). The museum at the start was excellent and really put us in the mood for further... Read full review
    • AnnieNearSouthampton
      Near Southampton
      Trip Type:
      Exploring Southsea enjoying a mystery.
      5 of 5 stars
      Monday, 13th September 2021
      Plenty of places to stop for refreshments. We parked near The Parade tea Rooms at Western Parade and had coffee and then walked to the museum to start. Lunch at Southsea Castle. Cuppa near the... Read full review

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