Today you embark on a real and exciting family day trip through the old cobbled lanes and enchanting college courtyards of Cambridge to collect 8 easy to find SECRET GIFTS by following instructions written in a bundle of old Royal Enclosure invitation thank you letters sent by famous scholars to the reigning monarch.

Along the way you will gobble down WARM STICKY BUNS and feast on pies, before constructing an atom from gobstoppers in a rather magical sweetshop and then step explore the river Cam in a punt boat to uncover a secret etching under a famous bridge. There is nothing to it. Just follow the story below and have a truly wonderful day.

You join the story at the Fitzwilliam art museum, located 1 mile from the Cambridge railway station and on the road that leads in the centre of the city. Click here for the Map.


Frances aged 13 and her sister Bridle, two years younger, found the trove of enveloped letters in a big old wooden chest stored in a hidden room under the flooring of the abandoned stable. These extraordinary letters, some dating back over 300 years, are replies from princes, lords, ladies, mathematicians, astrologers, authors, scientists, captains of industry and on an on,  all accepting or occasionally humbly declining an invitation from the reigning monarch to join the Royal Enclosure celebrations. 

Each reply rather mysteriously contained what was often referred to by the writer as a secret gift that could be found at the respondents address. With this secret gift  frequently described in a rather playful but puzzling manner as something that could not be touched, or valued but nonetheless could be treasured for a lifetime.

Bundling together 6 of the envelopes with addresses in Cambridge Frances and Bridle boarded the train for a day trip in the city on a rather snowy day in December to collect a few of these secret gifts and indulge in a few little , well deserved treats along the way.

Chapter one:  The Fitzwilliam museum and the secret clock

Frances and Bridle arrived at the Fitzwilliam museum where the letter from the 7th Viscount (this being the 4th most honourable title awarded to someone by the King or Queen) Fitzwilliam, founder of the museum explaining to the the reader that the clock above the staircase contains a mysterious power that would fall into the hands of those in possession of this letter.

Secret Gift: Just ask someone to choose 2 numbers in a line on the clock face. Subtract the smaller number from the larger number. Then look at the number behind the clock. No doubt this will be the number in your mind. This secret gift is now yours to try out on other and stun them with your ability to read their mind. Treasure it forever.