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Ordnance Survey unearths Secret Stories for families

5 Aug 2021

Want to know where to find a buried king in a car park? Or about the peasant mother who gave birth to rabbits?

For those going away on staycations or looking for ideas to keep the family entertained during the summer holidays, Ordnance Survey has launched its Secret Stories app across Surrey and West Sussex to encourage everyone to get outdoors.

Secret Stories currently covers Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset with the roll-out of additional tours across Great Britain planned throughout the remainder of the year.

The Secret Stories app is free to download and brings towns and cities to life, with each self-guided tour revealing a diverse and interesting mixture of folklore, celebrity, history and myth as you follow the route around.

Each Secret Stories tour varies, but can contain a mixture of audio clips, images, challenges, puzzles, teasers and directions to help you immerse yourself in each location as you move from story to story.

  • On Sussex's Most Haunted Tour, families will discover breath-taking panoramic views and rare wildlife on one of the most notorious hills of the South Downs, while hearing ghost stories and learning about rare UFO sightings.
  • On Guildford’s Golden Nuggets tour, families will learn about the life of author Lewis Carroll, and how his house in Guildford inspired the stories of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
  • On Winchester's Saxon Bones and Suffragettes Tour, families will learn about Queen Emma, King Canute's wife, whose remains were discovered in the ancient city. Regarded as one of the most powerful queens in English history, her importance was such that she was the first queen whose portrait was painted by artists.

Nick Giles, Managing Director for OS Leisure, said: “With the holiday season upon us, it is great to announce a new raft of Secret Stories across Surrey and West Sussex for families and everyone to uncover this summer. The Secret Stories app is proving to be a brilliant new way of getting outside and making walks fun. Pick the town you are visiting that morning or afternoon, find the relevant story on the app, and then a tour that reveals the fascinating people and places from past and present you never knew about. It’s an entertaining way to spend a day outside in your hometown or visiting a new location for the first time.”

Secret Stories is user-friendly for all ages with simple maps to follow and allows for complete flexibility as it does not require you to book onto a guided tour.

The app allows users to save tours and enjoy them as many times as they like.

Users can also add their own secret stories by using the app’s Community Stories option.

The Secret Stories app is available to download for free in both the Google Play and iTunes store and offers a range of free and paid-for tours starting from £2.99.

Ordnance Survey is looking for content specialists interested in contributing tours for their local areas. For more information get in touch via

Ordnance Survey
By Ordnance Survey
Press Office

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