I’ve you’ve been keeping up with The Dark Imp blog, you’ll know that my family loves a treasure hunt or challenge, and this post is about another… The Brown Sign Challenge.

The concept is simple, but works best when you’re in an area you don’t know very well. I’ve always done this challenge when on holiday, to explore an unfamiliar location.

How it works: Go out for a family drive. Whenever you see a brown sign, follow that sign and visit that attraction. You can’t decide to skip a sign. You must go and do whatever the sign points to. 


While rubbing his hands in glee, his face lit up, my Dad often says, “The UK is wonderful because there’s something interesting everywhere”. Brown signs indicate these places… museums, battlefields and piers… windmills, castles and view points.

There’s a fabulous website – Follow the Brown Signs – that shares the 93 different icons that could appear on the signs. So what better than to spend a day randomly following brown signs and seeing where they take you?

To make sure we have the best and most varied experience possible, we have two rules when doing the Brown Sign Challenge.

  1. No theme parks. They cost a lot and take all day. 
  2. Follow no sign that takes you to somewhere more than 10 miles away.

The best Brown Sign Challenge day I’ve done was with Alfie (my eldest), when he was about 11 (he turns 18 this week). We followed five brown signs that day.

  1. ROARR! Dinosaur Adventure: Massive dinosaurs, rides, play park, animals. Brilliant.
  2. A very old church: It was locked, but we did our best to jump up and look in every window.
  3. Bowling alley: A round of bowling and a burger.
  4. Mid Norfolk Railway: No trains for hours but rather a lovely station.
  5. Apple Day at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse: My favourite stop and what the Brown Sign Challenge is all about. Apples everywhere.

A brilliantly varied day. I love the face that when I woke up that morning, I had no idea I’d be sliding down a dinosaur or taking part in an apple tasting. Fabulous.

If you like the idea of the Brown Sign Challenge, you may also like some of our other hunts and challenges: