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Secret Stories FAQs

Answers to your questions on the self-guided tour app

What is Secret Stories?

Secret Stories is a way to discover all the hidden tales around your home, or where you are on holiday. Inside each tour, you will find a route and a collection of stories to read, listen to or watch along the path.

It's all done on your phone, so you can follow at your own pace, start and stop where and when you like, or repeat the tour as often as you feel like. It's like having your own personal tour guide in your back pocket!

How do I log in to the app?

The Secret Stories app uses the same account as the OS Shop and OS Maps app, so if you have an account on either of those, please login using the same email address and password. Otherwise, click 'Create Account' and create a new account - we need you to do this so we can store your purchased tours, favourites and preferences, and ensure they are still available even if you change devices.

Normally, you don't need to log out - just close the app. If you do need to log out (such as to change user), you can do that from Settings > My OS Account.

What's the difference between normal tours and Community stories?

While the main Tours are added by professional guides and writers, Community stories are individual points added by other users. They might be as simple as a little background on an interesting place or feature, or delve deep into history, folklore and local knowledge.

Any logged in user can add a community story using the 'Add' button - why don't you give it a try?

How do I follow a Tour?

Select the tour from the list, and click 'Start Tour'. You will get a map showing the route line with numbered stories, while the red dot shows your current location (and direction you are facing, if your phone supports it). The route shows the recommended path, but you can do the stories in any order you like, as well as taking detours or stops whenever you need to.

When you are near the story point, click the story from the scrolling list below the map to read, hear or see the story and complete any puzzles.

When you complete that story, click 'Navigate to next story' button to go back to the map view and carry on.

What do the 'number of stories' in a Tour mean?

That's the number of main stops on that Tour. Longer Tours tend to have more stops. There will also often be additional places mentioned, or that you can see in passing

How do I find if there are any Tours nearby?

The easiest way is to switch to the map view - click the map icon in the top right of the home screen. You can zoom out to get a wider view, or zoom in to find those closest to you.

To find tours near a particular place, click the 'All of Great Britain' dropdown and search for a place name. You'll get a list of tours by distance. You can also scroll the map view to see the tours pinned on the map.

Why are there no Tours in the area I am looking at?

We are adding new Tours as quickly as more writers come on board to share their expertise, but it will take a while before we cover everywhere! In the meantime, you could make a start by adding some Community stories you already know.

How does the sharing work?

You can share a link to a Tour or story using the social share buttons in the top left - it will look for any apps on the phone that support sharing. Recipients' will need the Secret Stories app downloaded (and will be prompted to get it if they don't). If it's a paid Tour they will need to purchase it before they can see the contents.

If I change phones, will I lose my paid Tours?

The paid Tours you have purchased are linked to your user account, and so will remain yours even if you upgrade your phone, or even switch app stores.

Can I access my Tours on more than one device?

Yes - just log in with the same account, and you can access your tours on all your devices.

Will Secret Stories work when I don't have a data connection?

You need to have a data connection to use Secret Stories.

Why did I get the message 'Unable to start Tour'?

This usually means your data connection has failed. Try again, possibly after moving to get a better signal or connecting to WiFi.

What do I do if there is something wrong or inappropriate in a Community story?

Click the top right menu and select 'Report story'. Choose the reason for the report, and our editors will review it and edit or remove the story as required.

What are the app requirements?

For Android phones, you will need Android 5.0 or later. For Apple devices, you will need iOS 13.0 or later.

What permissions does the app need?

The app needs permission to access your detailed location, to show where you are on the map, and storage, to store Tour data. It also uses your data connection to access the Secret Stories servers for content. If you choose to share a Tour or Community Story, it will pass data to your messaging apps.

How can I get a refund for a story purchased by accident?

For in-app purchases, all refund request must be made through the app store.

For Apple App Store:

  • Go to reportaproblem.apple.com and sign in
  • Click the 'Report' or 'Report a Problem' button next to the item that you want to request a refund for, click it.
  • Follow the instructions on the page to choose the reason why you want a refund and submit your request

For Google play:

  • Go to play.google.com/store/account and log in
  • Click Order history and find the order that you want to return
  • Select Request a refund or Report a problem and choose the option that describes your situation. Complete the form and note that you'd like a refund

For both app stores, you can normally only request a refund within 48 hours of the purchase.