Sunday, 30 January 2011

Bye-Bye Bridgetown

Couldn't decide whether to go out and find caches today or do maintenance on our own, decided we ought to do the cache maintenance instead.  We'll be glad when the lighter evenings are here as it's much easier to pop out after work to do maintenance.

Our Bridgetown caches had had a couple of  DNFs and one had had a report that the log book was too soggy to write on.  The caches were set to accompany the 10! Year event and, although it's a nice enough location, we'd never been completely happy with them so decided it was time for them to go. 
Collected up #1, #2 and Hidato Hideaway ok but there was no sign of #3 and #4 anywhere... most strange...

It's gotta be here somewhere!

On the way home we replaced the Resuscitator cache which we'd been attempting to replace over the last couple of weeks but the house nearby is being renovated and the builders seem to be using the parking space.  We might have to move this one if it goes missing again.


Granville Country Park

Granville Country Park

6 mile walk
22 caches

We completed the first half of this series back in July 2009 then the second half was released in the August and we've been meaning to come back ever since, today was the day.

Parked in the car park for Granville Country Park and headed up the hill to do Pirates Treasure: Granville 2. A bitterly cold morning and we had to keep moving to try and stay warm.  We spent quite a bit of time exploring the old canal basin and old blast furnaces near Pirates Treasure: Granville 3, a really interesting location, hard to believe that once upon a time this was a hive of industrial activity.

All that remains of the blast furnaces
The canal basin was once connected to the Donnington Wood Canal, one of the earliest canals to be built in England.
The old canal basin

On the way back to the car we met 'the griswalds n dogs' they'd spotted our GPSr so we stopped for a chat, it's always great to meet other cachers, would've stopped and chatted for a lot longer but we were frozen through and looking forward to a hot drink back at the car.

Early on in the walk Mark noticed he'd lost his glove, not expecting to see it again but I thought I'd keep my eye out for it on the way back to the car, amazingly we found it, it was next to the 6th cache we'd done near the old canal basin.

We really enjoyed our walk, it was completely dog friendly, no stiles or cows to contend with and all of the caches were fairly easy to find.  If we had to make one criticism it would be that after #28, even though the caches were all numbered, there didn't seem to be any logical order and the route was not at all clear but all in all a great walk which we completed in 4 hours.

Granville Country Park

Wrockwardine Wood
14 caches
2.6 miles

How Nozi are you?

The second walk of the day was a short drive from Granville Country Park at Wrockwardine Wood around an area called The Cockshutt to do a series called How Nozi are you? The Cockshutt Caperz

A very enjoyable walk around an area we'd never been before, lovely woodland, all easy to find caches and once again completely dog friendly with no stiles or cows. 
Completed the walk in 2 hours.

Wrockwardine Wood

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Wandering around Walmley

Plants Brook

Wylde Walmley Wander

10 in the series plus 3 extra
4.5 mile circular walk

Headed off this morning to do a new series near Sutton Coldfield around New Hall Valley Country Park
Parked up in the car park near #1 and set off, very busy in the park this morning with dog walking muggles galore, so lots of stealth required.  We found ourselves on the wrong side of Plants Brook and briefly considered splashing across it..... well the dogs didn't seem to mind.... decided to ask a couple of passing muggles if there was a bridge further up and luckily there was so we walked on and found a drier route.  We'd just started searching for A Stroll to Sutton when we saw what we thought were muggles standing on the path, luckily having dogs is great for cover so we just pretended we were searching for a lost ball in the bushes, then when they headed towards we realised they must be cachers, it was Dave77st and Le Barts, enjoyed a quick chat then went our separate ways as they were going off to do Rovers Demised that we'd done back in August 2007.

Between #2 & #3 we could see a large manor house through the trees, it was New Hall Manor which claims to be one of the oldest inhabited moated houses in Britain and is now a hotel and spa.  In 1993 Bon Jovi's video 'Sleep when I'm dead' was filmed there!

Arrived at #3 and started searching, taking it in turns to keep a look out, from quite a distance away we could see One Last Look coming towards us, just as they were about to join in the search I found it using the 'where would I hide it' approach :D.  Enjoyed a quick chat with BobnJill and off we went again in opposite directions.

On the way to #5 we bumped into The Grizzly Pair who were doing the series in reverse order.  Enjoyed a chat then we went on our way.

We recognised the location for #6 from when we were FTF on Initially Dimitri back in February 2008, we could see that new fencing had been installed and the path widened so we weren't at all surprised to see it had been archived.

Took a short detour to Plants Brook Walk and when we signed the log it had been visited a few minutes before by 'Four Rocks' we think we may have passed them on the path but couldn't see any sign of a GPSr, hopefully bump into them another day.

Part of the return walk involved crossing a very busy golf course (they really ought to try caching), it felt a bit perilous dodging the balls but we made it to the other side without incident.

Completed the rest of the series and even bumped into Le Barts and Dave77st again.  A really enjoyable walk around the park, completed  in 2 hours 38 minutes.  All fairly easy to find caches and a mix of hides and sizes, just what we enjoy.


Saturday, 22 January 2011

Caching North of Market Harborough


Chiburde Round
26 + 1 caches on a 6.5 mile circular walk then a short drive to a bonus cache

These new caches came up just at the right time, just as we were planning our Saturday caching trip on Thursday.  Dropped our son off at work about 8.00am and arrived at the parking at 9.30am, stopping off to do Misterton Motorway Bonus on the way.

Parked in Kibworth at the suggested parking and found our way along the alley way between the houses then past the mound of Kibworth Harcourt Castle. When we reached the fork of the path we were unsure which route to take at first but luckily the cache listings were very detailed so whenever there was any confusion we referred to the listings for information.

An enjoyable walk, all easy to find caches with good hints which we completed in 3 hours 35 minutes.

We'd remembered to collect all the bonus information from the caches then it was just a short drive to the bonus.

Chiburde Round

We still had a few hours before we needed to be back in Stratford so had a quick look on Memory Map for suitable caches and a series in the village of Thorpe Langton looked perfect.


8 caches on a 3.35 mile circular walk

Parked outside the Bakers Arms pub and off we went.  The wind had really got up and the temperature had dropped but luckily the sun was still shining which helped but it really was bitterly cold.

The first leg of the walk was along a green lane and seemed popular with a handful of motocross riders, once we'd got past them the walk was more pleasant.  The hedge was being relaid so we feared that one of the caches may have been compromised, as we approached Langton Caudle Ivy Hide we could see all the ivy had been cut away from the tree and the cache was lying in the ditch so we rehid as best we could at the base of the tree.

All in all a very pleasant series of caches in pleasant countryside although the last stretch across the field was very muddy but it's what is to be expected this time of year after all the recent snow and rain.

Then back to the car, completing the walk in 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Thorpe Langton

Running out of time now, not to  mention daylight so managed to pick up a few drive-bys including Sausages.... ... as we parked up I read the cache listing and said to Mark that I didn't think it would be possible as we didn't have any ropes with us, he was soon out of the car and reccying the area, I went back to the car for a coffee and the next thing I knew Mark rang me to say he'd got the cache!  I leapt out the car to see him waving the cache container at me.  Wondering how on earth he'd managed to retrieve it and more to the point HOW WAS HE GOING TO REPLACE IT!?!!?  I can only say that at this point I couldn't look, I was terrified he would fall, it looked ridiculously perilous, didn't dare take any photos during the insane feat..... anyway he managed it, I don't know how but he did.  Crazy!


Cache in hand!

View from the top

Great spot
After all that excitement we'd worked up an appetite so off to McDs in Market Harborough for some caching grub, opting for the drive-thru due to extremely muddy boots.
Once again a fab day out, love Saturdays, there should be more of them in the week :D

Friday, 21 January 2011

A short walk around Bouts

2 mile walk - 3 caches + 1 cache and dash

Hazel Catkins

A couple of hours to spare this afternoon so decided to take Poppy and Whisper for a walk around Bouts, a hamlet not far from the village of Inkberrow in Worcestershire and only a 5 mile drive from home - also we needed to fill in the grid on our 'Finds by Found' date grid today.

We cached and dashed Bouts ltd as there was nowhere to park nearby and parked further along the lane, had a quick look for Bouts carts but it was right at the entrance to a private house, we could hear voices nearby and not knowing if the householder was aware of the cache or not we decided to have a look on the way back, luckily a quick find on our return to the car.  Then onto Bouts Border, an enjoyable walk across the field which looked like they could be quite muddy if it weren't for the frozen ground.  Headed back retracing our steps then along the lane and across the road passing the riding stables where our daughter learnt to ride and which incidentally at the time was home to the second oldest horse in the country.  Then along the footpath to Young Growth.

Really enjoyed our walk in the afternoon sunshine, there are still quite a few caches to do in the area so we'll be back soon to do the rest, probably on a Friday afternoon :D

An enjoyable walk in the afternoon sunshine.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Isbourne Ring

Isbourne Ring

A series of 6 caches on a 4 mile walk
starting at Sedgeberrow, a village 3 miles south of Evesham, Worcestershire 

Sedgeberrow was badly affected by the summer floods of 2007 when the River Isbourne burst its banks.  90 properties were flooded and many people had to be evacuated from their homes.  There is little evidence left of the devastation the water caused and the village appears to be back to normal.

River Isbourne
This series has been on our to-do list since they were published in September.  This morning we had to drop our son off in Stratford quite early and have other commitments this afternoon so decided this series looked perfect.

Parked in Sedgeberrow near the Queen's Head pub and set off at 8.40.  A windy start to the walk but at least it wasn't raining and it was quite mild too which makes a nice change, not having to wear too many layers.

About 1 mile into the walk Mark realised he'd left his work phone back at the car so had to run back for it, I carried on with the dogs and Beth and we waited for him to catch us up at #3.

The route was quite muddy underfoot as some of the paths take you across ploughed fields which in the warmer months .... if you can remember what that's like ;) ..... should dry out nicely.  All caches were, well hidden but easy to find and very well stocked as with all Wrighty caches.

A really good walk that we completed in 2 hours 13 minutes.

Isbourne Ring

Saturday, 15 January 2011

An afternoon around Worcester

We had a late start today as we had to drop our daughter and her friends off in Stratford before we could head over to Worcester.

We'd virtually cleared the Worcester area once but it's gradually filling up again and with addition of the new ones this week we decided we'd make a return trip to the area.

Swollen River Teme

Tott series

6 caches on a 2.8 mile walk - 1 hour 26 minutes

Parked up at 11.45 and headed off to do Tott 6 - Kissing Gate.  These new caches were published 4 days ago and surprisingly when we left the house were still unfound, as it's now Saturday lunchtime we'd have been very surprised if they were still unfound, Shropshire Seekers and Andycpuk had been out this morning and signed the logs books by the time we got to them.  Found #5 then back-tracked to the road and crossed over to do #7, #8, #9 & #10 then back to the car. Most of the caches were well hidden and took a minute or so to locate.

4 caches on a 2.59 mile walk - 1 hour 24 minutes

Then we repositioned the car to do the next 4 in the series, picking up a cache and dash, On Yer Bike, on the way:  Parked up in the car park at Powick Mill and met cachers Organised Chaos, they spotted our GPS and stopped for a chat.  It's always great to meet cachers out on the trail.

Oh dear, we won't be going that way :)

The path was quite flooded here along the river so we had to find an alternative route to get to #4, we were soon back on track and completed the rest of the series.  We realised that we were following RJ Cachers and caught up with them at #1, enjoyed a quick chat before going our separate ways, nice to meet you all.  Then back to the car

Just time to do a series of caches along the River Severn before heading home.

Swans on the River Severn

5 caches + 1 DNF (out of a possible 7)

2.34 miles - 55 minutes

Starting at Weir Meet Again.  These caches are placed along a cycle track along the River Severn, we love caching by bike it's a pity we didn't have our bikes with us today, would've made a lovely cycle ride

We met RJCachers again here who were also doing some of the caches.

Our only DNF of the day was at Boats, net but no fish, the local youth had started to gather on the benches as the light was fading fast then just as we started to search a muggle appeared on a bike out of nowhere and asked us if we'd lost something, we told him we hadn't and he continued to cross-question us about what we were doing near the fence, so we made our excuses and left, not sure if he'd noticed other strange goings on there or what but not sure we'll be back for that one in a hurry.  Picked up Dass ist gut nein on our way back to the car, liked the name of this one.

Back to the car and that's the end of our caching trip for the day, a great afternoon caching.


Friday, 14 January 2011

Netherton Ponders

Netherton Ponders series

12 caches on a 4.2 mile circular walk.

Green Lane

This new series was published during the week, perfect for a Friday afternoon dog walk.  Parked in the layby and headed off to #1.  The sun came out not long after we set off and very soon we realised we were overdressed with the sudden rise in the temperature this week, it took us completely by surprise.  Between  #3 & #4 we recognised the bridge from when we did Bridge the Gap (SD2) back in July 2009, Poppy and Whisper had a lovely splash around in the stream here.    Great views of Bredon Hill.  Had to backtrack to #6 as a muggle dog walker stood right by it to take a phone call.... of all the places!!!

We'd contacted Jayvon, the cache owners, last night and asked them if they'd like us to replace the cache on #8 that had been accidentally pushed out of reach by a previous cacher so we went armed with a replacement and tried to re-hide as best we could, hopefully it will stay in place for the next finders.

Once again we were left thinking 'if it wasn't for geocaching we'd never have known about this' and it was at #11 the site of a Bombing Decoy (codenamed Q Site).  They were constructed during World War 2 to simulate the landing lights of an active operational airfield, in this case the nearby Pershore Airfield, this was to deceive the Luftwaffe into dropping bombs in open countryside rather than on the airfield.  A really interesting location.

All too soon the walk was over and we were back at the car, The paths were very wet underfoot, muddy but nothing too serious and generally very good, no dog proof stiles to report on the whole route and only 2 actual stiles that we can remember.  A fabulous walk that we completed in exactly 2 hours.

Netherton Ponders

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A bike ride round Sandwell Valley Park

Last night Mark had asked me where I wanted to go caching today, my feet were feeling really sore so I suggested we do some cyclo-caching instead to give my feet a rest. A quick look at Memory Map and I spotted a series in Sandwell Valley Park which looked fairly bike-able, so this morning we headed off with the bikes on the back of the car to do the Valley Series.

20 caches + 10 extra on a 13 mile bike ride.

We parked in the car park near to Valley Series #12 - Hole In One, found that one first, quickly followed by Forge Mill Farm & Lake

Forge Mill Lake

Nice clean bike near the start

We then followed the track on the south side of the river doing the five caches down as far as Trunkoflage thinking there would be somewhere to cross over. There wasn't!
After a bit of a slog back along the river, we continued on the north side of the river round to Valley Series #13 and beyond

Choo Choo - but where is it?

Has someone lost an ear?
After finding #20 we made our way round to Bluebell and through the very fancy gate into Sot's Hole Nature Reserve
Very ornate gate

Carved bench - Sot's Hole Nature Reserve

Aww so cute

Ice House Pool, Priory Woods

Had to lift the bikes over the stile at #1, apart form that the series is pretty bike friendly...

My bike wasn't meant to do this sort of terrain!

... as long as you don't mind a bit of mud! :-)

Muddy at the end of the ride

Completed the 13 mile bike ride in 5 hours 39 mins and found 29 caches.

A great caching weekend with fantastic weather for January!

Sandwell Valley Park

Saturday, 8 January 2011


 The main reason for our trip to the area today was to do the Shelswell Loop.  A series of 17 caches plus 2 extra on a 6 mile circular walk around the village of Fringford, about 4 miles North East of Bicester.

St Michael and All Angels Church, Fringford

We were last in the area back in January 2009 to do the Larkrise to Candleford Green series so it was nice to be back walking in such lovely countryside.

A bit of a rainy start but the forecast was good so we were hopeful it would brighten up.  Some of the walk takes you through the impressive Shelswell Park Estate.

Warins Barn
To find Warin's Barn: Shelswell Loop you actually need to go inside the barn to find the cache, we were a little wary when we saw the sign but as all previous logs had reported finding the cache without injury we went in.  Interesting to note the 20 year old graffiti on the wall but it left us wondering what happened here and why it's been left derelict, further research hasn't given us the answer.  Interesting spot for a cache.

We love mud!

An enjoyable walk that is completely dog friendly, very muddy in places, mainly along the field edges and through a ploughed field but it's what is to be expected this time of year.  Completed the walk in 3 hours 45 minutes in glorious sunshine.  It really was like a spring afternoon, very uplifting to be walking in the sunshine after all the dark days, snow and rain.

Beautiful sunny afternoon

Shelswell Loop

Before leaving Fringford we stopped off for a short walk behind the church to find Deep in the Wood.  The previous log was a DNF but we thought we have a look anyway, also other finders had reported it as being a tricky to find cache.  After about 10 mins of searching I said 'that's it I give up' and went to head back to the car, Mark said 'OK I'll join you but shall I just sign the log book first' LOL!  I will have to try that method in future but sooner next time!

Stopped off in Hethe to do a couple of the Lark Rise to Candleford caches that have appeared since we did the series back in Jan 2009.

View from Hethe Bridge
Just time to do a short series along an old tarmaced road, which is now gated, looks like it was cut through when the A43 was built.  Very peaceful walk along the lane.

Gated Lane Nr Stoke Lyne
There were many fieldfares in the fields and flying overhead, a beautiful sight.


 A 1.5 mile walk to the to of the lane and back.

Time to head home and on the way picked up a few more of the Just Northamptonshire caches, we've found 4 previously and #21, #20 and #28.....   7 down, 109 to go!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

A few FTFs for January


As mentioned in a previous blog, we try to find at least one FTF per month.

So far this month we'd failed miserably:
Sunday:  Missed out  on  Thomas the Tank Engine 9 - Edward by seconds
Monday afternoon: Another second place on Dark Lane
Monday evening: A pathetic third (in 20 minutes) on  60/2 Mile Post

So, when the notifications arrived for these new M6 Toll caches, there was no hesitation. I scribbled down the co-ords for Motorway Mayhem M6 Toll (Curdworth) and entered them into the Etrex on the way to  the car and headed up the M42, parked on the bridge and made an easy find.

I had only taken the co-ords for one cache as I hadn't expected to be first. A quick phone call to Donna and I had the co-ords for Motorway Mayhem M6 Toll (The Belfry)  whose location was suspiciously similar to the recently archived MotorwayMayhem M6 Toll - Toll View 3 !
The next one (Motorway Mayhem M6 Toll (Holly Lane)) was an easy find without co-ords as it was exactly where I thought it would be! No time for any more, back to work....

Monday, 3 January 2011

A Morning in Long Compton

Arranged to meet unowho67, [Monki], Blue Nora and Lime Candy at the village Hall in Long Compton to do the new series 'A Wander around Long Compton', 15 caches on a 4 mile circular walk.

St Peter and St Paul Church, Long Compton
Met up at the village hall in Long Compton at 9am and set off soon after.  All caches were easy to find and were a variety of sizes and hides.  A frosty start but we all soon warmed up as we got going.  A great morning to be out caching, the sun even came out briefly which was nice.

Wandering around Long Compton
We didn't have Poppy and Whisper with us today but the walk would've been ideal for them and is completely dog-friendly.  After reading some of the logs we were expecting a lot more mud but it wasn't too bad at all, only the final stretch through the ploughed field was really muddy.  All too soon we were back at the car, completing the walk in 2 hours and 20 mins.  Enjoyed a nice chat over snacks and coffee then we went our separate ways.

We headed off to Dark Lane in the hope of a FTF, we've found a cache every month for 30 consecutive months so are quite keen to keep up finding at least one FTF a month.... anyway it was not to be we were beaten to it by about an hour.  Never mind, we still have a bit of time before the end of January to find one.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

An Afternoon in Allesley

Thomas the Tank Engine Series

12 caches plus 2 additional caches
Circular walk of 5.3 miles

On the way to Skarloey

Taxi duties to see to first this morning so a bit of a late start for us.  Set off at 11:30, starting at Thomas the Tank Engine 8 - Gordon.  All the caches were easy to find and spaced far enough apart so you can get a good stride up between them, just the thing for working off the Christmas excesses!

Thomas ;)
On our return to the car I checked my emails and noticed a new cache had been published a short walk from where we'd parked, it was Thomas the Tank Engine 9 - Edward a replacement cache for the one that had gone missing.  We weren't expecting to be first as the cache had been published a couple of hours before.  Mark went off by himself for this one as Poppy and Whisper were worn out so I stayed behind at the car.  On arrival at GZ Mark met Fanboy17 who had just that second replaced the cache!

We'd remembered to pick up the bonus details so once we'd worked out where it was off we went.  It was a short drive away to a rather busy location, so we had to wait for our moment to retrieve the cache.  An enjoyable series that reminded me of when our son very young and was mad about anything to do with Thomas the Tank Engine. We completed the walk in 3 hours and 10 mins.

An Afternoon Around Allesley at EveryTrail

Allesley Park

An hour to spare before having to resume our taxi duties so we headed off to Allesley Park to find Rupert and Friends.  An enjoyable walk around the park, it was very busy with dog walkers and families out for late afternoon stroll despite the freezing cold weather.  I think we looked a little out of place with walking gear, muddy boots and gaiters in an uban park, oh well.  Time to head off now and back home for a well earned Sausage Hotpot ....Yum!

Multi Trunked Tree

Saturday, 1 January 2011

First Caching Trip of 2011

Monki, MrDelta68, Monty's Luck, Unowho67 & Blue Nora
We arranged to meet up at 10am with [Monki], Unowho67, Blue Nora & Monty's Luck to do the Madmajor's Major Meander a circular walk of 6.5 miles and 23 caches plus a bonus starting at the town of Burbage.

Left the dogs at home today as we'd read previous logs about many stiles, glad we did as there certainly were a lot of them but we don't think they were all dog proof ones. Bumped into roger-rabbit twice as he was going in the opposite direction and we caught up with Shank's Pony at #12 and continued the series with them. Really enjoyed the walk  in great company, a really enjoyable series with a variety of hides and good hints, just how we like it.  A fabulous start to the caching year!

Completed the series in  3½ hours.

On our way home we stopped off with [Monki] to do this one, Pinocchio's Predicament.  Read the log for full story!