Saturday, 12 February 2011

A Sunny Day in Shropshire

Caer Caradoc
As the forecast was so good for today we decided to head over to Church Stretton for a walk around Caer Caradoc Hill (1,506 ft) and also to do the series of caches that were set for the gFab event last year. 

Circular walk starting at Chatwell Hall

16 caches
3.9 miles

What more could we ask for - beautiful weather and out caching, the perfect day.  A great walk in lovely countryside with fab views the whole walk.  The only downside were the dog proof stiles, there were about 7 or 8 in total but in fairness this is mentioned in the listings but we just hadn't noticed until we'd already set off.  Quite a bit of mud on the route too but this all adds to the fun.

One of the caches was called Lawley View, coincidentally my maiden name is 'Lawley' so it was unusual to see it on so many of the signs in the area.

Lawley View

It was great to see so many signs of spring today - lots of lambs, snowdrops, daffodil shoots getting longer - very uplifting to think that winter will soon be behind us.

Circular walk near Cardington

We completed the walk in 2 hours and 20 minutes, then it was back to the car for our lunch before repositioning the car and heading off for a walk on Caer Caradoc Hill.

A walk up, over and around Caer Caradoc

8 caches - 3.9 miles

Drove along the unclassified road towards matt misson 4, parked in the obvious parking place and set off.  The walk up to Three Fingers Rock was very steep and we were glad to reach the top where we were rewarded with stunning views of Church Stretton, we spent quite some time here before heading down the other side to find more caches and continue along the route for the climb up to Caer Caradoc.... and it certainly was a climb, quite a short climb but very steep, once again at the top the views were just amazing, you can see for miles around, well worth the climb up. Of course, apart from the view, the other reason for slogging all the way to the top of the hill was to look for the cache Caradoc which was inside a small cave, luckily we had our headtorches so it was an easy find, would've been difficult without torchlight.

Three Fingers Rock

This was our first visit to the Shropshire hills and we were amazed at how peaceful the area is without any intrusive motorway noise in the background, also there were hardly any other walks around today.  Then it was back to the car for a well earned cuppa.  Completed the second walk in 2 hours 50 mins.

Caer Caradoc

While planning today's  outing we realised that we'd be able to find a few caches to fill gaps on our Difficulty/Terrain statistics grid.  Tres Digiti rated D2 T4 was one of them.  After leaving Caer Caradoc we drove a few miles South to find WW2 Series - A Bridge too Far - Pole Cottage. The cache (rated D1 T4.5) is on an island in a boggy pond thing and we had to balance some planks across a series of wobbly partially submerged logs in order to reach it! We really enjoyed this cache as it was a really novel idea and it would be great to see more caches like this...

We headed home via McDonalds in Shrewsbury and the M54. Just as we though the day was over with regards to Geocaching, we received a notification of a new cache about nine miles from home. This was nine miles in our direction but still a good 45 miles away! Yup! You guessed it! 45 minutes later Mark had a nice blank logsheet in his hand!

The end of a fabulous day out.

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