Monday, 5 September 2011

Scotland 2011

Fàilte gu Alba

Scotland 2011: Counties and Old Caches

Having done the oldest and highest last year, we decided to return to Scotland to find more of the UK's oldest caches.

Several of the oldest are the last remaining ones for the 'Month Set' statistics.  We also decided to visit as many counties as possible en route in order to colour in the county map.

The Plan

Stay four nights in the Scottish borders.
Stop off overnight in York on the way up.
Stop off overnight in Liverpool on the way back.

Western Facade of York Minster


We left home and headed to York calling at Stamford Bridge 'on the way', that was Humberside done.

Spent a lovely afternoon doing the excellent York City Walls Walk series and a couple of virtuals.
Parking fee in York for the afternoon and evening: £7:20.

Then we continued North, stopping overnight at the Travelodge near Scotch Corner.


Headed east to do a virtual that's been on our to-do list for a while - that was Durham done.

Steam Bricks - GC62D7

Continued into Middlesborough to do the Transporter Bridge virtual, really worth a visit and it was fun travelling over the River Tees and back again. You can read more about the Transporter here.
Bridge crossing: 2x £1:30

Middlesborough Transporter Bridge

Then on to the Is it Art and Echo of Echoes virtuals.
That was Cleveland done.

Angel of the North

Now back on track Angel's View View  (a 2001 cache) and Angel's View (only UK remaining cache set in April 2001).
That was Tyne and Wear complete.

Percy's Cross (only UK remaining cache set in May 2001)
Northumberland done!

Over the border and to our accommodation near Jedburgh which we would highly recommend.  The Lodge we stayed in was one of only three in the private garden of a B&B, the lodges are very well equipped and very comfortable.

Our home for the week


Now for the 'biggy'! Reivers' Revenge and Where's Georges Kidney stone?
The only remaining UK caches set in July 2001.

Setting off from Slymefoot

As the crow flies, Reivers Revenge is less than 13 miles away from our accommodation but by road it's a 43 mile drive!  We parked by Slymefoot Pub and  headed anti-clockwise up to 'Reivers Revenge', across to 'Where's Georges Kidney Stone' and then back down 'The Street'. And arrived back at the car for a well earned cuppa and an enormous sense of achievement. Two caches in an 8½ mile walk.
Scottish Borders - done!

On the Scottish Border

All going to plan so far!

Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh

Today we headed to Edinburgh. There are dozens of caches to choose from in the area but you can't do them all so we chose The Royal Mile.  This has been on our watch list since it was featured on Latitude 47 a few months ago.

A really enjoyable cache showing numerous interesting places along and near the famous Royal Mile.
That was Lothian done!

The other cache on our to-do list was the web cam.  Mark fetched the netbook from the car and we all sat down on the bench, made a connection and loaded the page! Great?! Wrongo! The battery on the netbook doesn't hold its charge too well and the thing just shuts down without warning. This is exactly what happened before we could get a screen grab!  Never mind. Mark hot footed it back to the car, plugged the netbook into the inverter and conducted the proceedings via phone. No problem!

Hard Rock Cafe

Having seen enough of Edinburgh we then headed over the Forth Bridge into Fife.
Parking in Edinburgh £15 for 5 hours.

Driving over the Forth Road Bridge

We had found caches within a few miles of Fife last year but had failed to actually find one IN Fife -doh!
That was soon rectified.

Fife - done.


1st September - We had nothing planned cache wise for today so had a quick look to see if anything new had been published in the area and there was one published two days earlier about six miles away! Well that was September's FTF ticked off!

Spent the rest of the morning visiting Jedburgh Castle & Museum and Mary Queen of Scot's house.
Free Parking!

Jedburgh Castle

We soon decided that was enough touristy stuff for one day and headed into the Kielder Forest to do the Forest Drive cache. The Kielder Forest is the largest man-made forest in Europe and covers some 250 square miles.  The cache is set 4 miles along a rough 12 mile long track which is open to the public. A toll is payable at the West end of the track but we just returned the way we had come and then parked up for a very pleasant walk to Hindhope Linn.


First wet day of the week and time to head homeward.
We had a 'list' of 'Must Do' caches and then a list of 'Nice to do' caches.
Kielder Sky Space was on the second list as it's another 2001 cache but it's not a month that we needed.
We took a detour on the way home to the visitor centre at Kielder Castle

Kielder Skyspace

After visiting the castle and having lunch we set off to skyspace as it is  'only' 1.3 miles as the crow flies from the car park.  Another great old cache complete with original logbook!  OK, it was actually a 5½ mile round walk but a fab walk through beautiful forest.

Yellow Stag Horn
Parking £4

Now off to a Travelodge in Liverpool stopping on the way to Sankey Waters (another 2001 cache)
Merseyside done!


Another Place, Antony Gormley

Albert's Famine was on the to-do list but we also wanted to visit Crosby Beach to see the Antony Gormley statues.  A quick check of the tide times and we decided to go to Crosby beach first.  Amazing piece of art. We were really surprised that there wasn't a virtual or even any other cache there which incorporated the statues!

The Yellow Duckmarine

We managed to park right by Albert Dock.  Found the information for the virtual and did the usual touristy stuff. After a couple of hours we'd all had enough and decided it was time to go home - taking in a couple  more Virtuals on the way of course!
Parking £5 for three hours

Royal Liver Building
Stats for the week
  • Counties coloured in : 9
  • Month Set squares filled: 3
  • Miles driven: 1044
  • Miles walked: 30+
  • We have now found all the ten oldest UK mainland caches.
  • Found caches in all the UK mainland counties.
  • Filled as much as is possible of the Month Set grid in the UK.
  • Parking £31.20
UK Mainland  Counties complete
Month Set Grid filling up nicely

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