Tuesday, 23 April 2019


It’s been a very busy start to the year so far with our new pup Charlie and he’s already 5 months old!

9 weeks old
He’s taken to the camper-van really well and we’ve already enjoyed a few weekends away with him.  We’ve also planned some longer trips away in the van too….. starting with Cornwall.

It’s been 3 years since we moved to Lancashire and during that time we’ve only managed to get down to Cornwall once, it was such a long drive so we decided our next visit would have to be a longer trip.


We set off just after 14:30 and headed down the M6 the plan being to stop off in Gloucester early evening to find a couple of Wherigos.  We made good progress until we reached the roadworks on the M5 for the Oldbury Viaduct, this added on a good hour to the journey.  If you're not familiar with these roadworks, they've caused a bit of a headache for commuters for the last couple of years.  Highways England set up a Facebook page in a bid to keep road users up to date on works  but it has proved a cult hit with thousands of people flocking to the page to leave often hilarious tongue-in-cheek reviews and share their experiences of the roadworks.
Are we nearly there yet?

We eventually arrived in Gloucester about 19:00.  We were able to park right near the cathedral to do the virtual and play the wherigo.  The other caches on our list would have to wait until another trip or maybe on our way home.

Gloucester Cathedral
Some time later...

We arrived at our overnight spot in Clevedon at about 23:00.


Clevedon Lookout

Early start and a walk around the marine lake and up to the lookout to walk Charlie and find a couple of caches.

Marine Lake

We spotted a couple of swimmers in the marine lake!  Wow I bet that was invigorating.  I wonder what the temperature of the water is on a chilly April morning.  The lake opened in March 1929 with timber clubhouse, bathing huts and diving boards and remained a much-loved Victorian seaside attraction until visitor numbers declined in the 1970s.  It was left neglected for many years but more recently has been brought back to life by MARLENS which is a local voluntary organisation.

The Lookout was built circa 1835 by Ferdinand Beeston and was said to have been used by the Finzel family – sugar importers - in the mid 19th century to watch ships coming up the Bristol channel.  It was renovated in 2000… It didn’t look particularly newly renovated but then I realised that the year 2000 was 19 years ago… that’s really hard to believe.

Then it was time to move on to our next stop.....


We last visited Luxulyan in 2013 when we did the Halo series and walked about 26 miles in pouring rain.  It was nice to return again in better weather today, it looked like a different place.  There was a cache we’d DNFd back then at the end of the walk at St Cyor’s Well, so we thought it would be nice to see if we could find it when we weren’t so tired and yes we went straight to it this time.

Charlie in St Cyor's Well
There were a few new Wherigos since our last visit too so those were definitely on our to-do list.

One Wherigo in particular was in a small village called Trethurgy, we won’t give too many spoilers, but it was a bit of a funny story.  We worked our way through the Wherigo and made our way to GZ, bearing in mind that the terrain rating was 5 we just thought we’d see how far we could get.  On arrival at GZ it became very clear why it had a high terrain rating…. We tried the usual sitting on shoulders, trying to climb etc but no, we were going to have to go away and sleep on this one as we had come unprepared for high terrain caches.
Route to GZ (no spoilers)

View from campsite
Up bright and early for a walk on Par Beach to do an Earthcache.

We decided that the only way to reach the high terrain cache from yesterday was going to be via a ladder.  We have wanted a telescopic ladder for a long time now, ever since we met a cacher while attending the Mainz Giga event back in 2015, he made very light work of retrieving a cache from the top of an advertising column.  We have waited far too long to add this particular piece of equipment to our kit.  But where to purchase?  Checked Amazon, some good options there but not easy to get it delivered to us as we’re only in the St Austell area for 2 days then we checked Argos – none in stock locally, how about Screwfix? Yes!  So off we went and Mark went off to purchase the ladder.  He came back and I took one look at it and said ‘Where on earth are we going to store that for the rest of our holiday?’

Before going off to retrieve this cache we headed off to do a virtual at Gribbin Head.  It was a very windy but a lovely scenic walk up to the tower.

Retrieving the cache with the ladder was very straightforward, the difficult bit was not attracting the attention of locals as we carried it to GZ.

Then as luck would have it we happened upon another cache later in the day and the ladder came in very handy to retrieve this.


Time to move on from St Austell today.  The forecast was for high winds and rain today which was a bit disappointing as we had a few short walks planned, also up to now it’s been really windy and cold so we were hoping for better weather but everyone we’ve spoken to has reassured us that the weather is set to change tomorrow and should be good for the rest of the week – this was good news.

We spent the day playing a few wherigos and finding a few Church Micros.

By the time we reached our overnight stop at Church Cove it was raining heavily.  We parked up and walked to the Church which is rather aptly named ‘The Church of the Storms’

Charlie at Church Cove
Church Micro 6517 - Gunwalloe

After a walk on the beach we headed back to the van, soaking wet.  If we hadn’t been reassured that the weather was about to turn then, I think we’d have possibly headed home.


Up bright and early and a walk along the beach with Charlie.  Wow what a difference this morning, no wind or rain and it actually felt warmer!

Posh campervan porridge
Yay sunshine!

The sun came up as we ate our breakfast then we headed into Porthleven for a look around before continuing on to Rinsey.


The walk at Rinsey to do the Wheal Trewavas virtual  and Camel's Head Earthcache was my favourite of the trip.  It was beautiful and scenic and although a popular walk not too busy.... and we actually wore our shorts!

The first mine we came to was Wheal Prosper built from granite and slate taken from the local clifftops, it wasn’t a hugely successful mine and was working for only six years between 1860-1866 to mine tin and copper from the Porthcew Lode.

Next was Wheal Trewavas Mine with its two engine houses.  The operation here ran between 1834 and 1846.  I’m really surprised what a short time these were actually in use. It was a moderately successful mine employing around 160 men and bringing up around 17,500 tons of copper ore, in those days its value would have been around £100,000.  The mine was eventually flooded and abandoned.

Charlie’s not allowed to have really long walks yet so we were conscious of how far we’d walked and we kept stopping for regular rests.  Which wasn’t a problem as the views were absolutely stunning.
Charlie doing his impression of the camel
The site has been looked after by the National Trust since 1969.

Next stop - Marazion.

We’ve visited Marazion a few times over the years, I visited as a child with my parents on a camping holiday and it was one of mine and Mark’s first holidays as a couple when we visited Cornwall on our motorbikes.  Yep my biking days are long over (although never say never).

We’d planned to go over to St Michael’s Mount on the causeway but low tide wasn’t until 8pm, so we passed the time by finding a few Church Micros.  Unfortunately, the castle was closed by then but we’ve been in it before so we weren’t too bothered.

St Michael Amphibious Vehicle

Then it was off to our campsite for the night.

This great little site is in the village of Treen.  You park up and the owner comes round in the morning to collect the money, just £5 and such a friendly chap.  This is what we love about having the camper-van, we get to stay in some really peaceful locations, there was just a horse for company at this one.
Charlie has a friend

Another sunny day but very windy again, thought we’d seen the last of the high winds.

We then continued on our way to Lands End via a tricky to get to cache at Minack.

I think this is my 5th visit now to Lands End.  I holidayed in Cornwall with my parents as a youngster and we visited Lands End, there wasn’t a great deal there then, just the famous sign post and the First and Last house.  Over the years it’s been built up and has been completely spoilt with all the ‘attractions’ which just aren’t necessary, the parking is a bit on the steep side too at £6 which needless to say we didn’t pay – we parked 10 mins away and walked in.  Our main reason for visiting this time was to do the Earthcache
Sunny but very cold wind

Then on to Cape Cornwall, another place we'd visited previously on a family holiday.  Until the first Ordnance Survey, 200 years ago, Cape Cornwall was believed to be the most westerly point in Cornwall

Our campsite for the night was Sennen Cove Camping and Caravanning club site.  A fantastic little site run by Deb and Keith, a very friendly couple, they used to have a black lab so took to Charlie straight away.  The site was very dog friendly too with a great little dog walking area and a cache at the entrance.


A leisurely start to the day this morning.  Relaxing in the van, doing some caching admin while Charlie had a snooze.

Then off to St Ives.

We managed to find a free parking space to find a few caches before carrying on to Hayle to our favourite Cornish Pasty shop – Philps (other pasty shops are available).

We always make a point of popping in here when we visit Hayle, definitely the tastiest pasties in Cornwall.

After finding a few caches around Hayle we went back to the van for another Cornish favourite – Cornish clotted cream tea with strawberry jam and strawberries – yum yum yum

First of many this week

Then onto our spot for the night – fantastic view, from here, there were a few other vans parked up watching the sunset.


Going to miss waking up to these views

Another beautiful sunrise
Charlie is 21 weeks old today and we’ve survived a week away in the van with him.

21 weeks old
I went off to find a cache before breakfast which was a short walk from our overnight spot.

Then off to Camborne and Illogan to play a few wherigos.

A beautiful sunny day and the wind has dropped at last.

When I was planning the trip I noticed an Earthcache at Delabole Slate Quarry on our route between Ilogan and Tintagel so we decided to stop off there.  When it said an Earthcache at a quarry I wasn’t quite expecting this ...

As it was such a nice day we thought we’d do the multis there too and it was a lovely walk around the quarry.

Then it was onward to Tintagel to do the new virtual.

We watched the sun go down from the cliff before setting off for our overnight spot arriving about 11pm.


Up early to watch the beautiful sunrise with Charlie, fantastic views.
Looks like a few others had the same idea

On the agenda today.... a visit to Bude, we came here years ago pre-caching and pre-children on our motorbikes.
Bude beach
We did a couple of Earthcaches there and a virtual.

On the whale's back

After this we checked in our campsite which was just over the border into Devon.


Happy Easter!  Another beautiful sunny day, after the wet and cold start to the week we've been so lucky with the weather the rest of the time.

First stop today - Hartland village.
Beautiful bluebell wood, photo doesn't do it justice

Then onto Tarr Steps where there was a Little Bridges wherigo and an earthcache to find.

Not sure how busy it normally gets here but the car park was almost full and it was far too peopley so we didn't hang around too long.

Fun Fact:  Tarr Steps is the longest of the 40 or so clapper bridges left in Britain.

Looks like there are a few nice walks to be done in the area though so we'll be back on quieter day and when Charlie can walk further.

Once the heat of the day had gone we enjoyed a walk up Dunkery Beacon. More fun facts: Dunkery Beacon is the highest point on Exmoor and in Somerset. It is also the highest point in southern England outside of Dartmoor.

Then onto our last overnight stop of the holiday.
yep another sunset shot

Wow! Beautiful sunrise
The last day today before we head home, we're going to make the most of it and leave heading home until as late as possible.

Exmoor Ponies
First stop was the starting point of the South West Coast Path where there is a new virtual.  The South West Coast Path is 630 miles in total and starts in Minehead and finishes in Poole.  We would love to walk the whole path one day, we met a few people this week who were walking short sections of it.

Starting point of South West Coast Path

Next stop - Dunster, a revisit for us and such a beautiful place to revisit.  This time to do the Hanging Maze virtual.

We weren't sure what to expect with this, it was more like playing a Wherigo and was brilliant fun, such a lovely walk too.  Would highly recommend it if you're in the area and it was nice to come across something a little bit different.

We'd timed it just right to get to Berrow Beach for low tide at 3.20pm to find the virtual reward at Berrow Beach, the shipwreck SS Nornen.

We then decided we couldn't put it off any longer, it was time to start the long journey home.   The motorway was very busy, as was expected, so we made the decision to stop off at Gordano Services and cook up our tea and walk to the nearby village to find a Church Micro.

By this time the traffic had eased a little but not a great deal so we decided to stop off near Gloucester to find a wherigo we'd run out of time to find on the way down.
Just one more

Definitely time to head home now.  All in all we drove 995 miles, a brilliant trip that we thoroughly enjoyed.