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Posts Tagged ‘Parkhall’

Caching around Leek

Looking down on Tittesworth Reservoir and the area we'd been caching in earlier in the day from the top of the Roaches.

Looking down on Tittesworth Reservoir and the area we'd been caching in earlier in the day from the top of the Roaches.

We could not decide where to go caching this weekend, so after a good look at our unfound caches on Memory Map, we settled on a trip to Leek as there seemed to be tons of caches there to find. There has been a circular walk just north of the town along the Staffordshire Moorlands Walk (SMW) for quite a while now and we’ve been meaning to do it for ages, but wanted some other caches to fill the rest of the day with. Now was our chance…

Love the reflections in the pond in the park at the start of the SMW walk

Love the reflections in the pond in the park at the start of the SMW walk

We parked up as suggested at the Leisure Centre at the start of the SMW series and headed off on foot. Along the way we picked up two other caches in the park before heading out to a lane and then onwards up a hill over farmland. At the top we were treated to some great 360 degree views with the Roaches, Shutlingsloe and the town of Leek being the main things of interest.

Simply stunning countryside. What a great place for caches and a really nice walk!

Simply stunning countryside. What a great place for caches and a really nice walk!

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The trail then lead us down towards Tittesworth Rerservoir (isn’t this where the Top Gear crew filmed that daft challenge where they had to convert cars into boats and sail them?). There is another series of 5 caches round the reservoir, so we picked up 3 of them at this stage and opted to do the remaining 2 later in the day.

Lone tree at the high point in the SMW walk

Lone tree at the high point in the SMW walk

Once back at the Jeep, we decided to head off for some urban caches around Leek. We opted for an anti-clockwise circular route around the suburbs and don’t really have a lot to add about the caches ;-).

Shutlingsloe in the distance

Shutlingsloe in the distance

Once we’d had enough of the urban caches (and had almost run out of ones to do anyway), we headed off to the top end of Tittesworth Rerservoir for the remaining two caches in that series, plus another stand-alone cache which we were passing on the way.

It's a Long Walk ;-)

It's a Long Walk ;-)

To finish the day on a proper note, we decided to head up into the Peak District (we were on the border of it anyway by now) and have a walk along the Roaches, taking in the caches along there including Staffordshire’s Highest Cache. After the urban caching, this proved to be just what we needed and we had a really fun couple of hours enjoying the amazing views, watching the (many) rock climbers and finding the caches.

Isaac at the Rockall Cottage cache, with Hen Cloud in the background

Isaac at the Rockall Cottage cache, with Hen Cloud in the background

After we’d got back to the Jeep we decided to stop for 3 quick caches to the west of Stoke on Trent before picking off a cache near home that was published last night.

Views over Tittesworth Reservoir from the dam

Views over Tittesworth Reservoir from the dam

42 finds for the day and a lovely varied days’ caching with great weather all day. Great stuff :-).

Panoramic views from the trigpoint on the Roaches

Panoramic views from the trigpoint on the Roaches

Here is a link to the Everytrail plot of our route.

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Hulme Quarry Earthcache

Saturday was the first day of the school holidays so Isaac was free to come caching :-).

We’d planned a trip to clear up the new caches in Parkhall Country Park to the SE of Stoke, just on the edge of the Staffordshire Moorlands. After we’d done there, we planned a circular walk near Weston Coyney, followed by the new caches near Endon, to the NE of Stoke. Finally, if we had any time left, we planned to clear up the newer caches in the south of Stoke on Trent.

The first caches of the day were 4 Mawgan’s Trail caches near to Parkhall. We’d had DNF’s on 4 out of the 6 caches in this series a while ago as they were nowhere to be seen. I’d noted lots of recent finds on the 4 caches so we stopped off and found 4 easy caches in the first place we looked on each of them. The caches were almost certainly not there last time I looked as I had checked the hiding places then. All very strange!

Frozen fisherman's pond near one of the caches

Next, we headed over to the car park at Parkhall Country Park for our walk around all the new caches in the area. As we set off Isaac mentioned the area looked very like parts of the L E G E N D letterbox trails in Lancashire. The likeness was uncanny – part moorland, part pine woods, some streams and a bit of terrain thrown in for good measure.

The caches around the park were all nice quick finds with some really good co-ords. We only messed up once where we had finished an Earthcache at the bottom of an old quarry and scrambled up to the top of the quarry for the next cache, only to discover that the cache was back down near the bottom of the quarry – doh! We did not think it was safe to scramble back down and could not be bothered to walk all the way back round so opted to leave the cache for next time.

Viewpoint looking down over Stoke on Trent

After we’d done at the main park, we drove round to the side of a housing estate to access to last two Parkhall caches. Both were quick and easy finds with the main thing of note of seeing a stretched limo decked out as a LAPD car, along with an ex-fire engine that is obviously used as a limo too. I can’t begin to imagine all the shenanigans that must have gone on in them!

We then headed up for a circular walk starting off at the excellently named Sheepwash. The OS maps showed a Byway leading up to the start of the walk and we were looking forward to driving the Jeep along it. Unfortunately someone has blocked the end off so you cannot drive down it – hmmm!

Lovely brook next to one of the Sheepwash caches

The walk was our favourite of the day (although the Parkhall caches were excellent too) with a lovely mix of open spaces, small streams and lovely woodland. This is definitely our kind of caching and a real treat to do :-).

After we’d finished our walk, we got back into the Jeep while Isaac directed me to the next caches near Endon, NE of Stoke. The first three were quick and easy cache and dashes. We then parked up for a circular walk around the rest of the caches. Another fab walk followed, with the highlights including walking alongside the massive Stanley Pool, getting back up to the higher ground for fab views accross the area and finally seeing the lovely church in Bagnall.

Bagnall Church

Once we’d finished here, we decided to head off to south Stoke to clear up the newer caches there, as they were starting to show on page 1 of our closest to home not founds. The first was one I’d DNF’d last summer due to nettles over head height around GZ meaning I could not spot the small stump the cache was hidden in. No problems this time of year though as we could clearly see the hint item as we walked up.

Some more quick caches folllowed, including one where you have to scramble up the very steep side of what looks to be an old slag heap. I sent Isaac up to do the biz with the cache while I stood ready to stop him if he slipped and started to slide back down.

Really strange looking black rocks near one of the south Stoke caches

The last caches of the day were three new ones around the beautiful Trentham Gardens, near J15 of the M6. It was just starting to go dark by now and we failed to spot the first one, which was a nano with no hint on the back of a horrible metal fence with 1001 places it could be. Not our favourite type of cache at all (I’m being very generous here!).

We gave up in disgust and walked off up the hill for the other two caches, which were both easy finds. On the way back to the nano, we called up some caching friends who’d found it for a hint. Armed with a good idea where it was we then had an easy find in the dark (the sun had totally gone down now).

Isaac signing out some of the answers for the Earthcache so we don't have to write them down

36 finds for the day and a lovely day out with my boy in some glorious countryside. The weather even behaved itself and was perfect all day long :-). Caching at it’s very best :-).

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