On Saturday myself and Isaac planned a trip to North East Manchester. We decided to start off with the cache series around Boggart Hole Clough, move on to the various stand alone caches in the area before heading off to do the Rochdale Canal series and then finally the SBT series by the last junction of the M62 before it heads over the Pennines.
On the way to Boggart Hole Clough we picked up a quick cache called Claires Brothers outside a church not far from where we’d got off the motorway. Once at Boggart Hole Clough we parked up in the main car park and got the bikes out of the Jeep for the ride around the series.
We started off along the northern edge of the park with several easy finds, before diverting off to a cache by a lovely Victorian post box that was painted green rather than the usual red. Just the kind of location that caching is made for as we’d easily have driven past here without even noticing it otherwise.
Next, it was back into Boggart Hole Clough to go round the rest of the caches in the series. All nice quick finds with some great hides and even an ammo box on one of them. It’s always good to see an ammo box used on a cache in such an urban location (although it was in a secluded part of the park that could easily be anywhere in the middle of the countryside).
After we’d finished here, we headed off southwards to pick off various stand-alone caches. The highlights for us were:
- A cache by the Hellfire Club – a huge dining and entertainment venue that had a very creepy looking hearse outside and ghoullies hanging from the walls outside the building. Another fab location for a cache.
- A cache by some very urban locks on the Rochdale locks in an area I’d never have dared go into 20 years ago. It’s been cleaned up a lot since then although I have to admit it’s not our favourite part of Manchester for caching.
- Getting lost by Isaac at this roundabout with tons of exits. We got the wrong exit twice and were very thankful we were third time lucky and were soon at the next cache after that!
After we’d finished the stand-alone caches, we picked up a couple of easy finds in Broadhurst Clough woods before arriving at a very familiar Morrisons by the M60 not far from Oldham. We’d been here to do some other caches in the past but it also served as a great place to start the 6 Rochdale Canal caches.
Out came the bikes again and headed off down the towpath. Lots more easy finds here, including a cache in a tunnel, a cache by this unusual hydraulically lifting canal bridge and a cache near to some lovely locks with a very interesting information board nearby.
After we’d finished the canal series we got back on the M60, then the M62 and were soon parking up for the SBT series near Milnrow, just off the M62 before it goes across the Pennines towards Leeds. These new caches were set around some excellent brand new cycle paths and a dream to do by bike.
All were nice easy finds apart from number 5 which we could not see anywhere. The logs implied it was a sneaky hide, but even looking in all the sneaky places we still could not spot the cache. I’d be interested to see where it is if it’s still there.
We’d pretty much done for the day but it was still very early as we’d got through the caches a lot quicker than expected. I suggested to Isaac we head home via the two Earthcaches just outside Manchester City Centre. On the way to these we picked up a quick drive-by nano just off our route by a church.
Just as we neared the city centre we remembered there was a bargee canal cache we’ve been meaning to do for ages. It used to be a not so nice area but urban regeneration has meant the area has changed beyond recognition. The historic locks are still there but are now surrounded by very swish looking high-rise apartments and tastefully restored mill buildings. The cache was an easy find.
The first Earthcache was right by the Manchester Apollo. I’ve been to tons of gigs there in my teens and twenties and so it was really nice to come back again. Isaac also enjoyed seeing the venue I saw my first gig at – Iron Maiden in about 1984.
Next, we headed for the other Earthcache by Manchester University but could not resist a few easy caches around the area as we went. All quick finds with the hardest bit being finding somewhere safe to park.
We finished the day with an impulse cache at one called ‘Most Dangerous Cache In Manchester #8’. Not the nicest of areas (that’s the whole point of the series apparently!) but a quick and easy find as the coast was clear.
42 finds for the day, glorious weather and a fun mix of urban and more rural caching. A great day out!