Posts Tagged ‘stockport’

Cockshutt hill in the snow

The weather has been looking dire all week with snow covering all the areas we usually cache in and it being too cold to want to venture out for long. We thus ended up calling off our usual day out caching this weekend and settled for a few caches each day to keep the caching itch from needing to be scratched too much.

Friday 8th January

I had to pop out to Stoke for something else but had not really planned to do any caching. One thing lead to another and I ended up also having to visit Stockport. TomTom wanted to take me up the M6 but I had other plans as the scenic route up over the Staffordshire Moorlands before dropping down into Macclesfield and through Hazel Grove sounded much more interesting!

On the way I was looking out for caches that I might pass on TomTom and sure enough, I spotted one in Endon, just as I was coming out of Stoke. A quick check of my iPhone (I did not have a GPSr with me) gave me all I needed to know and it was a really easy find without even needing a GPSr.

The Rudyard Lake nano

A bit further on I spotted another cache near the southern end of Rudyard Lake so stopped for another quick find. This one was a nano and I had no pen with me so had to make do with a picture of the cache container to prove my find.

On the way from Stockport onto the M60 a bit later on I stopped for another drive-by right under Stockport Viaduct. This one was not to be though as the snow was really deep and I was looking for a micro at ground level. Ah well, two out of three ain’t bad :-).

Saturday 9th January

I had to drop Isaac off at school this morning so could not resist going to look for a few caches nearby which had been sat at the top of our closest to home not founds for way too long.

Snowy views over Telford

The first four caches were on the Cockshutt hill near Oakengates and looked like a nice linear walk from where I had planned to park.

The first cache was right by the parking spot and a nice easy find. I then carried on up the steps to the top of the hill but failed to spot the next cache. I thought I’d leave it for the way back and carried on for nice quick finds at the next two caches. The second of these had a HUGE hole in the corner of the box where a rat had chewed through but was thankfully dry inside as the weather is too cold for it to get damp. On the way back to the Jeep I managed to spot the cache I could not find earlier :-).

The chewed cache box

Just time for one more quick cache so off I set for the next nearest which was in Shifnal (to the east of Telford). I was soon at GZ but my heart sank when I was the amount of ivy :-(. I had a good look but after spooking two lone female dog walkers (I was on my own and must have looked a bit suspect!) I resorted to a PAF. The cache was then a really quick find 2 inches from where I’d already looked.

Now for the drive home for a nice drink to warm me up.

Sunday 10th January

We had to drop the children off at their Grandparents but could not resist a quick look for the two new snerdbe caches near White Ladies Priory. We walked up past their existing cache which we’d found ages ago and soon found the first of the new ones. A quick walk out of the woods and up the next field had us with the second of the caches in hand.

White Ladies Priory

On the way back to the Jeep we took the chance to have a look round the old Priory ruins again.

Monday 11th January

Mrs Bolas Heathens had an appointment in Gobowen (just north of Oswestry) this morning so I came along to do some caches afterwards before a nice dinner out in the area.

After we’d done with the appointment, we set off to find the nearby multi cache. We’d had a DNF on this last time we were here as it was dark and we were short on time for a good search. This time I put my hands on the cache in the first place I looked – result :-).

Urban caching in Oswestry

We then headed off into Oswestry for some urban caching, all of which were easy enough apart from one DNF where the owner had taken the cache home for maintenance but not temp’d the cache. I’ve added some notes to my DNF log to advisewhat they need to do to temp the cache as I think they are quite new cachers.

We were getting hungry by now so stopped for dinner at the lovely looking pub the last two Border Meet’s have been held at. After we’d finished dinner we went outside to find the cache at the other side of the car park. The hide was clear but no cache was there. After checking we were looking in the right place with a previous finder we left a slip of paper to prove we were there. I suspect the cache has slipped into the wall further and is now in-accessible. We’ve posted a Needs Maintenance log to alert the cache owner to this.

Whittington Castle remains

The next cache was a Christmas themed cache and GZ was obvious, but behind a fence. Hmmm – we’ve not done any caches by this hider before so could not be sure they did not want you to climb over the fence. The coast was clear so I went in for a quick look but the cache was nowhere to be seen. I checked with a previous finder who told me the cache had been moved yesterday as the fence had been put up a few weeks after the cache was hidden! Armed with the new co-ords, we drove to a closer spot and went in for a really easy find.

Just time for a couple more caches before we really must be getting home. The next cache mentioned you might get your feet wet as the cache was on an island. Sure enough it was, but the island was jumpable from the bank and I soon had the cache in hand.

The frozen pond where I had to jump over to an island

Last one for the day was a short walk down an ex-road that is now closed off, not too far from the A5.

10 finds for the day, which is not up to our usual tally but not bad for a couple of spare hours each day.

We’re hoping to return to a proper caching day out next weekend as we really missed it this weekend, despite the fun we’ve had on the few caches we’ve found.

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We decided to try the Alkington Nature Reserve caches near Middleton and then move on down the M60 towards the Romiley and Poynton areas today. Lots of potential caches to hit and areas we’d been to before so no problems finding our way around.

We parked up in the road opposite the Nature Reserve and set off on our bikes. We’d checked with the cache owner during the week just in case bikes were not allowed in the reserve – they were :-).

There were something like 20 caches hidden in the reserve, on a (sort of) circular route. Most were micros but some were smalls. All were very easy finds with absolutely no problems at all. The hardest part of the series was finding our way round the caches using the many paths and tracks within the reserve.

After we’d finished, we did a quick and easy drive-by on the way into Middleton. Next was the St Leonards cache not far from the center of town. We drove up the very old (and very rickety – is that a word?) road to the top of the hill where the church was. The cache was a quick find, right in the middle of the graveyard.

Isaac was joking that the church could easily be part of a Greater Manchester Church Gems series (a play on the Shropshire Church Gems series) as it was a really beautiful building. The views from GZ were fab too and pretty much panoramic. The light today was really good and we could literally see for miles.

Next, we re-positioned down the M60 to Romiley to tackle the Romiley Stroll series. We always like coming back to this area as it’s so close to Stockport but yet a total world apart. Great scenery and tons of history – that’s apart from the fact that there is the River Goyt nearby so there is wild garlic around everywhere this time of year!

A nice walk round the caches and no trouble with the finds. We also did the Grandma’s House cache that was nearby and was one we’d been meaning to find for ages.

After we got back to the Jeep, we had our soup and sandwiches before heading off to Poynton to tackle some of the newer caches there. On the way we stopped at Pete Numbers’ Scotland or England? caches, which was an easy one.

Poynton caused us quite a bit of trouble as the caches were all set by new(ish) cachers and the placement of some of them was not great:

  • One was a micro in an ivy covered post right by the roadside. To make matters worse, the traffic waiting for the traffic lights to change was sat night by GZ. Searching was near on impossible as we started to get some very funny looks.
  • One was in an ivy covered tree at the fenceline behind what looked like some elderly people’s bungalows. Our searching could so easily have been interpreted as snooping on the old people so we knocked it on the head and moved on.

We’ve logged DNF’s on the suspect ones with a few well meant comments about them. The cache owners have thankfully taken this as it was intended and the first one has been moved to a more suitable area and the second one now has a *much* better hint. Result!

We then re-positioned again to Hale Barns to do a new set of caches that had come out in areas I used to play as a child and later, go listening to loud rock music with my mates. Lots of nostalgia on these ones – I was keeping Isaac entertained with running tales of my exploits at each location.

Just time now to nip into the centre of Altrincham and clear up a DNF on what should be a very easy find outside a pub I used to drink in as a (late-ish) teenager.

39 finds so far so to make it up to 40, we drove out to Dunham to do a quick Sparrow Boys cache. Usually their caches are anything but quick as they have the sneakiest and best-crafted caches of any hider we know.

The first one was a small so we were confident in an easy find and sure enough Isaac spotted it immediately. What a fabulous hide too – I can’t say any more here as I’d spoil it, but if you are in the area, make sure you try it – it’s well worth it.

There was another one 0.35 along the old railway line, so we could not resist. A short walk later and we were struggling to find this one (a sneaky nano). We eventually got it though and what a great hide again.

Now, we really must get going home as we’re both getting hungry. 41 finds for the day and a very satisfying day out once again.

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This week we fancied some urban caching for a change.

Our idea was to clear up some DNF’s in Bruntwood Park and nearby, then move over to Stockport and try the new Heritage Trail there, before finishing off the new Sound series caches and, if time permitted, carrying on up the M60 to do more caches.

All started well with the DNF’s although we had to use two PAF’s for the Sticks And Stones one as it’s virtually impossible to find and the co-ords are miles out. The second PAF (the cache owner himself) was able to guide us to somewhere we’d not thought to look and we spotted the cache easily then.

In Stockport, we parked by Lambourghini Manchester and went over to admire the lovely cars through the showroom window. Isaac really enjoyed this part as he’s mad on cars. We then had a lovely walk round the town picking up the new Heritage Trail caches. All were easy finds, but with this kind of cache, it’s more about the location than the hide.

A short drive later and we were at the Visitors Centre in the country park where the Sound series are. We had some soup and sandwiches before setting off on our bikes to bag the new caches that had been placed since we were last here. All nice and easy and a great ride, despite the rain that had just started.

Time was on our side so we set off up the M60 to Failsworth as there is a group of new(ish) caches there that we’ve been meaning to do for ages. More easy find were the order of the day. The one at Hollingsworth station was a nice hide. One of the other caches was in someone’s front garden, which we always struggle with as you never know if you are looking in the right garden or annoying a cacher’s neighbour, rooting around in the wrong garden!

After we’d done these, we still had an hour spare before we needed to set off home so checked Memory Map to see what else was nearby. The new Philips Park ones were not a million miles away and we could do these and then head down Princess Parkway to the M56 and home.

We parked by the (ex?) abattoir on Riverpark Road to do the first one. The building still gives me the creeps as we’re all veggies and the thought of what goes on inside makes me feel ill. Thankfully the cache was a quick find. We then drove round to the other side of the park for the other cache, passing the City Of Manchester stadium, Bang!!!! and the National Velodrome. Isaac absolutely loved the Bang!!!! statue.

We then headed off home, but could not resist a small detour into the sidestreets of Moss Side to do a reccie on the new Manchester’s Most Dangerous caches. The first one was right outside a row of terraced houses! All was quiet as I would imagine everyone was inside having their tea, so we popped out and had a quick find of the sneaky hide. Did not like the second one in the series as much as more people were around (including a few dodgy looking hoodies) so were very thankful for a quick find.

It was then getting very dark so we settled back into the Jeep, put some music on, turned the heating up and headed off home, happy with a great day’s caching.

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