Geocaching in London with the children

Geocaching is a real life outdoor treasure hunt. A hunt that you need to use GPS to track down a geocache (container), following specific coordinates to find the cache hidden in a location. A geocache is a container that will contain a log book and sometimes little trinkets for you to swap with, if you take one you must replace it with something else. Geocaches are located all over the world, hidden in locations that are of interest or beauty. Locations are quite diverse, they could be under water, in a city centre or in the middle of a field.

We have found caches on street signs, in church grounds, under park benches and even abroad whilst we was in holiday to Malta.

Using an app that I have downloaded to my phone, we search for caches that are local to where we are. The only rules are to replace the cache back to where you found it and to have enjoy and have fun.

Living so close to London, made me think of having an adventure with the children. Searching for geocaches and looking at the sights that the Big City has to offer. I did a little research the night before, looking for an area that contains a few caches to find. Along the Thames looked like a good spot. I didn’t want to walk too far between caches as I didn’t want the children to tire too quickly and I wanted to keep them entertained as much as possible.

We made our way to Embankment station, which only took us 40 minutes by tube. We had packed some food and drink in a bag, made sure that my phone had a full battery and we was ready for our little London treasure hunt.

The children were excited and couldn’t wait to find the first cache. It was located very close to the station but as we neared the spot we noticed a homeless person sleeping, We decided to halt our search and waked away, we didn’t want to disturb them in any way.

Victoria gardens runs along side the Thames in between Embankment and Temple station. It’s a lovely place to escape the hustle and bustle, beautiful flower beds and statues to look at. The eldest boys brought along their scooters, so the children enjoyed scooting around whilst us adults topped up on some caffeine intake from the nearest coffee shop. We knew that there were a couple of table tennis tables spotted in the gardens so we had gone prepared and had packed our paddles for a game.

Scooting around
Scooting around

victoria geo

After a short break we made our way to the second Geocache which was located near Temple station, just a short walk away. We walked through the gardens and along the Thames and was soon with GPS mobile device in hand searching for our find. Lots of people were around looking at us but we didn’t care. Along with the details to follow, there was also a hint which was to un-scramble some letters to form a word. It wasn’t long before we had found what we was looking for, all we had to do was hunt down the cache. The children had a feel around and soon found it inside the sand bin.

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With one geocache logged the children couldn’t wait to find the next one. We headed on over Waterloo Bridge towards the Southbank.

Here we found the next one. We had to climb a few steps to get to this one.

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The children were excited now and couldn’t wait to find more. The eldest boys wanted to visit the Southbank Skatepark, so we made our way to it to have a look about and watch some other skaters do some jumps. It was a pretty cool place with lots of street art to look at and it was under cover, which was ideal as the weather had taken a turn and the hail stones began to come down. _20160330_141350

As the sun was beginning to fight through the fast-moving clouds we headed on down the Southbank towards the London Eye. This was where we found our next find

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Knowing that the cache is magnetic helps you know where to look.

The hidden cache
The hidden cache

It was time for a quick spot of lunch. The children enjoyed a play in the park and the eldest watched a magic show that a street performer was doing along the Southbank.

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We had heard about a street that was near by to Jubilee Gardens where there was lots of street art and wall graffiti. After we had refueled with food and drink we headed on over. It wasn’t far. We knew we was in the right spot as we could smell the fumes from the spray cans before we could see the graffiti. There were a few artists in there, adding their tags and art to the walls. It wasn’t quite a street as such, but a tunnel that went beneath the tracks of Waterloo station.

I'm so cool
I’m so cool
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On the ceiling of the tunnel

We had one more cache to find before it was time to head on home.

Passing over the GPS device to the children, they navigated us to the last one. We was all looking up and down the street, but knowing that it was a magnetic cache meant that we had to look for something that was metal.

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Looking behind the street sign, we soon had found our fourth find of the day.

We had a wonderful time in London and found four caches located along the southbank and embankment area. The children felt like real life explorers. But after being on our feet for 5 hours we was all ready to head on home. It was an eventful day and we can not wait to add some more logs to our Geocache account

Do you enjoy geocaching? Where have you found your treasures?

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Urban Geocaching..Our first hunt

What is Geocaching I hear you ask?

Well it’s a bit like a treasure hunt using GPS co-ordinates to find the location of the cache (container). Only there is no real treasure at the end to find, but instead a container and inside you will find a log which you place your name and date you found it on and place it back in exactly the same place that you found it.

I had seen plenty of pictures on instagram and twitter of other people on their geocaching outings to the middle of nowhere, stunning locations or pretty little picnics areas but as we live on the outskirts of London, I thought I would have a look online and see if there was any little hides near where we live. I was expecting to travel a few miles out, further into Essex but was shocked to find that there are hundreds of geocaches hidden in and around London.

I signed up with Geocaching online and put in my postcode, up popped a few pages of cache locations, with one particularly on out doorstep!

I asked the boys if they wanted to go out on a treasure hunt, they were quickly running to the front door with shoes in hand. We got our bikes and with phone in hand, a pen and a few little snacks off we went on our first Geocache hunt.

The first one that was just a few hundred metres away from us, we couldn’t find! We searched and searched, we decoded the special hint that was given and even cheated by looking at some of the pictures that others had uploaded but still no luck. It was hidden on some green in the middle of a road, so it wasn’t very safe. I didn’t want the boys to run off and search as I was a bit worried that the youngest one would wonder into the road, so we gave up.

We went on to the next one on our list. I was using the Geocaching app on my phone and it shows all the local caches on a map, so easy to follow.

The next one was a disappointment too! Sadly after searching on quiet green area for 20 minutes we couldn’t find the homemade cache that was hidden there. The only thing we came away with was wet feet! The grass was over grown and it was obviously a local dog walkers paradise as it was full of mess. The children were having fun running around and searching for it, I sat down on the bench for a short while whilst the boys ran around on the pavement. I got out my phone and searched for the next cache.

Searching around
Searching around

The next one was in a park, so off we went….would this one be a disappointment too?

The park was quite big and from the clue that was given it said it was on a bench, as we entered the park and looked around we saw lots of benches…eeek! We followed the GPS to the coordinates given and was soon ontop of a metal bench, lucky for us no one was having a rest on it 🙂 We knew that it was a metallic micro containing only a logsheet so we got searching. It wasn’t long before Joseph was shouting out that he had found something that was stuck underneath the bench, he pulled it off and we all sat down to open it.

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The Cahche
The Cahche

The boys were so excited as wrote our name on the log sheet

“Is that all!???” Joseph said

“Yes! That’s what we have been searching for”

“Great! Can we look for more please?”

I was so glad that the disappointment of not finding the first two hadn’t put them off.

It was getting late and we had to get home for tea so I said that there was one more that we could search for on the way home, but not before having a little play first

The last cache was hidden by our local church, as soon as we arrived the boys beagan searching the church grounds. The clue was ‘It must be a sign’ so they looked around all the signs but didn’t find anything.

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The grounds had just been cut down and the hedges trimmed so it was easy to look around but it was looking like it may well be disappointment again, but as we was closing the gate to leave we noticed one more sign to look on. The road sign. Sure enough there it was hidden, crammed behind the sign up against the railing. This was bigger box than the last one so we left a little gift inside it.

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I think we had rather a successful day of geocaching and we are looking forward to finding more caches, maybe the next time we get the map out and look for some further out in the countryside.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
 

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The boys Treasure Hunt

I am always trying to keep my boys occupied with things to do and all week I had abandoned them with writing this blog, I felt really bad so I decided to do something for them.

I set about writing up clues and hiding them around the house

I picked them up from school and told them I had a surprise game for them to play when they got home

1/ you will find a noise that makes you happy and want to dance coming from these. What am I?

They run to the speakers

2/ this type of food helps us keep healthy and tastes really good. What am I?

They run to the fruit bowl

3/ the next clue you will find a place where it is dark until the door open. Hint – tins are kept in here!

After opening 2 kitchen cupboards they find the next clue
They are so excited and jumping for joy, they are loving it and I for one am loving watching their lovely little faces smile and laugh at each other.

4/ It can get a bit stinky in here! It’s where Joseph spends most of his time lol.

Joseph knows where this is straight away and off he runs to the bathroom.

5/ I am where you lay your head at night and have sweet dreams!
I know I know says Joseph running to his bed.

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6/ The last one!
This place is warm and inviting and it certainly me a very happy mummy
Clue – mummy loves them from all of her boys

They both know what this is

A CUDDLE

Fun was had by all, I got a squeeze from my boys and they got a Cadburys creme egg 

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