London Geocaching Hat-Trick


For the third and final time this year we popped to London to do some caching. We decided that this would be the last trip for the year as there are some major underground works for rest of the weekends in November, and December will mean London is quite busy. We ended up picking up 29 on a trip just as enjoyable as all of our previous visits. This time however, we concentrated less on virtuals and more on clusters of caches that looked in close proximity. I think we still managed to walk just as far as on the previous trips though (It felt like that anyway)

We started off at Aldgate tube station (As we mis-read the signs when meaning to get off at Aldgate East) and grabbed a quick find with ‘Tardis – It’s (Bigger) On The Outside!‘ and then headed to the Gherkin for a nearby cache, ‘Gherkin‘. It was here that we realised the GPSr wasn’t going to be our friend today when it went absolutely crazy. We therefore had to ignore it as it wouldn’t zoom in to more than 120ft. We had to use our cacher senses and very soon it was in our hands. I couldn’t believe it! The Gherkin seemed to stalk us all around London. It is so big that we couldn’t miss it anywhere we went.

The Gherkin!

We then headed off to ‘Seething Lane Garden‘ which we had to post a ‘DNA’ (Did not attempt) log for as we had some very suspicious eyes looking at us from across the road. I eyed a spot I was sure the cache would be, but we had to walk away as a chef was blatently staring at us from across the road. I kicked myself when home as I saw the spoiler photo and it was that exact spot. Nevermind, maybe next time! The were some awesome skull carvings in the wall of the church opposite though.

At the church entrance

Next it was on to a multi-cache near Tower Hill tube station, ‘Liberty‘. We were really glad we did this one and would recommend it. It took us to a huge sundial. Around it was a circular timeline with very interesting London historic events on. I was quite surprised to hear that the Thames once froze over!

The sundial. Wowza!

A bit of information for you

We were glad that we went to find this one on this trip, rather than on our first trip as it was hidden at the place that they were filming Johnny English last time. The final was in a cigar container with a very interesting extraction mechanism. It was in the comb from a comb binder.

A different kind of log extraction

On the way to the next cache, we bumped into something we thought was a benchmark, however on second look now we can see the photo we realise that it’s not! These are War Deptartment boundary stones used to mark the boundaries of military sites and act as survey marks for construction work. How interesting! There are many more all around London as well.

War Dept. marker number 12

We eventually made it to the caches that were the main focus of our trip, the “Jack The Ripper” and ‘Sherlock Holmes‘ series. We hadn’t paid any attention to these on our previous trips, but before this one I’d looked at them and realised they were quite special caches. The 7 mystery “Jack the Ripper” caches and 7 multi “Sherlock Holmes” caches actually consisted of 6 virtual caches and 1 physical cache per set. If these caches were laid today I’m sure they would have got rejected, however as they’re pretty old I think they managed to slip through the net and stay there. For “Jack the Ripper” we didn’t need to find anything, or prove that we’d been anywhere (Although I suppose the fact that we found the final physical container does prove that). Each cache was set at a location where Jack murdered one of his victims. At the locations we had to find some numbers which would eventually give us the final coords. Most were really simple, however the hardest one took us to one of the best places in London, “Brick Lane”. Unfortunately we didn’t sample any of the curry today, however I’ve had it before when I was down that way for a work conference and it was amazing 🙂 It wasn’t so bad wandering around there in circles trying to find the clues as it was nice absorbing the lovely curry smells.

Mmmm... Curry!

We managed to get all of the clues for Jack the Ripper and with the help of my trusty gardening glove we grabbed the final physical container from it’s muddy hiding place. We’d definitely recommend this series, however, class it more as 6 virtuals with a final physical bonus.

After we grabbed the final we bumped into a very interesting sculpture, “Scaffolding” by Julian Wild (2006).

Scaffolding sculpture

We had to DNF one today unfortunately. It was ‘Face Railings‘. The face railings are 72 portraits of local people by the artist ‘Hillary Cartmel’ along black metal railings. There was apparently a micro on one of them, but I’m afraid we will have to try again another day for it!

Didn't know Alfred Hitchcock lived here!

You’ll be pleased to know that during our wanders around London I still managed to photograph a mushroom. I don’t think I’ve been on a caching trip recently where I haven’t found some mushrooms to snap!

You can take the girl away from the mushrooms, but you cant take the mushrooms away from the girl!

We then went onto the Sherlock Holmes Series. The first one took us to a massive market area with lots of restaurants and what looked like would be a lot of stalls on a busy market day. It was ‘SpitalFields Market’.

In the market

The second Sherlock Holmes took us to a point that we had already visited before for another virtual. Infact it was the *exact* plaque!!! If only we had paid more attention and looked into the Sherlock Holmes caches on previous visits.

Peek-a-boo

A couple of caches took us to two interesting locations near Liverpool Street station. One was just around the back, ‘Broadgate Nano #1 (Venus’ Right Nipple)‘ We had to giggle at the name of this cache. The cache page showed a photo of the big statue of Venus nearby and said “WANTED One nipple stolen from a very angry “big boned” woman” haha! We found her, but her nipple took a bit more searching. The GPSr was 190ft off by the time we discovered it. Well worth the D4/T1 rating.

It would take a very brave man to steal that beast's nipple!

A stunning waterfall just up from GZ

There was also a multi at the forecourt of the station, Kindertransport. The clues for the final took us to an amazing statue of children. It was a memorial to the Kindertransport which saw nearly 10,000 Jewish children arrive in Britain between December 1938 and August 1939. It’s always lovely to see people respecting memorials by leaving their *$%#ing rubbing all over it!!!

Lovely memorial, shame about the litter

We did manage one virtual on the trip and that was ‘Paddington Dare‘ at Paddington station. He took a bit of searching but eventually we found him. He was so cute, I just had to sit with him for a bit. He reminded me of Teddy!

Can we keep him? Can we keep him?

After we had dusted off some of the caches in the centre we headed to Hampstead Heath on the Northern line. We jumped off at Hampstead station and walked up to the park. It was about 5:15pm by the time we got there and I think we bit off a bit more that we could chew as it was a bit of a rush trying to grab the caches before it got dark. We failed at that and ended up heading out of the dark in the pitch black. Luckily we had our torches!

The caches in the park took us to some great views of London

A micro outside one of the many ponds in the park

Inside Hampstead Heath: Ponds View I found a very interesting ‘artifact’ that we’ve never come across before. It was a ‘digital fish’. According to the little slip of paper these are trackable at http://geofish.net. It had a little number stuck to it so I headed over to the website to find out more. These are someone’s signature items. They have little trackable numbers on them and you can either leave them in another cache, or keep them. I think we will be moving the little fella on.

A digital fish

The Ponds View cache. It was a bit dark by this time!

We soldiered on through the park despite the dark. We couldn’t see a thing as we headed for the last cache, ‘Stinky Hollow‘. This cache was in a very dark woodland. We couldn’t see any paths until we were standing right next to them. Somehow we managed to navigate to the fallen tree and pull out the big cache to end our trip. It was however slightly harder to find our way back to the main path and actually get out, but eventually we made it!

The big boy!

And then it was back onto the tube to get home. Conveniently we were on the Northern Line, so it would have been rude not to stop off at Camden to sample some of the nice Chinese from the market again. 😀

Happy Caching! 🙂

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3 Responses to “London Geocaching Hat-Trick”

  1. Sarah Says:

    LOVE that sundial

    I have barely done any caching at all in the big city, I really must fix that one day

    • geocass Says:

      It certainly was an experience! The GPSr is so untrustworthy in some points, but I’d like to think we’ve developed a bit of a nose for caches now. We don’t seem to do too bad there. With all the virtuals, earths, web cams, and fake virtuals (Sherlock and Jack) you can go there quite a few times and not even find a container!

  2. Sarah Says:

    Trouble is, for a day really tearing around London to do loads (which is what I’d want to do, as we don’t get there very often, and I’d want to make the most of the visit), we’d need a child-free day. I don’t think the kids would enjoy that as much as we would.

    And child-free days are rare than rocking horse poop 🙂

    (well, they usually are, in October we have TWO child-free weekends!!!! Unheard of! One’s already gone though – we went to Belfast at the start of the month – and the other is fully booked up and in the wrong direction to London, so still the big city will have to wait)


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