Yorkshire Caching Gems


Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Dales is such a beautiful area. We visited many caches at beautiful locations during our trip there, so here are a few of the most special places that we saw…

Stones and Rocks

Brimham Rocks

We headed to “Brimham Rocks” on a lovely sunny afternoon in search of the Brimham Rocks earthcache (GCZKJ9). The National Trust have also placed a few Geocaches around the area which were hidden in well marked and decent-sized containers. Brimham Rocks is covered in balancing rock formations which were created by the erosion of Millstone grit and have created some amazing shapes. I remember seeing the interesting formations on the top of Kinder Scout in the Peak District. It seemed quite unusual to see such large, interesting formations at this particular altitude though (under 900ft).

The view of Brimham rocks - You can just see the mushroom rock!

The view of Brimham rocks – You can just see the mushroom rock!

Druid's Writing Desk

Druid’s Writing Desk

Mushroom Rock

Mushroom Rock

The Idol

The Idol

Views from the visitor centre

Views from the visitor centre

Me with Dancing Bear

Me with Dancing Bear

Stainforth Stepping Stones

Stainforth is a very pretty little village in the Dales with a nice bridge, foss, and stepping stones across the Stainforth Beck where a cache is located (GC1TBGY). I’ve visited the stones before and didn’t like crossing them as there was one missing and it was a bit of a jump! A new stone looks like it has been replaced there though so it was much safer for me to hop across. It’s a very pretty little place to visit.

Stainforth Stepping Stones

Stainforth Stepping Stones

Yordas Cave (Victorian Show Cave)

Yordas Cave is an old Victoria Show Cave with a cache outside the entrance which has been there since 2002 (GC7F56). I’d been to the cave before, however hadn’t traveled past the mouth as there was a lot of flooding at the time. This time however, I was a bit ruthless and wanted to grab a look at what the heck was causing the loud noise of rushing water.

Yordas Cave entrance

Yordas Cave entrance

Looking out of Yordas Cave

Looking out of Yordas Cave

We passed through the entrance and hopped over the little stream that ran through which was only a few inches deep at the deepest point. The cave was absolutely massive. No crawling was required and the chamber above our heads must have been about 25ft tall.

Walking through Yordas Cave

Walking through Yordas Cave

A slightly narrow bit

A slightly narrow bit

Soon we got to the point where the sound was very loud, we could bearly hear each other speak. We popped our head around the corner and were greeted by the most magnificent gushing waterfall.

Looking into Waterfall Cavern

Looking into Waterfall Cavern

The gushing fall inside!

The gushing fall inside!

It was utterly amazing, but so hard to get a photo of! The water was very deep at this point and we could have done with more light to capture it better. There was a lot of water dripping from the ceiling all over us as well. I’m adding it to my unfinished business list. I need to return with a spot light and waders!!!

Peering out of Yordas Cave

Peering out of Yordas Cave

Great Almscliffe Crag

Almscliffe Crag is a huge Millstone Grit outcrop on the outskirts of Harrogate. We paid a visit for the earthcache (GC3XAEE).

Great Almscliffe Crag

Great Almscliffe Crag

Standing on the top stones

Standing on the top stones

Names carved in the stones from years ago

Names carved in the stones from years ago

It was good fun climbing up and over the crag and we weren’t the only ones doing it either, although these guys were going a lot higher. πŸ˜‰

Climbers ascending the crag

Climbers ascending the crag

Druid’s Temple

For our final day in Yorkshire we were a bit stuck for places to visit. So I had a look for a few caches here and there with some favourite points on. I found a few places, and then I spotted Enchanted Wood (GC23ZD9). It sounded interesting, and upon looking on the Geograph website I noticed it looked like a very interesting place to explore.

Looking over Druid's Temple

Looking over Druid’s Temple

Looking back out the entrance arch

Looking back out the entrance arch

The sacrificial stone

The sacrificial stone

Looking out the back chamber

Looking out the back chamber

A central stone

A central stone

Stacked stone

Stacked stone

Standing stone

Standing stone

Unfortunately Druid’s Temple is only a folly. It was built in 1820 by William Danby, although some records suggest his father built it at some point between 1750 and 1803. There are stories that the folly was built to keep the local population busy who were paid 1 shilling a day to help create it. Also, a salary was offered to anyone who wanted to try and live at the temple as a hermit for 7 years!!! There are also rumors of devil worship and raves at the temple! Even though the temple wasn’t a mysterious, ancient structure like Stonehenge it was still a pretty mysterious and beautiful place. It was completely unsignposted until you got to the car park so I was very pleased that someone had put a cache there to take us to it.

Views from GZ

Views from GZ

Fall, Foss and Force!

Linton Falls

There are some beautiful falls in the Dales. The first that we visited was Linton Falls for the earthcache (GC1Z2ZA)

Linton Falls

Linton Falls

The bridge across Linton Falls

The bridge across Linton Falls

Gordale Scar

Next it was Gordale Scar for another earthcache (GC1HGBJ). My GPS hated the high rocks at the cache here and it bounced all over the place so much so that it was quite tricky to find the traditional cache which was also hidden here (GC1HGBJ).

The high rocks of Gordale Scar

The high rocks of Gordale Scar

The fall at the scar

The fall at the scar

Janets Foss

Right around the corner from Gordale Scar is also Janets Foss, a tall and powerful fall with an earthcache (GC1WYMC).

Janets Foss

Janets Foss

Curious sheep at Janets Foss

Curious sheep at Janets Foss

Stainforth Force

After a little walk from Stainforth, over Stainforth bridge is May the Force be with you (GC1PR69) at yet another beautiful Yorkshire waterfall.

View of Stainforth Bridge

View of Stainforth Bridge

Stainforth Force

Stainforth Force

Kilns

The burning of limestone to create lime was performed in Yorkshire since Medieval times. Limewater and limewash helped with building work, and lime was also used in fertiliser. There are many remains of lime kilns in the Dales and we were lucky enough to find caches at a couple too.

Toft Gate Lime Kiln

Toft Gate Lime Kiln (GC135ZK) is now a scheduled monument. It dates from around the 1860s. The kiln was heated by a series of separate fireboxes part way down the large bowl, It appears that after charging with limestone a lid was placed over the bowl and the fumes led away via a stone flue to a chimney some distance away.

Toft Gate chimney

Toft Gate chimney

Toft gate furnace and kiln

Toft gate furnace and kiln

Hoffmann Kiln

I’d had my eye on a visit to the Hoffmann Kiln cache (GC3H8EM) in Langcliffe ever since I spotted the cache page about a year ago. A Hoffman Kiln is a very special type of lime kiln as they are over 100m in length and are absolutely huge as this diagram shows:

A drawing of a Hoffman Kiln from http://www.llanymynech.org.uk

Along the sides of the kiln were many entrances in (or “flue holes”). Some were bricked up and some were open, but when we approached we heard lots of voices inside and saw a big spot light pointing into one of the entrances. We circled the kiln and arrived at the front to find a guy sitting on a chair. Apparently they were filming something set near the end of WW2, but they couldn’t tell us anything more about it (Although with a bit of strategic Googling I can tell you that they were filming “Soldiers of the Damned” for release next year as I found their Facebook page. As a side note, I love how everything is secret… apart from on Facebook ;)). As the film cast were on lunch break we were able to go and have an explore inside (And to be quite honest, I didn’t care if they were filming and had guns! I was going in that kiln!!! ;))

Entrance through a flue hole

Entrance through a flue hole

This version of the Hoffmann Kiln which was built in 1873 had 22 burning chambers and it’s quite unique in that most other versions of Friedrich Hoffmann’s kilns in the country have crumbled away. The kiln has a firebrick lining which withstands intense heat. Behind those firebricks is a rubber core to help contain the heat. In the roof, small shoots allow crushed coal to be dropped in to keep burning the limestone that was stacked inside. The “flue holes” along the kiln walls allowed air to be drawn from outside under the burning limestone to push smoke up the central corn of the kiln to the chimney. A railway system was used to transport the limestone blocks to the kiln, and the lime away from the kiln. To empty the chambers of lime, the men had to work inside the boiling hot conditions. Powdered lime covered the men’s clothes and if it got on their skin caused an itchy rash. Airbourne dust also got into their lungs. Because the working conditions were so terrible and there was no mechanical method for emptying the chambers, this Hoffmann Kiln closed in 1931. It’s lovely that apart from the chimney which collapsed, the rest of the kiln remains accessible and in very good condition.

Looking back towards the entrance

Looking back towards the entrance

Looking deep into the kiln

Looking deep into the kiln

Playing with some light painting

Playing with some light painting

Some of the film set

Some of the film set

Further along from the Hoffmann Kiln was another type of kiln, a triple draw kiln with three chambers. Limestone was tipped into the top of these kilns along with coal but isn’t as efficient as the Hoffmann Kiln.

Triple draw kiln

Triple draw kiln

York

I’d never visited York before, but heard it was a beautiful city. We headed there for a day for some shopping, site seeing and caching.

We started off walking around the city walls and picking off caches as we went. We started off with the Holes in the Wall virtual (GCAFE6) where we saw an excavation of the many layers that make up the walls. The walls defended the city since Roman times.

The layers of York City Wall

The layers of York City Wall

In the museum gardens nearby we were able to visit the remains of St Mary’s Abbey (GC4595V) which was first built in 1088.

St Mary's Abbey

St Mary’s Abbey

Coffins in the grounds of St Mary's Abbey

Coffins in the grounds of St Mary’s Abbey

More remains at the Abbey

More remains at the Abbey

The museum gardens were beautiful and full of friendly and curious squirrels like this little chap.

Put 'em up!

Put ’em up!

The canal was just a short walk from the gardens and from following that we were able to get to another part of the city walls and pick up some of the caches in the York City Walls series (GC23VTD). It was really lovely walking along the walls and we were surprised at how many caches we found during our little circular tour!

Looking up York's canal

Looking up York’s canal

Archer holds at York City Walls

Archer holds at York City Walls

Each gate was marked with the white rose of York

Each gate was marked with the white rose of York

Micklegate bar along the wall

Micklegate bar along the wall

A trip to York wouldn’t be complete without meeting the famous Stonegate Devil (GC4762). He sits outside number 33, which used to be a printers. He used to get the blame for any misprints when going to press. It’s said to be unlucky to look into his eyes!

Me with the devil!

Me with the devil!

And the rest…

Cathedral of the Dales

We visited the large “Cathedral of the Dales” to find the cache of the same name (GC10EFM). After finding the cache we went inside to explore. It was pretty impressive.

Outside of the Cathedral of the Dales

Outside of the Cathedral of the Dales

Inside the Cathedral of the Dales

Inside the Cathedral of the Dales

Snape Castle Chapel

The coordinates of the Snape Castle Chapel (GC11QYZ) took us to the roadside. However, from reading the description, logs and hint we then realised that the cache was actually hidden inside the chapel, near the harmonium! Very unusual! We walked through the church yard, past the castle and past the old ruins.

Ruins of Snape Castle Chapel

Ruins of Snape Castle Chapel

Snape castle

Snape castle

We walked through the chapel and to the harmonium where after a few minutes we did find the cache and indeed it was inside the chapel!!! It was a beautiful place and a brilliant spot for a cache!

The latest hymns in the chapel

The latest hymns in the chapel

The geocache near the harmonium

The geocache near the harmonium

Looking through Snape Castle Chapel

Looking through Snape Castle Chapel

Hackfall Woods

We headed to Hackfall Woods to find the earthcache of the same name (GC2GBZZ). We didn’t realise quite how beautiful the woodland was going to be. As well as the earthcache, there were many traditional caches hidden in there. Unfortunately over half were missing 😦 These were labelled as “Geo Art” caches

A Geo Art Cache

A Geo Art Cache

They were very nice caches which looked to have homemade stamps inside of them. All of them were of a decent size, but not much care had been taken with all of the placements so it looked like they had been hidden too obviously and subsequently muggled. It was a real shame because the woods were so beautiful and it would have been great to have a trail all around it, which would have been true if all of the caches were enabled. Here are some nice piccies of the beautiful wood. It had a fountain, waterfalls, stepping stones, grottoes, follies, a big lake, and a pond! A real gem that’s worth visiting even though half the cache are missing 😦 Fingers crossed they will be replaced and I can revisit to find them one day.

View of a folly in Hackfall Woods

View of a folly in Hackfall Woods

Wild garlic was all around the woods and smelt very strong

Wild garlic was all around the woods and smelt very strong

The fountain fires a jet every 15-20 minutes once the water has built up

The fountain fires a jet every 15-20 minutes once the water has built up

The Hackfall Woods Grotto

The Hackfall Woods Grotto

A Geo Art Cache at the lovely lake

A Geo Art Cache at the lovely lake

A pretty waterfall near one of the follies in the woods

A pretty waterfall near one of the follies in the woods

Mowbray Castle folly

Mowbray Castle folly

Inside Mowbray Castle

Inside Mowbray Castle

The stepping stones

The stepping stones

Ripon horn blower

Finally, we visited a great Virtual called Blow Your Horn (GCH94D) which required us to go down the road to the city of Ripon at 9pm to see the Ripon Hornblower. From the year 886 (YES over 1100 years ago!!!) an appointed hornblower has blown a horn at 9pm on the four corners of the market square EVERY single night! Since 2004 George Pickles has been the horn blower and to claim our virtual cache we had to visit and find out a bit of information from him. George was really lovely and as we sat and waited for him on a bench in market square he came up to us in plain clothes and said “Are you waiting for that hornblower chap? I hear he’s not coming out tonight as he’s gone to the pub (hehe!). A little while after that he went and got changed and then headed to the obelisk on market square, blew his horn, and then asked us if we wanted to hear a story. We all gathered around and made notes for our virtual cache. At the end he gave us all a lucky wooden penny as well. It was a very unique, fun experience.

Blowing his horn

Blowing his horn

George Pickles tells us a story

George Pickles tells us a story

My lucky wooden penny

My lucky wooden penny

Yorkshire was absolutely fantastic. It just seemed to have everything. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great, but I think that’s expected! πŸ™‚ I think my most favourite cache was Hoffman Kiln earthcache. It was very unique and a great place to experiment with some photography. I’m also pleased to have my lucky wooden penny. Does that mean I’m never going to have a DNF ever again? πŸ˜‰

8 Responses to “Yorkshire Caching Gems”

  1. Malcolm Bland Says:

    What a great advert for Geocaching! Having lived in Malhamdale for 35 years I had visited many of the sites but there are still some mentioned here that I have not visited and the excellent photographs have inspired me to plan a few caching trips over the summer! Thank you for the mention of my Cathedral of the Dales cache!
    Malcolm ‘Pigling’ Bland

  2. Richard Lay Says:

    The stonegate devil is also to blame for wrong links being posted πŸ˜‰ Great blog!

    • geocass Says:

      Curse that devil!!! πŸ˜‰ Actually GSAK is to blame as it’s a bit flakey when it comes to copy and pasting the GC codes. I’ve corrected it now. Thanks for spotting it! πŸ™‚

  3. Rob orwin Says:

    Great blog!

  4. Ian Bale Says:

    I loved reading this, it brought back some memories of several I had been to already and also some great idea’s to go to the one’s I have missed so far.

  5. Rick Burt Says:

    What a great blog, I really enjoyed reading it, and the photos were really brilliant too. Well done geocass πŸ™‚

  6. A true caching adventure in The Lake District | GeoCass UK GeoCaching Says:

    […] think it was particularly spectacular in comparison to those which we’d seen during our trip to Yorkshire. We had a few minutes to spare and were passing so we stopped off to get the cache there. It turned […]

  7. Ruby Bubbles Says:

    I’ve just moved to North Yorkshire, and looking for areas to explore WOW!! I am very excited seeing wants about! I’m a new geocacher, but very much looking forward to it now!!


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