UK Underground Geocaches bookmark list

Firstly apologies that my blog has been quiet for a few weeks. I’ve been working on a bit of a Geocaching project! 🙂 I decided to try and compile a bookmark list of all of the UK’s underground caches. I severely underestimated the amount of time and effort that it’d take me to put it together, but finally it is done! It was one of those “I’ve started so I’ll finish” kinds of job which I didn’t want to abandon. It took days to find suitable caches with references to caves/mines/quarries/bunkers in the description, and then days to filter through them to find, for example, caves that were true caves and not little 1m by 1m holes in a rock! It then took days to update the information in the bookmark list so that details about the caches can be quickly obtained. All in all, it was about 3 weeks of work, on and off which ate a hole into my usual blogging time. I was overwhelmed by how many underground adventures there are lurking around our country!

UK Underground caches

The final product is called Going Underground and is available here. It is currently a list of 360 caches in the UK and Ireland that are either underground or near underground features. Some of the caches will require you to go into caves, tunnels, etc. to retrieve them, but some will just lead you to them ready for exploration. Some features will include miles of underground chambers, but others will just be small sea caves. There really is a mixture!

I’ve included a rating system in the bookmark list which is based on the following:
* – Mentions an underground feature, but not enough info to tell how good it is.
** – Mentions an underground feature, some information, but couldn’t be sure how good it was unless I visited.
*** – Mentions an underground feature, and it looks like a good place to visit.
**** – Mentions an underground feature, and it looks like great fun, will definitely try to visit one day.
***** – Mentions an underground feature, and the cache looks absolutely amazing. I MUST GO HERE WHEN I’M IN THE AREA OR MAKE A SPECIAL TRIP TO DO IT!

I’ve also added the 5 star and 4 star caches to separate shared bookmark lists so you can search through just the best (in my opinion) of underground caching.

An example of the entries on the list

It is of course, just a personal project because I wanted to find these caches. Some information may be inaccurate due to the shear number I had to process, and some caches may be missing. If you can think of any I’ve missed then please let me know and I’ll add them. For now, enjoy and I hope it comes in handy for other people too. I will attempt to update the list monthly/bi-monthly with recently published underground caches to help keep the list up to date as well! 🙂


Geocaching Challenges – What’s it all about?

EDIT: 01-09-2011 Due to all of the user feedback on challenges, Groundspeak removed the “challenges completed” count from the find count, so parts of this article that mentioned it have now been scrubbed out!

Last night Groundspeak implemented their replacement for virtuals – Geocaching Challenges. A while ago there was a user feedback suggestion to bring virtuals back, and I did indeed add a vote to it. However, after doing so I started thinking… Would it really be such a great idea? Back when virtuals existed the overall cache quality was higher and there were far fewer Geocachers. There are some brilliant virtuals that are still alive today, but there are also some really pointless ones. The reason I questioned my vote was that I wasn’t sure how new virtual quality would be measured so that the poor ones wouldn’t get through. How worthy a location is of a virtual would surely be very subjective. Reviewers have enough to do reviewing physical caches to be bombarded with virtuals as well. Groundspeak obviously thought about these things when they created their “Geocaching Challenges”, but what exactly are they, and did they think hard enough? The brilliant Podcacher podcast had an interview with Jeremy and Bryan from Groundspeak about this before the implementation which is worth a listen. Here’s a look at Challenges now that they have been implemented…

Completing a Challenge

After the update we now have the ‘Challenges’ link under our Quick View, and when you hover over ‘Your Profile’ and ‘Play’ on the main menu. Creating Challenges is a ‘Premium Members only’ feature, but completing them is open to anyone. In your profile, your finds are now broken up into Finds, Hides, and Challenges and although your “Found” number in the top right-hand side of the Geocaching page and in the logs for caches shows the total number of Found/Completed which includes challenges, when someone clicks on your public profile they will get the breakdown.

Pick a number, any number...

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UK Challenge Caches – Everything you need to know!

15-08-2012: This blog entry is now a tad out of date. After I wrote it Geocache challenges went CRAZY! There are now hundreds more to find, but the bookmark list is up to date so you can find them all there! 🙂

Sometimes it’s not just about the “found” numbers on your profile. There are other mini goals that cachers can work on to achieve and these are in the form of “Challenge Caches”. A challenge cache requires the cacher to meet a geocaching-related task(s) before they can log their find and it can also encompass Waymarking and Wherigo so they are really more “Groundspeak-related tasks”

There are a few rules that go along with the allowance of a challenge cache. The challenge must be realistic and attainable, a challenge shouldn’t be based on non-accomplishments (DNF’s) or on achievements that are based on the actions of other cachers (First to finds) and a challenge shouldn’t require you to find particular caches or be used to promote your own. Although not specifically listed in the Groundspeak Challenge rules I believe that you also aren’t allowed to have a challenge based on someone’s number of hides. e.g. Hide 100 caches before you can log this cache.

There are many around the UK, and loads around the world and personally I think they are a great idea so thought I’d take a look into the wide world of Challenge caches…

A map of UK Challenge caches

(Click the ? icons to display the cache pages for each)

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