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Often referred to as a modern form of orienteering or a high tech hide and seek, geocaching is a new outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, or a smart phone with mapping or other navigational techniques to hide and to seek containers, which are called geocaches (we over 21's call them the treasure of treasure hunting!).
A typical cache is usually a small container containing a logbook where the finder signs in and enters the date they found it. Sometimes larger containers like freezer type boxes can also contain items for trading, usually coins or trinkets of nominal value. There might even be a special challenge within this box for the finder to take part in . Sometimes the box can only be found by solving a puzzle which adds to the fun. Sometimes its more obvious.
Techie Teenagers, the sort who are surgically attached to smart phones, love the technical equipment of geocaching and are therefore more than willing to get out and take part. Its walking with treasure hunting! At the end of the day or week you need an internet connection to upload your finds to one of the geocaching sites. All three Monmouthshire Cottages have internet access and you can put your teens in charge of the logging in each evening. Excellent for everyone!
Monmouthshire and the Forest of Dean together form one of the very best parts of the UK for geocaching! Why? Because there are masses of excellent caches sufficiently close together that you can plan a fun route round several and make that route as tough or as dead easy as your fitness allows. The caches are in interesting and very beautiful places you might not find otherwise. Come and enjoy!
Geocaching is a world-wide activity and there are many caches in the Wye Valley, the Forest of Dean, the Vale of Usk and in the Brecon Beacons often at some of the most beautiful and interesting places. Visiting caches is a great way to learn about this lovely area and it's understandably hugely popular.
Within 10 miles of Monmouth there are over 200 caches up and down the Wye Valley, some in Tintern itself (several around the village and one right next to Tintern Abbey Cottage though we wont tell you where! ), one even in Catbrook (very near Foxes Reach), lots in and around Usk and the Usk Valley Walk (near Vanilla Cottage), and lots more within an easy day trip of all our cottages by car or bike in all directions- most relevantly in the Royal Forest of Dean and in the Brecon Beacons themselves.
We do have WiFi internet access in the cottages so when you are back indoors you can easily log finds and there's Facebook to report it all back on......
The best way to find a cache is to visit the geocaching website and enter your geographical area of interest. (For fullest details, you just set up a free account and log in). Come and give it a go!
Lord Elis-Thomas was in Tintern Abbey for the opening of the Museum of the Moon, part of the exceptional Wye Valley River festival.
Monmouthshire Cottages has again won the top accolade of Best Self Catering in Wales
Snow blanketed the Wye Valley in early March 2018