Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity using a GPS or a GPS enabled phone or tablet which is very like a real-world Treasure Hunt. It’s perfect for encouraging children and young people to explore the countryside and will take you to many new and often secretive destinations to explore.
The hiding place is often registered on www.geocaching.com. Using GPS coordinates you navigate to the approximate place and then search for the hidden ‘cache’. A typical ‘cache’ is a small waterproof container which holds a log book and pencil for you to log your find. There may be small items to exchange or to move to new positions.
There are also ‘virtual caches’. These sometimes have a question to answer or require a photograph to log the find. A boxless Adventure Lab geocache has been created for Kirkby Stephen.
There are six cache sites along the Kirkby Stephen Poetry Path. Search on the ‘Hide and Seek a Cache’ page on Geocaching.com, entering Kirkby Stephen. If you extend your search to 10 miles of Kirkby Stephen, you will find hundreds of caches. For instance there are 17 geocaches in a circuit from Kirkby Stephen via Great Musgrave, Brough and Church Brough, Barras and Winton and back to Kirkby Stephen.
A further nine Geocache sites have been installed on the Northern Viaduct Trust walk, along the disused Stainmore railway and in the Frank’s Bridge area of Kirkby Stephen.
New in 2021 are ten new EarthCaches in Kirkby Stephen and the surrounding Westmorland Dales developed by Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership.
We are grateful to ‘MacGrumpy’ of Kirkby Stephen for hiding local caches and the landowners for hosting them. Sadly ‘MacGrumpy’ (Peter Goddard) died in May 2021 but his caches live on in his memory.