Titter ye not !
It’s what the village is called. I didn’t make it up.
Meanwhile, back at the plot.
Cockayne Hatley is a little village just out on the east side of Potton, and is about an hour from where we live. At the time (i.e. before the massive Hatley Heart Attack series was released at the end of 2015) it had a nice little circular loop of about 30 caches. I’m writing this post in retrospect, and shortly after this day all these caches were archived and replaced by the larger series.
On this particular day, I had Daughterus Minimus with me, and we had a decent length of Saturday afternoon to have a go at a few. I seem to remember the weather was bright but a bit windy.
We parked outside the church at Cockayne Hatley and walked in a clockwise loop. It was quite easy-going, except for being disturbed by a kid on a quad-bike after about half an hour. The rest was easy. To be honest, the kid on the quad-bike wasn’t especially disturbing.
When we’d done we had a little time left in the car, so we went to collect the Church Micro and Village Sign in Wrestlingworth and the Church Micro in Tadlow. Here’s my photos of the churches.
Cha-ching! 36 finds in under 4 hours, and back home in time for dinner.
The caches were :
A quick stop off at Canterbury on the way down.
A bit of caching and a bit of castling in Dover.
A run and then some more more castling in Dover.
We set off on a Bank Holiday Monday for a long weekend in Kent that wasn’t at the weekend. Technically, it probably wasn’t very long either, but apart from that, it was “holiday rules” and it felt like a weekend because none of us was working.
The journey through “not Kent” in the morning was fairly uneventful. We had planned this as a mini-holiday rather than just a trip for a running event, and so we’d allowed ourselves a full day to get there and another full day before Kas’s race, so we had plenty of time to do a bit of touristy stuff on the journey down.
We chose to go into Canterbury, which is famous for having a very large cathedral, for being the home of the Church of England’s top dog, and of course for being mentioned in the title of one of the greatest works of English lterature (and the bane of many a school student), after being written by some bloke called Geoff.
As soon as we arrived we felt the need for a late breakfast, early lunch, general refresher break, which we had in a small independent cafe in the centre of town.
After that we focused our attention on the cathedral. It’s sort of difficult not to. You can’t miss it. It’s impressive but rather expensive to get into.
Once we’d been inside, we wandered around the outside attempting to collect information for the associated Church Micro geocache, and then we drove for a mile or so to go and fetch the thing before heading off in the direction of Dover.
We were still quite early when we arrived in Dover, so we headed off to a nearby park where I’d solved a couple of puzzle geocaches. The girls had a quick play/chill on the grass while I did a five minute walk across the grounds to do the doings.
We’d booked ourselves into a Premier Inn in the countryside halfway inbetween Dover and Folkestone, which was apparently a popular place for staying prior to jumping on a cross-channel ferry. It proved to be quite popular with us, mainly because it had a restaurant and we couldn’t be bothered to go anywhere else.
Tuesday morning and early afternoon was dominated (at least for me an Ami) by doing a load of geocaching along the cliff tops between Folkestone and Dover (see Doing Dover) while Kas and Izzy engaged themselves doing a bit of mooching about in the sunshine.
Later on in the afternoon we scooted over to Dover Castle for a couple of hours. It’s obviously had several phases of occupation for various purposes over the years, which gives it a bit of a muddled feel, but if you can manage to get your head around compartmentalising various bits of the site into different ages then it’s interesting to visit and there is quite a lot to do.
As it was getting on 3pm when we arrived and they close quite early, we decided to buy a year’s family membership of English Heritage rather than pay for a single day, thereby allowing us to come back the following day without paying full whack again. We’d also be allowed to enter any other English Heritage site free for the following year and a bit, but in the end, I am fairly convinced that we didn’t actually make use of that at all. Ho hum ! We’re National Trust members too and we rarely use it. I guess it’s a kind of charity donation.
Back at the plot, the kids enjoyed a good wander around the main keep in the centre of the site (which is just as well, because that’s the main place we went to).
After we’d finished we decided to look in Dover for something to eat. It proved to be a bit of a painful experience. We were too early for a number of places and there really wasn’t much around anyway. Eventually though we found a perfectly tolerable Italian restaurant in the middle of town who were more than willing to take our custom. Ideal pre-race scoff.
Wednesday was race day for Kas, and it was “wandering around in the sunshine” day for me and the girls.
The race Kas had entered involved running repeated loops around Samphire Hoe until you fell over, or something similar. Except Kas fell over at one point and then got up and kept running. It’s only a flesh wound. How bad can it possibly be. And anyway, Kas’s running trips invariably result in some sort of injury as a result of encountering some unexpected kind of underfoot conditions.
While Kas was busily doing the do, the kids and me walked a full circuit whilst collecting a couple of geocaches that are down there. It was a bright and sunny day but not especially warm, so we enjoyed some excellent light for taking photos and we got a bit sunburned on the top of the head (Well I did. The kids have hair), and generally enjoyed the gentle patter of increasingly exhausted runners coming past us. One of those runners was obviously the good lady wife.
The event ended with some drinking, eating, and handing out of awards.
It was only lunchtime really when Kas had finished and they’d done all the awards, and we were in no particular hurry to get home, so we decided we had time for a return journey to Dover Castle. This time we had a pop at the old WWII bunkers, which was definitely a very different experience to the “Medieval Zone” up in the old keep. The area is accessed by going downhill to a walkway that’s essentially halfway up a cliff and overlooking the Port of Dover. It was so exciting inside that Ami tried to use one of the “old skool” phones to tell someone else about it, but they weren’t home.
And that was more or less the end of the trip, aside from the fact that we had to drive all the way home again, which we managed to do without incident. Well, there was a queue trying to get through the Dartford Tunnel, but that seems to be a permanent state of affairs, and hence not worth a mention. We got home to discover that the house was where we’d left it.
Well, we had to really. I couldn’t go to Dover for a long weekend and not do that tempting looking caching series along the tops of the cliffs. That would be a waste, if not a criminal offence.
We went on the middle day of our three. Kas and Izzy spent the day doing “stuff” somewhere while Ami and me took a bit of a walk in what I have to say was quite lovely weather.
Kas dropped us off about half a mile west of the Battle of Britain Memorial on the east side of Folkestone and we began our walk back towards Dover. There weren’t really any major plans except this being the morning activity for me and Ami, and assuming time allowed, then we’d go up to Dover Castle in the afternoon.
We started picking up caches fairly quickly, and then bumped into Kas and Izzy again at the memorial, where they’d gone for a coffee I think. It was quite good for a free attraction. Seeing the actual planes (replicas or otherwise) is good, because you don’t get any sense of how small the things are until you’re stood next to one.
Marching our way onwards we passed lots more caches on relatively flat terrain, and all the time we were passing various bits of old military installation on the top of the cliffs. You could see France from up there. You could also see Samphire Hoe down at the bottom of the cliffs at various points.
Once we got past Samphire Hoe the terrain got a bit more three dimensional and the path got a bit more dodgy, until we eventually started descending through some houses and out onto the A20 on the outskirts of Dover. I’d solved a puzzle that was a little way up the hill on the inland side of the road here, so we found a way across the road and a route through some houses to get up there. When we came back down Kas was a little way away, so rather than wait there we walked down the side of the main road to a roundabout at the bottom, where there’s a fuel station that has a Subway in the back. That looked like a good place to turn our bikes round and grab a late lunch (I think it was after 2 pm by the time we got there) while waiting for Kas and Izzy to arrive. We’d done 30 caches in total. It was quite slow going but the scenery made up for that in spades.
Kas and Izzy did manage to catch up with us at lunchtime and we did make it up to Dover Castle for a couple of hours later in the afternoon, all of which is described in the Down Dover post.
The caches we found on the cliffs were :